How I Grew My Subscriber List by Over 1000% in Five Months 

By Guest Blogger Holly McCaig

I’m a huge Pinterest addict, and I enjoy reading tips and tricks about how to grow your business. I had previously heard about the success other have had growing their email subscriber list and I knew that I needed to try this. After all, my traditional methods of marketing that I’ve used for years just weren’t working anymore. Facebook changed things with their algorithms, and I chose to focus on Instagram in its place.

But let’s get real. If we want a true following of supporters we have to offer them something in return. So, here is How I Grew My Subscriber List by Over 1000% in Five Months! 

  • I started by setting up a newsletter subscriber option using MailChimp. In the past I’ve used other services, but it seemed like MailChimp offered a little more for me that would benefit. Plus I found lots of really easy to follow tutorials online. IT was a no brainer.
  • I committed to only send out my newsletter email once a month. I may have broken that rule once but that was just because I forgot something important in my monthly newsletter. I try to save everything for this one time send. It doesn’t clog up people’s inboxes this way, and they are usually more anxious to get my latest email.
  • I promised to deliver a free download every single month. People want a reason to subscribe to you. If you are a social media expert, you send them free tips and advice or printable tracking sheets. As a creative person I want my subscribers to benefit with either a free coloring page or an art print I made. It’s exclusive to my subscribers ONLY and no one else! I made it that way on purpose.
  • I posted my newsletter sign up on my website and mention it often in posts. I also tell my fans on social media that they can get “this month’s exclusive download” by signing up and not to miss out.
  • Every month I evaluate my growth and I’m amazed at the results.

Yes, I’ve had a few unsubscribers – which leads me to explain to you how important it is NOT to mark our emails as SPAM! I don’t sign you up voluntarily. You sign yourself up for my emails. By marking them as SPAM it hurts the chances of my email hitting other’s inboxes that do want it. It’s not good. Just unsubscribe and state that you just don’t want my emails anymore. It’s no hard feelings!

How Do I Offer My Free Downloads?

I host them on MediaFire (I have a paid account) that allows me to see how many times that file has been downloaded. I love this! I can use that information to evaluate just what people want. For instance, I have a higher download rate on coloring pages than I do anything else. So I can use that to determine if I want to offer more downloads of that nature.

What Do I Include in My Newsletter?

I will often share any new products I launched like my font or clipart. I will share any important blog posts I did that someone may have missed if they don’t read them regularly. Like, I’ll probably share this one in the November newsletter. And, I will often promote one of my friends’ art that shared with me. I basically recap everything that happened that month. It’s easy to keep up with this because after the email is sent out, I simply duplicate that one and save it as a draft for the next month. All along that month I will then add to it as things happen. This way, before I send it out I’m not scrambling to determine what I forgot to include.

The Stats Don’t Lie

I started my newsletter in May 2015. Yes, it’s brand new! I had 85 people sign up that month all by sharing it on social media. I included the link in all my store listings on Etsy and Creative Market too.

Then, in June I had 151 new subscribers bringing it up to 236. Yes, I grew 78% in one month.

I haven’t included any October numbers yet as it has finished. But, at the end of September I had 994 subscribers. That takes me over 1000% growth since I started building my newsletter list.

I’m just a creative person trying to share my work with people that enjoy it. I don’t abuse my newsletter and people can subscribe and unsubscribe at any time. I don’t take it personally. But, my growth here has proven to help me. I see a bump in sales after a newsletter goes out so it’s doing something. And, the beauty of it is that I haven’t had to pay for my subscription service yet! Once I reach 2000 subscribers I will have to, but for now, this is a pretty good deal, don’t you think?

Holly McCaig is a Denverite who has been a graphic artist for over 20 years. She runs her website HollyMcCaig.com where she offers monthly downloads of her artwork. Holly would love to see her work featured on fabric, gifts, home decor, stationary and scrapbooking.

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