How To Get 500 Newsletter Subscribers In 1 Day

My post on how I made $4,000 in one day with my mailing list went over really well and receive a lot of positive responses. One sticking point I’ve noticed among the comments is some people are reluctant to sign up with Aweber because they feel it will take too long to build up 500 subscribers. This is really the wrong way to look at it and chances are you’ll never start if you take this attitude. Yes, it might seem like a waste of money to pay $19 per month when you only have 10 subscribers, but if you do your marketing correctly, it’s possible to build 500 subscribers in only a few days. That’ll make the monthly fee easier to justify.

The Keyword Is Marketing

It really is true that most bloggers suck at marketing. This is the main reasons why most bloggers will never build their sites to any substantial size or make much money from it. Setting up a newsletter list is more than just signing up for Aweber and adding a newsletter sign up box. If that’s all you’re doing, then you really are wasting your money. Unless your blog gets a ton of traffic, doing that will get you only a handful of sign ups. You need a marketing plan to drive as many sign ups in the shortest time possible. The best way to do that is with an incentive promotion.

As I’ve stated in my original post, your newsletter sign ups increase greatly if you offer some incentive to the people who sign up. I use my eBook as an incentive. The key is the capture every lead that comes to your blog. If you’re doing everything I recommend on my how I made $4,000 in one day post, then you’re on your way. Here’s how to kick it up to the next level.

The Contest Promotion

The promotion I like doing most is a contest where the rules require the reader to sign up for the newsletter in order to enter. Gyutae Park and Shoemoney has done these types of contests with great results. In Shoe’s case, he actually got over 1,000 sign ups in one day when he offered to give away a Macbook Air to a newsletter subscriber.

You don’t need a super expensive prize like a Macbook Air to get a ton of people to sign up. Even something as simple as a Flip Mino can produce great results. I added over 200 new Twitter followers in a day when I announced my Twitter contest with Market Leverage.

Leverage Another Site If You Don’t Have The Traffic

If you don’t have enough traffic to generate the buzz to get people to sign up to your newsletter, then you need to leverage a bigger site to help you. This was what Gyutae Park did when he was starting out. Gyutae set up a contest with some great prizes. All you have to do enter was subscribe to his newsletter or RSS. Back then, Gyutae’s blog didn’t get as much traffic as it does now. Even though he had some great prizes, just posting about it on his blog wouldn’t get enough people to enter. So Gyutae leveraged my readership by having me blog about his contest.

Find the big blogs that are in your niche and see if they’re open to any joint promotions. Keep in mind that you have to provide something of value to the blog you’re trying to leverage. If the email just reads, “Hey! Can you blog about my contest?” chances are, it’ll just be deleted.

Go with Aweber From The Beginning

I’m seeing quite a few bloggers say they’re trying to build their list using a low cost or free solution and will switch to Aweber once the list hits 500. This is a big mistake and I speak from experience because I’ve made this mistake. Before discovering Aweber, I used the SendStudio newsletter software. I had built my list to over 22,000 subscribers before switching to Aweber.

Here’s the problem. Aweber, and all other mailing list service providers, requires the reconfirmation of any list you upload. Even though my 22,000 subscribers were double opted in, Aweber has to send them an email asking if they wish to opt in again. The result: only 4,000 subscribers reconfirmed. I lost over 18,000 subscribers. Had I gone with Aweber from the beginning, my list would have over 35,000 subscribers now.

The best way to prevent this problem is by going with Awber from the get go. If you promote it properly, there’s no reason why you can’t 500 subscriber before the month is up.

Build Your Newsletter and RSS Number At The Same Time

Here’s a major bonus that is only available to Aweber users. If you enable the blog broadcast feature in your Aweber control panel, Aweber will report your subscriber count to FeedBurner.

Given a choice between newsletter or RSS subscriber, I would take newsletter every time. However, I also want to increase the FeedBurner counter for social proof. With Aweber, I have the best of both worlds. Because Aweber reports my subscriber count to FeedBurner, all my newsletter subscribers are included in the FeedBurner counter. This is why I was really upset that I didn’t go with Aweber from the get go. Had I did, my FeedBurner counter would be at over 61,000 instead of only 48,000. I’ve reposted my screen cast on how to do an Aweber blog broadcast below.


