Greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee! Things are pretty crazy lately between working, traveling, and eating lots of delicious food for restaurant week. I am hanging out with my cousin for a couple of days in East Tennessee after a long 2-day drive up here from Texas. I’m driving to Nashville on Wednesday, and then back down South. After spending a few days at home in the Lone Star State, I’ll be flying up to Rhode Island to swim with sharks!

I’m super excited to have Todd Dosenberry from PrimalToad.com on my site today. He’s been doing big things with his biz and is also about to embark on a giant walk across the entire country. I can only imagine what kinds of crazy stories he will have after that adventure, but for now, he’s here to talk about how he has grown his email subscriber list and how you can take steps to grow yours, too! Take it away, Todd :)
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As amazing as Jessie is at teaching others how to blog and engage in social media correctly, no one on Earth can bang it into your head enough how important your email list is!

I’ve been at this blogging thing since December of 2009. I first started with an acne blog that went nowhere. I then discovered the Primal/Paleo lifestyle, which lead me to start PrimalToad.com in April of 2010.

My blog has been successful – nothing super special, but it has gotten lots of love. I have consistently grown my readership to over 30,000 unique monthly visitors.

However, I had been the biggest failure in regards to starting my email list.

Only up to July 29.

This is where you need to really tune in and pay attention to every single word on your screen.

My Shocking Realization

On July 29, 2012 I had a mere 512 subscribers. As I type this on August 10, 2012, I now have 976 subscribers. I prefer to call them humans who have joined my Toadally Primal Tribe.

I have nearly DOUBLED my email subscribers in 12 days. It took me 2 years and 3 months to get to 512 subscribers and only another 12 days to gain the next 454 subscribers.

I’m not bragging about this 12-day growth. I’m actually pointing out how big of an idiot I am for not paying attention to my list from day one.

I was afraid. I did not know what to send to people on my list. What would they think of me if I sent an offer that they hated? I hated when people unsubscribed. I always stared at the screen, curled up into a ball, hid in the closet and cried.

I’m kidding.

Why you should give away your most important work for FREE

But on July 29, when so many humans began joining my email list, I realized how important it was to build my tribe. I realized how powerful the word FREE is.

You see, I had been selling my awesome ebook, Toadally Primal Smoothies, since April of 2011. It had done fairly well, but I was not at all the best marketer. I sold about 1,200 copies in about 1 year and 3 months at various prices ranging from 99 cents to $17.

On July 29, 2012, I decided to do an experiment. What would happen if I all of a sudden gave away my entire ebook for FREE to those who join my tribe? I decided I would run this experiment through August 31 at the bare minimum. I needed to give it a chance to see how it worked.

Uh, um…. well, let’s see…. I kind of did not need that long to decide that the PDF version of Toadally Primal Smoothies was going to remain FREE for life!

As soon as I went from offering a “sneak peak” of Toadally Primal Smoothies for those who joined my tribe to offering the entire thing with 150 recipes, my tribe grew substantially.

If you go to my blog you will notice that there are various places to join my tribe. I have 2 links in my navigation bars, an area “above the fold” for humans to sign up, a widget in my sidebar and a message at the bottom of every single blog post.

This might seem annoying, but it’s not. If humans come to your blog and like your content, then they will want more. They will want to join your tribe if you have one. Make it easy for them!

What’s your mission?

Another big reason why my list continues to grow at a staggering rate compared to before is the fact that I have formed a life long mission. It was first just MY mission, then I changed the wording to make it OUR mission.

The Toadally Primal Tribe’s Mission: We are on an everlasting mission to spread the truth about health and wellness to every living human on planet Earth.

And I am VERY serious about that mission. I’m having a blast with it, but I realize how poor our health is. I’m ready to change the world, but I need help. This is why the mission involves not just me, but everyone who joins my tribe. If you follow me on twitter, are a fan of my Facebook page, etc. then you are, in a way, joining my mission, too.

What’s your mission?

Think about it every single day. You don’t need to have it set in stone right now, but it does not hurt to take 5 minutes or more each day to think about it. Go for a walk. Talk with your friends and family.

What do you send to your email list?

What you think is appropriate. I’m now sending exclusive content on Monday or Tuesday. On Friday, I send out an email with a summary of the blog posts that were published during the week.

I enjoy this method. It may or may not work for you. I recommend you experiment and go from there.

Consider sending out a simple email that asks a question. This past Tuesday, I asked my list what they needed help with. A simple question like this can do wonders for your tribe. Try it!

Now that my ebook is free, I need to make up that income. How will I do this? By creating offers that I feel my tribe will like. If you are an expert on something, then you can create an offer. [Tweet this]

People unsubscribing is healthy for your list

One last thing I must briefly discuss is when humans unsubscribe from your email list. This happens to everyone. It’s healthy! [Tweet this]

There are many reasons why people will unsubscribe from your list. They may not like your content, or they might just be getting too many emails. Maybe they are in a bad mood when they open one of your emails!

You never know. Let it go.

One final note: I use MailChimp. Jessie does too. We both love it. We both think you should use MailChimp, too.

What are you waiting for?

Begin growing your tribe NOW!

(Note from Jessie: for more info on basics of email marketing, make sure to subscribe in the box below to receive your free guide)!

The Human Toad’s Bio

What’s my real name? Todd Dosenberry. I live life to the fullest and plan on walking across every single state in America. I eat paleo, live primally, and call myself a minimalist, adventurist, smoothie artist, cook and lover of life. I blog at PrimalToad.com for those who care about their health and wellness. I blog at PrimalSmoothies.com for all those smoothie fans out there.

7 Thoughts on “How this blogger nearly doubled his email list in just 12 days!

  1. It was A LOT of fun writing this article. I hope you all learn something from it! It looks like that by tomorrow I will have officially DOUBLED my email list from 500 something to 1000 something in just 2 weeks! Compare that to the first 2 YEARS!

    Do NOT take your “tribe” lightly people! I’m happy to answer any questions and I’m certain Jessie is too!

  2. Amazing stats and a great article.

    Jessie, I love how you find people who write in a similar way to you (ie, with huge enthusiasm and humour) to guest-post; it’s much less jarring than many bloggers’ guest posts.

    Todd – great post. I struggle with list building, too, despite being aware of how important it is, which is why I’m super-happy to have finished my first eBook to give away for free to anyone who subscribes. Here’s hoping it works!

    • Hey Oli!

      I just love what I do. I literally feel like the most blessed human in the world for many reasons, but at the same time, I have worked incredibly hard and have made many sacrifices.

      Offering a free ebook will help. No question about it. I have a lot of facebook fans which helps a lot. I can get 20+ new subscribers in just one hour (I’ve done it twice this month) through a special tactic.

      And, again, the key is having passion for what you do. It will show and people will want more from you.

      Jessie and I are lucky to be as young as we are but we both deserve the freedom that we have and we are only passing it on to others.

      I hope it helps!

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