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3 Tactics to Accelerate Your Email List Growth— Without Writing Articles

When we have those four things — we're ready to progress into the first tactic of our strategy.


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Jon Brosio

a year ago | 11 min read

Picture this…

You're on stage, in front of thousands and thousands of chomping-at-the-bit individuals listening to the unparalleled and life-changing expertise you're presenting.

You go through your set. You're completely on point.

You're calm, confident, and compelling. The panel host tees up questions for you and you blast them out of the park a la Sammy Sosa circa 1998.

Everything is flowing.

As the presentation starts to wind down, your audience is ravenous — they need more. They're foaming at the mouth. The Good Word has been spoken, it's left your lips and now your disciples need more.

As you close, you tell the assembly they can continue their discovery and investigation of what you just presented by grabbing one of the free, autographed books you have stacked up on the tables that straddle the exit doors.

All the audience members have to do to get the crisp, freshly printed, leather-bound tome of knowledge is to provide a bit of contact information. You know, so you can keep providing killer content into the future.

Of course, the logistics of making something like this happen might require overhead, investment, planning, networking, and overall air-tight execution (not to mention a well-oiled presentation that perks eyebrows and pokes curiosity).

So what do the ordinary average Joes & Janes like you and I supposed to do?

We've been putting in the work:

  • We've written some much content our fingerprints have rubbed clean off.
  • We've built, shipped, and tested various list-building CTAs with our content.
  • We've steadily grown scores of fans via our email list.

But we need more…

You have a voice, a mission, and a drive — it's too special to capped. We only have a certain amount of physical bandwidth due to the time in a day and our ability to write enough content before that time runs out.

We need to scale our efforts.

In this article, we're going to go over the 3 tactics that will help us accelerate our email list-building efforts — without article CTAs or expensive digital marketing.

Building our foundation: what we need for this to work

Let's go over a few things we need if we're going to follow this bulletproof strategy through to execution.

This doesn't just work because we have a good attitude and a lot of hope.

We need a few foundational pieces in place so we can enact our plan with precision, speed, and results. Those foundational elements are:

  • We need an email service provider. Pretty simple here — if we want to build an email list, we need something that allows us to do that. Some free options if you don't already have them are Convertkit or Mailchimp.
  • We need an already built landing page or form to collect the email subscribers. Now, I'm going to assume you already have this setup considering you wanted to read this article. If not, you can find resources on how to do this pretty much anywhere on the internet.
  • We need a guide, mini-course, swipe-file, audio recording, report, or something that can be used as an opt-in bribe. Of course, this should be something of value that can actually help your future follower.
  • Finally, and this should go without saying, we need some form of expertise. We need something to say, but more specifically, something to teach. This won't work just because you're you. The audience that you're going to attract doesn't really care who you are — they care what you can do for them.

When we have those four things — we're ready to progress into the first tactic of our strategy.

Tactic 1: (Ethically) intercept and steal someone else's audience

There are billions of people in the world.

The vast majority of them probably don't care about what we have to offer. Another huge chunk probably doesn't have access to the internet and perhaps an even larger chunk wouldn't even understand what we have to say considering a difference in language.

Toss on top another percentage of the pot that wouldn't even want to hear what we have to say just because we have one of those "faces" that they don't like.

Regardless, if that's the case, we're still prime for thousands and thousands of individuals who will not only like what we have to teach them, but they'll want to learn more about us and our mission if we just allow them to do so.

To reach those people, we're going to need to infiltrate someone else's audience. I'm talking about using someone else's podcast, Facebook group, YouTube channel, etc.

We're going to need to get our knowledge, skills, and abilities in front of people who are actually looking for it, and we don't have time to build that audience from scratch.

Again — we're going to [ethically] steal someone else's audience to do it.

