Getting First 1000 Email Subscribers

As a marketer, who was starting out on his venture, I had only one thing on my mind: getting my first thousand subscribers. Sounds familiar? Don’t worry. We have all been there.

Of course, after a while, I realized that my priority shouldn’t be attaining maximum subscribers, it should be strategizing. The correct strategy fetched me reliable leads and boosted my sales, subsequently increasing my subscriber list as well. Focusing on just the subscriber part of my strategy was actually hurting my campaign.

Well, the whole point of this story was that you learn from my personal experience. Email marketing can be tricky and confusing when you are a newbie. Moreover, not having enough subscribers is definitely a big letdown.

The only to get your first thousand subscribers is by strategizing through old techniques and the latest trends. It is essential that you focus on quality over quantity. Promotional strategies and identifying your audience demography are the most important keys to getting your initial subscribers.

One of the ways you can draw your attention away from the sole intention of earning subscribers is by prioritizing quality over quantity. However, that doesn’t mean you will neglect our subscriber statistics totally. A healthy balance needs to be there.

I am here with a guide for you today, a pathway to achieving your first 1000 subscribers- and by the end of it, you will be more confident than ever.


1/ Climbing Across Milestones!

Did you notice that the word ‘milestone’ in the title is plural? Confused? Well, what most novice marketers fail to realize is that getting your first thousand subscribers is not a single milestone. It is an amalgamation of multiple objectives.

For some people, achieving their first 10 subscribers is a milestone, whereas for some, making their first five sales may be another one. To make things easier, I have categorized the 1000-subscriber goal under three different landmarks- the 100-subscriber mark, the 500-subscriber mark, and the 1000-subscriber mark.

2/ The 100 Subscriber Mark

If you have still not achieved your first 100 subscribers, then chances are that you are at the most beginner phase of your marketing journey. Moving forward may look overwhelming, but I promise you, these tips will be a game changer!

  • 1/ Find Your Ideal Audience. Let’s be honest, having every random person on your email list just for the sake of statistics won’t do you any favors. Knowing who you want on your email list is where you start. Targeting one specific demographic instead of going out on a larger scale can be a good start. You will need to analyze, examine and research first in order to find your relevant audience.
  • 2/ Invest in Paid Traffic. If you are just starting out and have no audience, to begin with, then investing in paid traffic can be a smart way to get the numbers to start rolling in. Your initial traffic on your landing page may not be as expensive as you think. Today, you can use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to generate the initial audience for as less as $5.
  • 3/ Strategizing Lead Magnets. Lead magnets are basically offers that bribe the relevant audience to opt-in in exchange for value. The aim of the Lead Magnet is to maximize the number of targeted leads you receive for an offer.

Here’s the truth, Lead Magnets don’t have to be lengthy. Or complicated. Or time- consuming.

🧲 Here’s the catch:

The perfect lead magnet will offer tremendous value to the subscriber within 5 mins of opting in.

Remember, your lead magnet should target a SPECIFIC AUDIENCE. Karoline Wilde, a freelancer shared that she achieved 100 subscribers after the long 6-month wait, and it didn’t provide any value because she didn’t target one demographic.

3/ The Journey From 100 – 500

After you achieve your first set of subscribers, things tend to feel easier, doesn’t it? But the truth is, things get complicated when you are planning to increase your subscribers considering the fact that you already have some. This is the part where subscriber retention comes in. Don’t forget to check out my blog on subscriber retention!

  • 1/ Cross-Promotion. There’s a common buzz among marketers that you need to be present everywhere socially. In theory, it makes sense. However, people who have actually tried his strategy will tell you to stick to one single platform.
    Why? You might ask. Well, the simple explanation would be the fact that every social media platform has a different set of tactics, and every platform has a specific algorithm. Mastering a single platform is more tactical than using the same bland strategies everywhere.
  • 2/ Add Value to your Content. If you already have some subscribers, then it is preferred to continue what you’ve always done, but what’s necessary is strategizing ways to use your content to drive more traffic. One of the simplest ways to do that is by adding CTA (Call-To-Action) button on your posts and articles.
  • 3/ Start Posting Gated-Content. Gated content is content visible to subscribers only. It works for your content of the highest value, and not all of them. In such situations, people are bound to subscribe to check out your high-quality content.
  • 4/ List your Newsletters on Directories. Online searchable databases and aggregators expose your content to newer audiences thus driving new traffic.

At the end of the day, promotion is one of the greatest tools of an internet marketer, be it cross-promotion, paid promotions, or requested promotions. When you combine valuable content with the right means of promotion, your subscriber statistic is bound to rise.

4/ The Route To 1000

The final step to your milestone will require double the efforts you’ve already put in. You need to strategize better, leverage your audience in the right way and analyze your pre-existing statistics.

