Starting from zero, how do you acquire your first 100 subscribers?

Posted by Spike Email Marketing, Mailchimp Experts

I’m starting a new business and want to get my first 100 subscribers. How do I get them? That’s a question asked every day somewhere in the world to a Mailchimp Expert.

It’s a great question because there’s a heap of ways you can use and our Mailchimp Expert panel have answers you can implement today.

email marketing banner 100subs - Starting from zero, how do you acquire your first 100 subscribers?

Besides begging your friend, family and immediate business connections to sign up which will probably get you around 25-50 subscribers, I would turn your top 5 blog posts into a free downloadable PDF, and get people to input their email to access it. Share this for a few weeks on social and you’d be surprised how much response you get.

Doug Dennison
CEO & Co-founder

The first thing you do is create a reason for someone to want to subscribe to your email marketing. Is it educational content, special offers, or access to something they desire? Whatever it is, you need that first. After you have a reason, you’ll need to create data capture forms on your website or create landing pages with sign-up forms. The final step is to get your offer front of your ideal audience. This can be done through your social channels, guest blog posts, or through digital advertising. I’ve found Facebook lead gen ads to be a great way to quickly increase your audience size with targeted leads, and Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn advertising also works well enough to be ROI-positive.

Adam Q. Holden-Bache
Director of Email Marketing
Enventys Partners

Start with people you know. Your network is probably a lot bigger than you think. Reach out to family and friends and provide them a link to sign up. Post it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and let people know about your awesome new newsletter they will receive a few times a month. And then post that link again next week. The more you ask people to sign up, the better. Just make sure your friends and family are opt-ing in and knowing what they’re signing up for.

Emily Ryan
Co-Founder and Email Strategist
Westfield Creative

You never really start from zero, and if you do, you don’t start with a newsletter!

If you are thinking about an editorial newsletter, you must have something really compelling to write about, so you’re probably posting some of your content on social media: this is where you will announce the birth of your newsletter, and get your first subscribers.

Otherwise, if you sell things, you need a good plan to write to your customers or people who could buy from you, then you can begin to write to your customers and acquire your first subscribers (and customers) by offering them a reward such as a discount.

Alessandra Farabegoli
Digital Strategist, Co-Founder
Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia

Ask. It’s as simple as that. Ask your friends and family to sign up. Post on social that you’re starting an awesome newsletter about x and it will answer this problem or change your life like x and tell everyone you know to tell their friends. 100 should be easy.

Glenn Edley
Director & Email Strategist

Whether your organization is reaching a professional, B2B or a consumer audience, most leaders can reach into their lists of contacts to find at least a few dozen people who would be interested subscribers, even if they aren’t ready or qualified to use any products or services. Those initial subscribers are great seeds, who can help to spread the word of your email program (if you ask). Combined with tactics like integrated website popup forms, social media outreach and general business development work (e.g. professional networking), the first 100 subscribers usually happens quickly. The challenge for most lies in list maintenance and continued growth. List attrition (loss of list members) is normal and natural, but it takes the right program with the right content to continue to grow the subscriber base past that first 100 names.

MaryAnn Pfeiffer
Digital Marketing Strategist
108 Degrees Digital Marketing

To get 100 subscribers, requires two things… traffic and a destination that has a form where people can sign up.

Traffic can be generated from SEO, Paid Ads, Social, but if you’re starting off, just the people you know and the customers you’ve got is as good a place to start as any.

Sign up needs a page to do it, and if possible a reason for people to sign up… nowadays, it’s not good enough to have a form, you need to give people a reason, an incentive to put their email in…

Getting the fist 100 from the people who you know and are in your existing circles shouldn’t be too challenging… but don’t just add people to your system without them asking… that’s a big no-no, both from a Data Protection/GDPR point of view, and just the fact that it’s not cool!

Robin Adams
Chimp Answers

This is different for each business and how they do their marketing. But if I wanted a big blast of subscribers that will buy from me, I would…

1. Post a link to my subscription form on each of my social media accounts. And pin that post to the top of my profile/page. Then every week to 10 days, I would remind people to subscribe by giving them a peek of the content I put in my newsletter.

2. Reach out to a couple of friends whose business type compliments my business, but we don’t compete and ask for a mention in their newsletter or on their social media platforms. This has been one of my most successful methods of getting new subscribers.

3. Reach out to some of my favorite business podcasts and ask to be on their podcast. When people can see and hear you demonstrate your expertise, especially if they’re interested in your industry or products, they will want more from you. So subscribing to your newsletter is a natural outcome.

Amy Hall
Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner