What’s Wrong With My Email List?

Some companies have huge email lists, but you don’t. Doesn’t that drive you crazy? Hey, me too! I’m not ashamed to say my email list is one thing I’ve neglected over the years. So, how do we change that? We ask Sam Parr, CEO of The Hustle how to grow an email list, of course. Duh. His is nearly the 2 million mark.

Sam Parr, CEO of The Hustle

Sam Parr, CEO of The Hustle

If you don’t know who Sam is, or what The Hustle is, it’s basically a curated news email that arrives in your email inbox every day. It favors tech, and filters out useless click bait and politics. Everyone asks Sam how he did it, but I was more interested in his first 1000k subscribers. Where’d the traction come from? Connections? Money? WHAT!?

How to grow an email list… like a badass.

First of all, Sam explained there were no tricks, no ads, and no big names that sparked the lists growth. He just… hustled. By blogging every day, he believe this created enough traction and interest. Sam admits he is naturally skilled at writing, so this certainly helps, but that’s not the only reason the list grew so fast.

1. Focus On The “Forgotten Stuff”

Lady blogging with caption "CEO of The Hustle on how to grow an email list"
CEO of The Hustle on how to grow an email list.

It’s vital to pay attention to the little areas everyone else neglects. Put effort into the sign up form, the welcome email, and even the unsubscribe email. Those little things matter. Sam got a ton of free exposure by people sharing the “forgotten stuff.” (Also, be careful about using those “noreply” email addresses. Make it something fun or personal.)

2. Stay out of people’s “bullshit filter”

Sometimes your message never reaches the intended audience because it is screened by the readers bullshit filter. The bullshit filter kicks in when you use jargon, or write things down in a way you’d never say them in public. If you want to see bullshit in action, look at everyone’s LinkedIn bio. You stay out of the bullshit filter by not bullshitting. Just be direct, open and brutally honest. Jargon = bad. Write like you talk.

3. Hard Work. But Simple Work.

Eye hear your eyes rolling, but this is more important than you realize. Learning how to grow an email list isn’t a hack. Sam says he just blogged… a LOT. And he blogged about great content. He said in the first few months millions of people came to the website. Focus on your audience, and write until your fingers bleed! Obviously, you have to email a lot of value too. FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS on your audience relentlessly.

4. Don’t Forget The Art

Don’t forget to do things that are a bit different. Switch it up and keep it fresh. Take some risks and do some things “that will never work.”

Make sure you listen to my full podcast with Sam Parr. He doesn’t just discuss how to grow an email list, but also focus VS being well-rounded, how to find balance between experimentation and focus. Plus, he covers more ground than I can recount here.



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