The ultimate reason why a subscriber exists in the first case is that they get services, be it valuable content or sale offers. To attract subscribers at a higher rate, you need to keep doing what you do with add-on incentives as well. You need to provide value in what you are selling. The only way to do that is by retaining the quality and providing recreation in the form of content and offers. These may sound simple, but truth be told, these tasks are thresholds of numerous strategies.

Here are some simple ways by which your 500 can upgrade to a 4 figure!

  • 1/ Give Back to your Audience. Your way of saying thank you to your subscribers can benefit you long term. Experiment with giveaways, quizzes, and contests and keep your audience engaged. Promote these incentives and watch people subscribe to your newsletters.
    Tariehk Geter from OSI Affiliate gave away free website and email templates to boost his list to over 10,000 subscribers from scratch.
  • 2/ Optimize for Conversion. After a considerable rise in blog traffic, it is recommended to optimize for conversion to increase the growth rate of the list.
    Andy Crestodina founder of Orbit Media raised his email opt-in rate by 1,400% by optimizing for conversion. Making the opt-in form more prominent and adding social proof are some of the ways by which he achieved these results.
  • 3/ Promote your Pillar Page. Pillar pieces are long content-formatted pieces that provide high value to your marketing campaigns. A good pillar can attract enormous traffic. A lot of marketers highlight these pieces to drive more leads. Some of them request their existing audience to promote it. There are multiple ways to go about it.
  • 4/ Old is New. When it comes to marketing, old techniques that have been mastered over the years will always beat the latest trends. Post consistency, give importance to each subscriber, and prioritize quality over quantity. Only then you can go for whatever the latest craze is. A good balance always pays off!

My point is, to follow the basic steps but strategize them creatively. That’s what it means to be an email marketer.

5/ What’s Next for You?

Achieving your first thousand subscribers is huge, and I highly recommend you celebrate it by sending out a thank you email along with an incentive. Maybe a giveaway?

I have come across people who forget about moving forward after reaching their preferred milestones. What they don’t realize is that they have the potential to grow even more, beyond their wildest dreams!

As an email marketer, it is important that you complicate your strategies as you grow. You need to keep experimenting and mixing up things to see where you can go. Once you are ready to move forward, start asking yourself questions:

  • What are your audience’s needs?
  • How can you solve them?
  • What is your budget?
  • How will you grow your audiences?
  • Are your previous practices still reliable?
  • What are your key action points?

The questions are endless and when you keep asking them to yourself, you come up with strategies that are relevant to your timeline. Here are some tips to take into account for your next steps.

  • 1/ Create multiple laser-specified lead magnets.
  • 2/ Use CTA creatively to grow your email list. Pop-ups are a simple yet effective strategy.
  • 3/ Bring your promotion strategies to the next level. Try collaborating with new upcoming brands.
  • 4/ Value data and privacy always. Keep them as your topmost priority.
  • 5/ Work towards boosting your email deliverability rate. Check out my blog on improving your deliverability.
  • 6/ Strategize about how you will keep your pre-existing subscribers engaged.
  • 7/ Authentic your email address. Check out my blog on the three essential tools of email authentication.

At the end of the day, you can choose from an endless list of strategies, it’s the relevancy that determines how effective they will be to you. Some strategies are mandatory to survive whereas some are purely experimental.

Wrap Up

Now that we have discussed how you can achieve your first 1000 subscribers, I am sure you are fired up and ready to take on the world of email marketing.

Remember, statistics aren’t everything, there’s a lot of ground to cover. If you are low on subscribers, then I assure you that we have all been there.

The ultimatum here is being smart when kickstarting your email campaigns. Being creative and boring simultaneously with your strategies will take your campaign a long way! In simple terms, a good email marketer plays with old-school techniques and the newest trends in the perfect balance.

Schedule a call with me today if you’re looking for ways to market beyond this.

So, what’s your latest milestone?


  1. Should I buy an email database to start with email marketing?
    It might look tempting to buy an email database when starting with email marketing. However, not only do you lose credibility in the eyes of your customers, but you might also even be violating the rules of consent under GDPR. Even though this might seem like an easy way to gain subscribers, it would be an absolute NO.
  2. Do I need to send newsletters?
    This is something that will depend on your target audience and how they respond to your existing content. Some demographics love newsletters, while others want to be contacted only when needed, such as for events or upcoming offers. However, this is something you can experiment with.
  3. How often should I send emails?
    You will have to attempt the trial-and-error method here. Again, it depends upon your target audience. Experiment with once a week, once in 15 days, or even twice a week. See, what gets the best response? Analyze your statistics.
  4. How long should my emails be?
    A lot of email marketers believe in sending out a long descriptive piece of content. But I would recommend you follow the less is more technique. Readers want precise content now that is equally informative and entertaining. 100-150 words would be a good option to consider.
  5. Should I segment my email lists?
    If you have read my previous blogs, you will know how segmentation is an important part of personalization. I highly recommend this strategy for your next campaign.

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