62 thoughts on “How To Get 500 Newsletter Subscribers In 1 Day”

  1. Josten says:

    will definitely be coming back to this post working on a newsletter but did not have any clue how to do it

      1. I’ve been with Aweber for a few years now… wouldn’t go with any other company.

        1. would not go with anyone else!

        2. Yep, Aweber is great! I’ve been using it for a while on many of my sites.

          And, John is right, giving an incentive is important. As my incentive, I’m giving access to a ‘members only’ page with a lot of freebies and other stuff.

          I think it beats a free ebook. And not because of the ‘more stuff’ thing, but because of the need to be a part of something people naturally have.

          Cheers,
          Alex

          1. Kristijan says:

            Although Alex you obviously need to specify the bonuses, which I’m sure you do.

  2. It says the video is not available. I agree that aweber is really good, but their pricing for the start should be affordable. Start up bloggers who use blogspot/wordpress.com cannot pay $19/month for 500 emails,they use PHPList for their subscribers which is free and does work on any free host. But that is not the point, a learning blogger could use PHPList on $3/mo hosting which is very affordable to send about 500 emails/month. Not only a learning blogger, but even a professional blogger 🙂 But still Aweber wins seeing the features. 😉 I’ll sign up for Aweber when I get over 1k Feedburner Subscribers or when they reduce their pricing. 🙂

    Regards,
    Monty
    http://www.sensonize.com

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Hi Monty,

      Setting an appropriate pricing is the single most difficult decision in marketing. Think about all the hassle that comes with new customers, all those questions about “this doesn’t work” “that is not running properly” “I don’t know how to use this”.

      They are simply trying to avoid land slide -like influx of low profit customers. Maybe some day when they get the product running super smooth or open source -like community to take care of all the difficult customer service situations.

    2. I guess you’re going to be one of the people that will lost many subscribers, which is going to suck.

  3. Germz says:

    I used to have 400 but my aweber got closed.

  4. I’ve used Aweber in the past with a different project, so I agree that it’s the industry standard for lists. I will be incorporating it into my blog in a bit and, yes, I should have already done that lol, but was focusing my efforts on some other ventures I’ve been up to for a little while…

  5. Ray Ebersole says:

    You’ve given me something to work on for the next month.

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Let me give you a little boost for what my newly acquired 300 visitors per month are worth 🙂 You can find my short write over at:
      http://www.fakemoneyblog.com/marketing/consistency-is-the-key
      Enjoy the link. Anybody else care to have one? I’m buying.

  6. Sohail says:

    That sounds great and i am looking forward to try it on my blog. Let me come up with a contest for that i think that will help to get more signups

  7. You have to keep in mind if you want to build a list you need to have something of worth to offer. Having a newsletter with no news is pointless.

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Yep, for one time there was this plugin that was quite popular. It scraped latests post titles and reposted them as a newsletter – compelling king cliche content, eh?

    2. Very true. People will be quick to unsubscribe if you don’t offer things that are worth their attention.

  8. Patrick says:

    Anyone ever used DadaMail? It’s a free open source web-based e-mail list management system that runs on Unix. For free it’s pretty slick. It’s not for high volume e-mails unless you are on a dedicated server. But hey it’s FREE! Check it outat dadamailproject.com

  9. John,

    If you allow me to say you are “Da’ Man!” I have been reading your blog/newsletters for about 2 months now and your stuff is real quality. Trust me I have seen a lot of garbage out there so far. Ok, that’s enough :-)!

    Your recommendation to go with Aweber from the beginning is extremely solid. I have been able to add 115 subscribers to my newsletter list since February 2, 2009 when I have officially launched my site http://www.forfreeandforfun.com. That is 115 subscribers in 2 weeks. Not too bad for a ‘newbie.’ I was able to build my opt-in list with word of mouth and really building up my giveaways. Now, my site is a marketing site for sales and motivational tools so I give away TWO Free Audio Expansion CD’s of my new book – For Free and For Fun – How to Ask for the Appointment and Get It.

