August 5, 2020

27,500 email subscribers!

Harry Dry @harrydry

So my marketing newsletter crossed 27,500 subscribers. Still with an open rate of 50% somehow. I thought I’d do a little update.

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It feels like yesterday when I was getting 10 new subscribers a day. Today I’m averaging over 100. And 1000 a week!

The benefits from hard work compound over time. You’ve just got to stay in the game long enough to reap them.

My high level strategy

People say “bet on YouTube, bet on TikTok, SEO, etc .”

But the only thing we know for sure is that it’s only going to get easier for people to share stuff.

So my energy goes into writing the best stuff I can and trusting word of mouth.

And it works. Whether thats a subscriber on Twitter telling their followers. Or Dave Gerhardt and Neil Patel on their podcasts.

I could work quicker. But that's the short term strategy. The long game is being the best and trusting people will talk about it.

That's why I will overtake Hubspot one day. SEO won't beat the PEOPLE 😂

It's all in the small details

Let me give you an example.

I was writing about Grubhub’s link building. It was Friday. I’d been working on this article all week. I really wanted to publish it and enjoy my weekend. But the conclusion was flat.

So I worked on it Saturday morning and found the words to sum it up.

That's the power of good SEO.
 Plant an orchard. And you're eating fruit everyday.
The long game is the shortcut.

Anyhow, I ended up getting 4 or 5 messages specifically about the conclusion. 4 or 5 replies equates to more like 400 or 500 people who appreciated it.

And it made me think. People really do notice the details.

That's all folks

Here's my analytics from around January in case you wanted to see where my subscribers come from. You see “goal completions” on the right. That's new subscribers.

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Thanks for reading. In case you want to check out my newsletter for yourself here's a link.

I share a new marketing case study every week. Short, sweet and practical. Any questions, hmu :)

  1. 3

    100 new subscribers per day is amazing, congrats!
    What is your strategy to monetize them?

    1. 7

      cheers.

      no strategy atm. I've thought about it. And my conclusion was

      If I create the best marketing resource in the world, i won't have to worry about making money

      maybe young and näive. but I'll be in acquisition mode till 100k. long game the shortcut

      1. 2

        With 100k subscribers, you'll certainly have options. Don't wait too long to think about it though - monetization will keep the lights on and give you the ability to keep doing this for much longer. Otherwise you'll end up needing to take investors on at some point while still figuring it out.

  2. 2

    "The benefits from hard work compound over time. You’ve just got to stay in the game long enough to reap them." - REAL TALK

  3. 2

    "Preach what you teach" approach is always a winning strategy
    You tell us about great marketing while you are also a great marketer

    That's a recipe of success, Harry

    1. 2

      Cheers Valerie. I remember when we chatted a year ago and you linked me all those Slack groups lol. Everyone starts somewhere

      1. 1

        exactly :)
        I am now however now a believer of the theory "all roads lead IndieHackers" hehe

  4. 1

    Loving your content Harry - keep them coming

  5. 1

    This might explain why some people don't open your email, I'm an email subscriber of yours, but sometimes don't open your email because I've already read the content on twitter.

  6. 1

    Congrats Harry, you're crushing it! Big fan of short newsletters and you do this really well.

  7. 1

    Amazing to see your growth, Harry!

  8. 1

    Awesome stuff Harry, congrats!

    I didn't quite understand what you meant by "That's why I will overtake Hubspot one day"?

    1. 1

      hubspot have an marketing newsletter. fairly trashy stuff imo. they get all their subs through SEO. So I'm saying the PEOPLE (word of mouth) will see me beat them

  9. 1

    Isn't that the Seth Rogen quote from 40yo virgin about planting seeds? ;)

    Out of curiosity, where would you say your network/followers were at before you started marketingexamples? Were you starting from zero?

    1. 1

      haha.

      maybe 1500 followers on my personal twitter account. and a few indie hacker friends

  10. 1

    Excellent milestone, congrats Harry!

  11. 1

    Consider that 27,501 - I just signed up. Awesome work.

    1. 1

      woooop! awesome. thank you

  12. 1

    Sorry for being in the 50% non-open rate, I still have to catch up on the latest 5-6 issues 😅

    1. 1

      haha - no worries. take your time (but you're missing gold haha) :)

  13. 1

    You deserve it, every time I see a new e-mail from you on my Inbox I rush to read it. Thanks for taking the time to help us.

    1. 1

      haha. cheers giancarllo. lovely words and good motivation for the upcoming edition. thank you!

  14. 1

    Hey, Harry, phenomenal work.

    Three questions:

    1. Do you focus on acquiring users from specific geos?
    2. Do you spend money on ads? If so, on which platforms?
    3. How many new articles/examples do you publish a week? (I could infer 1 per week but I wanted to be sure).

