7500 Email Subscribers

The Marketing Examples alien spacecraft went past the 7,500 mark last night. Here's the good and bad:

No silver bullet

I wish I could say I've found a silver bullet to growing my email list. But there isn't one. Every new 500 subscribers comes from somewhere different:

Sharing on Facebook groups, Linkedin, Slack, Zest, Twitter, Podcast appearances, Indie Hackers, sending detailed email replies, getting to know other share, from (trying) to help others with marketing, I could go on ...

I thought when I crossed 5k it would be less manual. But it's not. And that's great. I love taking a few hours to share each articles. I don't see the day when that stops. I'm still be posting them on Reddit / Indie Hackers / Linkedin etc ...

Conversion is King (Sorry Kanye)

The easiest way, hands down, to 5x your rate of subscribers is taking your conversion rate from 1% to 5%. I can't stress enough how much easier that is as opposed to 5x your volume of traffic.

All it takes is some simple changes such as, adding an exit intent popup, explaining clearly the value of signing up, adding some social proof, multiple email boxes, asking like a human etc.

My traffic is much much lower than other sites out there. But my conversion (around 10%) is the reason why I pull in subscribers (around 50 / day). If you'd like more details on this I wrote a case study outlining the process.

I'm not Frank Ocean

I had a period over the last two weeks where I didn't produce a single article. Which is not cool, given the only thing I have to do is write articles! I got so swept up in perfectionism that I froze and couldn't string anything together.

It got to the point where I had multiple versions of every sentence and would read each of them to my brother and he was like, "What are you wasting my time for. The sentences say the same thing. Why are you stressing over this?"

The article finally came out and funnily enough it got one of the worst receptions to date. This was the best thing that could happen to me.

It was proof that all this sweating over the perfect sentence counts for nothing. It made me more cut throat and reminded me that first and foremost I'm a business. But, that was 2 weeks where the site didn't grow too much haha!

Depth over Breadth

@yungrollneck shared a line from Paul Graham which changed the way I ran the site, "It's easier to expand userwise than satisfactionwise".

The point, essentially, is that it's far easier to double your userbase, than to turn a 5/10 satisfaction into a 10/10. So you've got to focus on satisfaction from the word go.

Since reading this, I've allocated more time to emails, fixing user bugs, responding to questions properly etc. If that means I grow a little bit slower then so be it.

Every startup is a tree and if you let it rot at the base, it's game over. It might grow tall, but sooner or later the rot will tear it down. Facebook is a prime example of this. I want roots as healthy as a Coast Redwood.

That's all folks. I'll be back at 10k email subs. Hopefully I get there before 2020. The email list is here for anyone who wants to learn from some real world marketing examples. Over and out.

  1. 3

    Nice work hitting 7500. Good to see you’re learning lessons that you can share with the rest of us 😁 All part of the journey.

  2. 2

    Even though I like emails, I like my RSS feed much better that I build patiently over 10 years and still optimising each day. And for Marketing Examples, not just an email newsletter, also with a website, that would be awesome to have it as RSS too.

    1. 1

      Gotya, and good call. I've bookmarked this. Have been trying to set up RSS. Will let you know once rocking and rolling.

  3. 2

    Thanks for sharing your story and insights Harry. Loving your emails. Keep up the great work!

    1. 1

      Cheers Kareem - Appreciated

  4. 2

    I love how the Dry family are your brain trust.

    1. 3

      100%. Blood is thicker than water.

  5. 2

    Lol "I'm not Frank Ocean" I felt that

    Congrats on 7.5k man👏

    1. 2

      Thanks Anthony (and finish the new album already Frank)

  6. 2

    Congrats! I just wanted to say I love your site.

    1. 1

      Thank you Ira. Appreciate it.

  7. 2

    👏You deserve it! I love your project, I'm reading every single article and I'm trying to follow your advices for my project!

    1. 1

      Cheers Mariano - Every single article. Haha! Means a lot. Good luck with Invest Company.

  8. 2

    Great milestone @harrydry. Love the advice about focusing on conversion before traffic, something I'm going to think about for Weekend Club.

    Reminds me of this Tyler Tringas tweet I think you'd enjoy: https://twitter.com/tylertringas/status/1170324051203698693?s=20

    1. 2

      I did enjoy. Cheers Charlie. And pleasure man, thanks for reminding me of some of PG's wisdom.

    2. 1

      And cheers for the shoutout :D

  9. 2

    Congrats Harry, well deserved!

    1. 3

      Thanks Miguel! Appreciate that.

  10. 1

    Hi Harry! Love the part where you try to work on conversion, rather than boosting your traffic.

    One question about LinkedIn: have you tried using the tool Lempod (other people commenting on your posts to increase reach)? Or have you picked up any tips on promoting stuff on LinkedIn? Thanks :)

    1. 1

      Thank you Shin! I haven't actually no. But open to checking it out.

      I'm far from a Linkedin expert. The one thing that seems to be important is having a lot of good "connections". So I'm trying to add people who share marketing passion. Idea being we can both promote / like each others articles. I think when you like something on Linkedin your other followers see so that's how you can grow ...

  11. 1

    Great milestone, it's thoughtful post, thank you for this, i think growth is like marathon, not a sprint, it need process, sure you can have a big bang, viral etc, but that's not a sustainable approach.

    Thanks! and i enjoyed the post from marketingexamples

    1. 1

      100% agree. And thank youu!

  12. 1

    Thanks for sharing this thoughtful update, Harry. Felt like I was reading the newsletter (very valuable). Keep up the good work 🙌🏽

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot Hansel. Appreciated

  13. 1

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts … good to hear that people struggle with the same things. Keep up the great work. Also I just subscribed ✌🏻

  14. 1

    Congrats! 7,500 is a big milestone.

    How do you envision revenue growing with subscriber growth? Do you see it growing linearly?

    1. 2

      My only revenue atm is sponsorships and that seems to be growing fairly steadily. Up from $870 / mo with 2k subs to $2,450 / mo with 7.5k subs. And thank you!

      1. 1

        Do you do purely email newsletter sponsorships?

        1. 1

          Nope, sponsorship is all of:

          a) the website
          b) end of article
          c) newsletter
          d) last tweet of thread

      2. 1

        Revenue per subscribe has decreased from 0.453USD (@2K Subs) to 0.326USD (@7.5K Subs). Doesn't that bother you? I am just curious.

        1. 1

          Good maths. Never thought about it like that.

          Not quite that simple though. I signed Email Octopus at bout 300 subs. We did a 3 month term, so by the time we got to the end I was probably at about 5000 subscribers.

          Then that's when the new sponsor came onboard. They're also doing a 3 month term. So I guess it depends on whether you count from the start or the end or whatever.

          But either way, I'm not too concerned. Sponsorship is great to pay the bills. But the real value is in building the list itself. I'd say it's 50x more valuable than the short term cash coming in from sponsors.

          Sponsorship also isn't a mega priority. if it was I'd do ads per newsletter instead of 3 months term and make more money that way.

  15. 1

    7,500 is brilliant by the way! Well done on all your hard work.

    1. 1

      Cheers Pete - Appreciated.

  16. 1

    Nice! Do you plan on using this as your platform / funnel for future sass projects?

    1. 2

      Hmm - Haven't really thought about this yet. That would make sense to maximise profits. But not sure it fits my character. Only time will tell. I'm going to evaluate things properly at 10k subs.

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