The biggest problem with this phase is getting access to that audience. Podcast creators are very cautious about who they let into their circle of trust and influence. If you don't know anyone personally that you can network with to help you get an interview, you're going to have to do it on your own. Luckily, there is an in-depth resource that helps you craft compelling and engaging email pitches to help secure your interview. We're not going to go over the whole thing here, however, the key themes you'll need in your email pitch are:

  1. Illustrate that you value the host's content and provide evidence that it's valued you in some way.
  2. Offer a "content gap" (how you can benefit their audience by teaching something that the host/creator hasn't talked about).
  3. Provide an "ask". An email pitch is never effective if you don't ask for something.

When you can secure your spot on someone else's show, you can infiltrate and pitch to someone else's audience.

You're also ready for the next tactic.

Tactic 2: Convertly teach your products and services like a secret agent

Last week, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts — The Joe Rogan Experience. Joe's guest for this particular podcast was none other than speaker, writer, educator, and Frederick P. Rose Director of The Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Now, I'm a bit of a nerd. I don't really like the JRE episodes that involve MMA. I'll occasionally listen to the comedian interviews.

However, when I see a scientist or researcher being interviewed, I pounce at the chance to listen. I've listened to a few of Tyson's previous JRE interviews. I figured Rogan and Tyson are friends, it's just an opportunity for Tyson to re-educate the millions of people who listen monthly to the pod.

I later discovered that the podcast was to help promote Tyson's newest book, Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going.

All Tyson had to do was mention the book and I found myself adding it to my Amazon cart and completing the purchase. I ordered it so fast, I tore a quantum hole in my office.

All bad jokes aside…

The point of me telling you this is because Tyson did exactly what we need to do if we're the guest on the other side of the table. Try with me, if you can, to imagine you have no idea who Neil deGrasse Tyson is (if you honestly don't know who he is, then this will be easy. But also, get out from under that cozy rock which you live under).

Tyson spent three or so hours talking all things cosmos:

  • Space and time.
  • Questions about why are we here, where are we going, and what's the point of it all that can be answered by physics.
  • The simulation theory.
  • Alternate realities.
  • Extraterrestial life.

Everything that involves his scope of expertise.

If you had no idea who this man was or how he could help you, his conversation with Rogan helped paint the picture of his value.

Throughout the conversation, he referenced his new book a few times. This of course is calculated. He wants to sell what he worked so hard to create.

But if you take the time and listen to the podcast, he never jams the selling of the book down your throat (we'll get into the importance of this a bit later)— he focuses more and simply teaching what he knows.

Rogan keeps asking questions and Tyson keeps teaching.

This is what you're to do when you're on a podcast: keep teaching.

I know you're excited to be on the show and you have products, services, and goodies to talk about. However, your audience just wants to learn — they don't particularly want to buy.

So keep teaching.

  • Teach them the workout routine you know that can help get six-pack abs in six weeks.
  • Teach them how to optimize their morning routine so they can be more productive.
  • Teach them how to reorganize their closets so they can declutter and re-energize the upkeep of their house.

Teach them what you know — that's how you build trust with your audience.

When you can build trust, you're ready for the next tactic that is going to tie this all together.

Tactic 3: Casually mention the "leather-bound book" stacked on the table

I kind of alluded to this one a bit earlier…

But no one likes to be bamboozled.

How do you "bamboozle" someone?

By promising them one thing and then delivering on another. Think about this for a second. Most of the time, when you're appearing on someone else's show, they've been growing, nurturing, and guiding the audience long before you showed up.

If you were to be given a valued slot to do your interview and you came in guns-a-blazing just to "sell" an audience what you have to offer, you won't be met with open arms.

Instead, you're going to want to stick with the idea that you're educating the audience and peppering in a few mentions of your "book." Think about what Tyson did (of course I'm paraphrasing).

"Now, there are many questions about the Universe that we ask that may not even make sense. Think about, for instance, if you were situated directly at the center of the North Pole. You came across Santa and asked him which way was North.

Now, regardless of what direction he points, he is pointing South — there is no north at the center of the North Pole. The question doesn't make sense in this Cosmic context. So in my book, we ask a bunch of Cosmic questions along these lines."

The bolded passage is Tyson just making a small mention about the book after fully illustrating something someone would find if they took a chance to order it and read it.