    This makes an attractive ethical bribe for my visitors. I also use a funny video to promote my book and opt-in form. My unique conversion opt-in rate is almost 30% right now :-). I am still new at this game though, I’ll get better.

    Going with Aweber from the beginning allows me to build my list from the ground up and I won’t have to worry about losing any subscribers trying to convert them later. Plus, because of the ‘opt-in,’ I know my subscribers are real. I have been to many networking meetings where people grab my card and ‘throw’ me on their newsletter. Very, very annoying. I don’t always unsubscribe right away… but every time I see their newsletter, how do you think I feel? Do you think I would want to buy from them? NO.

    With Aweber, it forces you to not be able to do that. So when you have a subscriber you really have a subscriber. You will not be tempted to lie to yourself and just put people on your newsletter just for the sake of having a number.

    I would rather have 200 people that had to go through the effort of ‘opting-in’ than 1000 that had to do nothing to get on my newsletter. I know my 200 will get more results and make more money than the 1000. After all, isn’t that why we build newsletter lists anyways… is it to feel good about the number of subscribers we have or to make money?

    Forgive me for rambling a little! I said all this to say ‘Just sign up for Aweber through John’s site!’ People need to think bigger than the $19 they think they will save.

    I hope this helps,
    Your unknown friend,

    Chris
    For Free and For Fun
    More Fun… More Success!
    http://www.forfreeandforfun.com
    919-753-8282 my personal cell

  10. Chef Patrick says:

    I like, I’m going to implement this with my email list tomorrow.

    Thanks John!!!

  11. Mike B. says:

    After I read your last post about this I went ahead and signed up for Aweber. I also am running a contest where I am giving away a 160 gb ipod for subscribing. So far every thing has been good. Thanks for the tips!

    @bookerx3

  12. Mitch says:

    I like what you’re written about Aweber, but I’m not sure I can agree with how one can grow subscribers by using it. I certainly can attest that just running a contest will NOT get anyone a bunch of visitors unless they already have a lot of juice because I ran one, had some nice prizes, and only increased subscribers by 10. The one thing I didn’t do was have someone who had tons of visitors pimp my contest, which may have worked, and that would be the one thing I’d agree could actually work.

    1. It depends on the kind of contest you run. A contest where you give out money or a meet-a-celebrity contest would get lots of people interested.

  13. Erica says:

    I just wrote a post about how to write good newsletters to keep your readers wanting more. Good blog post 🙂

  14. Pollniac says:

    Hi,

    I’m so excited, I made $1200,00 on my first week of my new blog and it was just for the fun content, not a bunch of lies, promises or scams.

    I think I may be sitting on a real winner here.

  15. John,

    I added over 200 subscribers in the first month to my site http://www.anyluckyday.com
    I love aweber. They provide awesome features, stats, and are very helpful. I recommend them to anyone. Best $19 I’ve spent.

  16. Pahn says:

    probably this would work on blogs that already created a good show.. maybe you could share something that could help the new blogs create quality subscribers

  17. Hey John,

    Just wondering what did Gyutae Park do or offer you to make it worth your while? How can you pick your ideas and still make it a win win situation if you don’t have much resources to exchange. I have tried to be creative and think of different ways to pitch things, but really don’t seem to get good responses.

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Hi blogger instinct guy,

      Gyutae Park paid 500 to get review from John Chow.com. Let me guess how you pitch things:
      “Would you like to sponsor me on X? I have really good idea about Z.”

      Quick tip, present it like it is already happening with specific deadline and projected results. You’ll see interest heat up immediately. Insert nice personal touch by calling.

  18. SEO Tips says:

    Great article John, I plan on creating some sort of content in the next few up and coming months. I am not sure what to offer yet and how to get other sites involved, the only thing I can offer partnered sites is the traffic and publicity they would receive from promoting the competition, do you think this would be enough?