    One suggestion for monetisation (that's in the spirit of your approach)—try creating a Patreon account that people can use to make donations if they appreciate your work. I have a much (much) smaller site, focussed on more contentious topics and I've had a couple of people donate to me, so I'm sure you'd get (at least) a few thousand pounds in donations.

    1. 2

      thank you. appreciate it :)

      1/ nope (anywhere)
      2/ nope
      3/ 1 / week

      and cheers for suggestion.

  15. 1

    Congratulations Harry! Your content is great, and your audience is eager for more. I read your newsletter and website religiously. I remember when you started and I read all your articles and still needed more.

    Just some UI/UX issue of how I consume your content (maybe there are others like me)
    I go to your website, after your newsletter or when I’m researching.
    I start picking a bunch of articles, but the website impedes the cmd-click on an article to open it in a new tab to later read those. Instead I need to left-click and “open in a new tab” which is more cumbersome. Would be nice if you can fix that.

    Thank you for your great content!

    1. 1

      thanks a lot martin. lovely message. appreciate it. will take a look!

  16. 1

    Hey Harry,

    Very insightful post. Congratulations on the milestone! Can I ask you how you started off getting your first few hundred subscribers? It seems like that is a very tricky part!

    Thanks,
    Fitz

    1. 2

      hey fitz.

      i wrote something solid

      shared it on LinkedIn / Twitter / IH'ers / Reddit

      asked people to join my email list for more

      Repeat x 48 = 27k

      1. 1

        By the way I signed up to your newsletter to check it out!

      2. 1

        Epic! Thank you for sharing that @harrydry. looking to start doing the same for my free online course teaching HTML, CSS and JavaScript in laymen terms for entrepreneurs. I'm putting together a course that shows how to build SaaS software from scratch. If you know anyone who might be interested its home is CodeWithFitz.com :)

  17. 1

    Just subscribed! Loved your Kanye story too! I wish I was half the marketer you are. I would do my product a lot more justice... :/ Keep inspiring!

    1. 2

      Oh sweet. Thank you Christina.

      Keep going with Marvin. Looks cool. I've saw people on Twitter share it. If you make the best product and built it in the public (on Twitter) word will spread.

      Transparency a great marketing play for us startups.

      Sorry to give unsolicited advice, but just from the website I find the “beating procrastination” angle stronger than the “getting more done” angle from a branding / copywriting perspective.

      1. 1

        I thought about doing the transparency play, but then never did (see why I have a procrastination startup?)

        I agree with your assessment on angle. I have to do more tests. Right now our best customers is the to-do list app power user, who has tried many but sees right away that Marvin is superior. But they often don't identify as a procrastinator. But that is the core audience I want to help, which was my vision all along. Tricky.

  18. 1

    100k before the end of the year? Well done with everything - I think everyone can see you truly care about the case studies you publish.

    Seems Twitter is by far the best social media platform when it comes to subscribers. Any idea why that is? Even if it's just speculating, would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

    I know you've put in the time to have a dedicated strategy for each platform, yet the one with the most users (FB) pales in comparison to "little" Twitter.

    1. 1

      Appreciate the praise. 100k by December would be insane! 50k would even pretty good haha. But you never know how things compound.

      I'm a big believer in not spreading too thin. So Twitter and LinkedIn are the only social channels I properly focus on. On Facebook I just piggy-back on other pages. Haven't got the time to fully dedicate myself to FB. So that's probably why ...

      1. 1

        Makes sense. I do like the conversational aspect of Twitter, it's the one platform I am trying to get more involved on.

        As for the 100k mark... Definitely not easy but not impossible either. It really depends on how much you want to focus on the number of subscribers.

        I think it's fine to focus on doing the best content rather than too many "hacks" for getting people to signup (yes, even though we're on IndieHackers, haha).

        My newsletter experience so far, personal and when discussing with others can be summarised like this: Subscribers are easy, readers are hard.

        It's much easier than some people make it to get someone to submit their email on your website. What is difficult is getting the right people to give you their email, the people that will actually care about what you have to say.

        You're definitely doing a great job! And for what it's worth, I think you're miles more useful than HubSpot already, haha.

  19. 1

    Good Job! Congratulations!!!

  20. 1

    That's really amazing. Keep it up. I have a product that your subscribers will love. I'm doing only Private promos. Would you be open to discuss that?

    1. 1

      feel free to share it @ [email protected]

      but I don't promote anything to the newsletter (other than the 1 sponsored slot which is filled for the foreseeable future)

      1. 1

        I see I thought you sometimes do a review of the products you think will help your audience and you use in general. Will message you now. Thanks for the quick response

  21. 1

    Massive congrats, Harry! It's been inspiring to follow your journey. You're the epitome of dedication, and I'm not surprised people love your work.

    1. 1

      thank you Anne-Laure. I appreciate your kinds word. Newsletter Geeks is a lovely place to hang.

  22. 2

    This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

    1. 2

      Hey Simon. Thank you!

      I asked them. Nice to get the band back together.

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