How you can apply this to your own situation

You probably aren't an astrophysicist.

Furthermore, chances are you don't have a potential NYT Bestseller that you want to promote — how can you apply these principles to your own online business?

I'm glad you asked…

Let's run through a potential conversation that someone like you or I can have on a modest podcast episode. Let's consider that we own and operate a blog that helps homeowners tidy up their houses so they can live clutter-free and fully optimized.

Let's paint the picture that the podcast host just asked a question about tidying up the laundry room,

"I LOVE talking about the laundry room. It's such a metaphor for the rest of the house. I mean, it's the room where you take things that are dirty and alter the state into something clean and refreshing. It's not just about separating the delicates and bleaching the whites, there's SO much more that you can do to optimize your laundry room and laundry routine in general.
My favorite tip is to keep a fabric softener sheet at the bottom of your hamper so everytime you wash your load, it's already there waiting for you. I have so many more tips that I can teach you that you can find in my free guide "12 Most Awesomest Laundry Hacks You've Never Heard About" that I'm sure we can put a link in with the show notes if that's okay. Another one of my favorite hacks is when you […]"

You see — I didn't jam the free guide down someone's throat. I didn't make it all about me and my business. I just folded it into the conversation (no laundry pun intended).

Now, if the host agrees, we put the link to the guide in the show notes. If they don't you still have the messaging in the show for the listener to get the free guide if they choose to. I'm sure you'll be able to figure in your site or somewhere they can grab this freebie.

It's a win-win-win.

  • Win for the show host because they have fresh content out for their audience.
  • Win for the audience because they just got a new freebie and valuable content to increase their life's situation.
  • Win for you because you put an opt-in out the world and gain potential email subscribers.

Now, it's important that you actually deliver on this promise and make something like that available.

Source: Author
Source: Author

Bonus: Make it up on the fly

Generally, it takes some turnaround time for a podcast to go live after it's been recorded. If you can feel the conversation and steer it in a direction for creating an opt-in freebie live (and then create it during the turnaround) you'll really be adding value to the audience.

Wrapping this up

When you're starting, trying to get your blog or online business noticed by a potential audience, it's hard to burst out and start gaining traction.

Well, it's hard to do that if you're building your own audience from scratch…

If you infiltrate and use someone else's audience, it becomes a bit easier.

"How in the heck is this possible, Jon?"

I'm glad you asked. Really it boils down to the 3 tactics of accelerating an email list — without article CTAs or digital advertising.

Those 3 tactics are:

1. Tactic 1: (Ethically) intercept and steal someone else’s audience

You do this by systematically reaching out to a podcast within your space and asking to be on the show. Now you don't just "ask" but you illustrate how you can provide value as a guest. You do this by crafting a bulletproof email pitch that simultaneously:

  • Shows that you value the show
  • Shows how you can benefit the audience
  • Simply asks (makes a pitch)

Once you're secured as a guest, you can enact tactic 2…

Tactic 2: Convertly teach your products and services

You can't go on a podcast/show and act like a total used car salesman. It will hurt the relationship between you and the host and (more importantly) hurt the relationship you hope to build with the audience.

Your main goal should always be to teach. Teach your expertise. Act like a friend and build trust.

You do this by simply talking about what you know.

Tactic 3: Casually mention the “leather-bound book” stacked on the table

Then finally — as we alluded to in the intro of this article, you casually mention the "leather-bound book" (or your opt-in freebie).

There is no "right" way to do this. However, there are "wrong" ways and that is to promote it like you're selling something. Instead, casually mention it when you're talking about something that's educating the audience. See if you can get the show host to put the guide/freebie in the show notes.

Then watch your list grow.

Because that's what you really want and need for your blog to be successful. You can use other social media platforms, you can publish on content sites. But what happens if you lose all of that content or the platform makes an algorithmic shift?

Things change in a hurry — and sometimes it's hard to reach the audience you've spent so long to reach.

Instead, use someone else's audience to grow yours.

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