  19. Your post worked for me. I read it the whole through! thanks.!!

  20. That’s a great teaching, John! But I think these tips won’t work with new blogs the same successful way. Anyhow, I’ll give them a try some day 🙂

  21. Greg Ellison says:

    I would have to justify some way to spend the $19 a month on the subscription. For a blog that is starting out I don’t think it is worth it. I could use it to give my ebook away but I don’t know if people are reading it because they don’t signup to my RSS email subscription to receive it. I probably won’t get it until I hit some magical number. I know I am probably loosing on revenue, but I can’t justify it. Greg Ellison

    1. That’s what I thought a year ago when I was just starting. I wish someone had slapped me on the face and made me sign up with Aweber…

      You maybe don’t realize this now, but the power of a list is enormous. Even if you lose those $19 each month, it is still worth it, because even with no promotion you will get subscribers trickle in, and this is valuable.

      If you stick around long enough you ARE going to use Aweber eventually, but you’ll be starting at 0 subscribers and spending money on marketing anyway.

  22. Blogadollar says:

    But John, you didn’t use aweber since the start. I know I followed your progression.

    1. John Chow says:

      And if you read my post from start to finish, you would have seen that I wrote I didn’t use Aweber from the start. 🙂

  23. Rahul says:

    I’ve been following your posts for quite some time now. I’ve gone through it a lot of times as well. Still, I’m a little bit reluctant of using aweber. 😉

  24. I signed up for Aweber last week and already have over 100 more subs and about to break the 900 rss mark.

    Its time to party!

  25. Lisa says:

    You made the light bulb turn on above my head. I have a bunch of things that I want to give away and wasn’t sure how to go about it. This would be the perfect way. Now my stumbling block is what to do with my list once I have it LOL!

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Lisa, you could always give them more giveaways. Finally you will make something out of it, until then just give and give and give.

  26. Nelly says:

    This idea is definitely doable. Really, in the grand scheme of things $19 a month is not a bad price for the service – and if you’re smart about it and work hard, you can get that amount back quickly.

  27. Marita says:

    Just a question:

    how do actually choose a winner randomly that’s fair? I found a site called http://random.org/ , but that still seems cumbersome.

    Any tips for me?

    1. John Chow says:

      For my twitter contest, my script that display the entries also randomly chooses a winner. I think it just does a rand entry into the database.

      1. Marita says:

        I see, I like the idea of having a Twitter contest; I checked your site for the script, but couldn’t find it – is it for share or sale?

        1. John Chow says:

          It’s not for sale or share at this time. It might be in the future.

  28. John,

    Solid advice from a proven leader in RSS and newsletter successes! Thank you for this article, it will help me to build my online efforts much faster than the old methods.

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Chase
    http://www.twitter.com/nachase

  29. Great advice John. Do people ever get angry when you shoot out offers to them via your email list?

  30. Marita says:

    just realized that I accidentally entered your contest twice under two different Twitter accounts – will that disqualify me?

  31. FMF says:

    John —

    I’d be interested in a post about what I’d actually put in a newsletter (to keep people reading it.) Each time I think of what I’d add, I think “I’ll just put that on my blog.” Need some tips on what to include in an newsletter to make it worthwhile after the initial sign-up phase.

  32. Sulaiman Alhasawi says:

    Thanks for the advice . The main thing is that you stick with one trusted Email Marketing provider , so your subscribers knows that its your and familiar with the address.

  33. You are so right John, the most times I ever signed up for a newsletter is when there was an incentive and a good reason to do so.

  34. Timon Weller says:

    Incentives is crucial in all forms of marketing, especially subscriptions, great sum up there John on this..

  35. I just got a brilliant, original idea reading this! Thanks!

  36. Gagan says:

    read the post till last ! And its amazing !! Thanks 🙂

  37. Deb says:

    I agree, I waited way too long to start building a list..imagine where I’d be if I’d started doing it on my blogs years ago, and Aweber is a snap to use.

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