One of the most frequent questions I get is “How do you start an email list from scratch?”
Simple. Send an email to personal contacts first: friends and family. Start with 10 people, and email them individually from your “real” email account.
The email should read like this:
SUBJECT: this may not be for you, but…
I’m writing some articles about [topic] and thought you might be interested!
Can I pass some stuff along to you?
Do not write anything after the question at the end of the email. Do not say thank you. Do not say “I hope you’re well!” You must end the message with a question! This creates an open loop that is almost too difficult to ignore.
What happens if a person replies with a yes? Send them this next email. You may not even need a new subject line. Just reply to their email in the same thread. If you start a new email, just use the subject line below:
SUBJECT: two quick questions!
Awesome! Really quick, I have two questions:
What’s your biggest question about [topic]?
What blogs, books, or podcasts do you go to in order to learn more about [topic]?
Would you let me know?
If you think this is simple, it is. Simple things work. That’s the premise of this entire newsletter. Start with ten people. It’s likely you’ll get at least one or two positive responses. If it worked once, then it can work again. Pick ten more people. Do the work.
Why send the second email? Because I’m teaching you to make a habit of gathering data. Data is what a professional uses to make marketing decisions. In this situation, you are gathering “focus group” data so you can understand:
- The main challenge or question people have about a particular topic
- Who your competition is
You must send that second email if they respond with a yes to the first. Do not deviate from the plan!
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