7 Strategies to Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers in the Next 30 Days


When you're brand new to online business and trying to build your email list, a lot of what you do will be hit-or-miss. 

You're testing out different strategies, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't… And it can be super frustrating to feel like you've created the perfect opt-in freebie, only to have zero people sign up for it.

I know what that feels like, trust me! My first freebie got a grand total of eight sign ups.

Thankfully, since then I've developed a set of strategies that help me grow my email list faster and faster every single month. And today I want to share my email list secrets with you!

The 7 strategies below are the things that helped me grow my own list to 100 subscribers and beyond. Give these a try and I guarantee your list will be growing in no time!


Strategy #1. Offer actionable freebies

Your freebies and content upgrades should be useful, actionable, and something that couldn't have just as easily been made into a blog post. That last point is important! If your readers see your freebie and think, "Why didn't she just write this as a blog post?", they'll feel like you're holding out on them. 

Examples of actionable freebies include: 

  • Workbooks

  • Video tutorials

  • Schedulers/planners

  • Checklists

Why this works

Creating actionable freebies shows that you're willing to go above and beyond to provide value for your readers. Plus, people are way more willing to hand over their email address for a workbook than they are for something simple like a list of tips (that they could probably find elsewhere without needing to cough up their email address). 

Here's my in-depth post on creating a freebie your readers will love!

Strategy #2. Switch up your freebies

When you're just starting out, you'll want to create a mix of different freebies and content upgrades to offer as opt-ins for your list. For example: Workbooks, checklists, videos, planners, free stock photos, templates, guides, etc.

Why this works

Chances are, certain types of freebies as well as certain topics will appeal to your audience more than others. It's up to you to figure out what those topics and formats are! Play around with it, and don't become too attached to one particular idea. Be flexible, and try out different formats and topics until you strike gold.

Strategy #3. Create a resource library

What's better than a single freebie?

Lots of freebies!

Pile a bunch of free resources together into one big library and then turn the library into a password-protected page on your website. In order to get the password, people have to sign up for your email list.

Why this works

Everyone loves free stuff. Durr! And the more free stuff, the better. If you're not sure how to create a password-protected resource library, Melyssa Griffin has a really great tutorial here for WordPress users. 

Strategy #4. Create a free email course

This alone has added more than 100 people to my email list in the past 30 days. Crazy, right? Although email courses take more work to put together than a standard opt-in freebie, the results are so, so worth it.

Why this works

The information and value you can provide in an email course is unparalleled, and it makes for a pretty tempting opt-in.

Plus, email courses help subscribers get comfortable seeing your name in their inbox, which is important for when you start sending newsletters or implementing sales funnels down the road. 

Strategy #5. Send out a weekly newsletter

Tempt readers into signing up for your email list by letting them know that you send bonus content to your subscribers every single week. "Bonus content" means content you haven't already shared on your blog, website, or social media, by the way.

And yes, that means you can't just re-hash your latest blog post. A simple RSS-feed isn't a very enticing offer to join your mailing list — sorry!

Why this works

This strategy works because it's fun to feel like you're part of a secret club and like you're getting secret information that only a few other people are getting (even if it's actually a few thousand). 

I personally love being on the mailing lists of some of my favorite entrepreneurs and being the first to know when they've uploaded a new post. I also like when they send out more personal emails, like behind-the-scenes "sneak peeks" into their lives. 

Strategy #6. Have 2-3 opt-in opportunities on every page of your website

Try to put email list signups in at least 2-3 different places on every page of your website. For example, you can promote freebies in:

  • The top bar on your website

  • The top navigation menu

  • On a cover page or welcome mat

  • In the sidebar

  • In the footer

  • In your blog posts 

Variety is key here. Use each of these places to promote a different kind of opt-in freebie. For example, in your sidebar, you could have a signup for your weekly newsletters and an opt-in for a checklist.

You could then use your top bar to promote your latest email course, and promote various other content upgrades throughout your blog posts.

Why this works

What appeals to one person or catches someone’s eye might not appeal to another person or catch their eye. Having a variety of options on every page ensures you aren't missing out on any potential subscribers by promoting only one type of freebie or in only one spot. 

Strategy #7. Share your opt-ins on social media

This has been a huge growth tactic for me, especially in the past few weeks. At the start of this month, I created what I called a "Master List" of promotional tweets for every single one of my opt-in freebies and content upgrades.

I then share these to my Twitter account automatically every day with my favorite social media recycling tool, Recurpost.

You can also share your freebies on Facebook (pages and groups), Instagram, and Pinterest. Go wild!

Why this works

Your followers won't read every single piece of content you create and they definitely won't see every single tweet or Facebook update you post. They miss things. It's your job to keep readers informed of all the awesome content you've created for them! 

Plus, you've spent all this time creating the perfect opt-in freebie, so you need to make sure you're taking the time to promote it properly.

By regularly mentioning your freebies on social media, you're helping out your readers who missed hearing about those freebies the first time around.  

There you have it! 7 of my top strategies for growing your email list and getting your first 100 subscribers. What strategies have you used to grow your email list? Which strategies will you be trying out next?