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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Moreno

11 Free Things I Did To Get My First 1,000+ Email Subscribers

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

"Email Is The Jason Bourne Of Online. Someone Is Always Trying To Kill It. It Can't Be Done." - Unknown

“You make that by selling affiliate products?”

He pointed to his screen and showed his sales.

More than $200,000 a year selling affiliate products.

Meaning products that weren’t even his.

“And all of these sales come from sending emails from your list?” I asked, quite in disbelief.

With a nonchalant tone he quickly answered,

“Yes, 100% mail money.”

A light-bulb moment if I ever had one.

My mind cracked wide open.

The possibilities were endless.

“I need to build a list.”

With only 47 subscribers at the time, this seemed like a daunting task.

But with over 3000 subscribers now, and a full-time income from sending emails to that list - I managed to figure out how to add subscribers to a list.

And do it all without having to burn cash that I didn’t have on ads.

Now, I’m going to share with you how I did it.

So, let’s get into it.

The Foundation Of Organic List Building Success

You might be tired of hearing me say this, but I can’t bring myself to speak on list building without covering this.

I also understand this may also be your first time consuming my content since it’s on a free blog. So, let me make sure you understand something.

This takes a lot of reps.

Everything that I lay out here, takes fucking reps.

More than you think.

There is a trade off when you don’t use paid ads.

And that is time.

Lots of it.

What I am going to share with you is not something to dabble with. It’s not something to just try. If you are going to do this, you have to commit long term. You have to fucking do it.

Eventually you can hire people out to do this stuff. But if you’re trying to get your first 1000 subscribers, then that likely isn’t in the picture yet.

The only way you can fail with any of this is by not doing it enough.


Ok, now that you’ve agreed to ruthless persistence, let me finally break down how I got my first 1000 subscribers (so you can do the same)

#1 - Created A Free Opt-In

First things first, I needed to give people a reason to opt-in to my email list.

Let’s be honest, we all like empty inboxes.

So people don’t like to just give their emails away to anybody.

But… people will give their emails away in exchange for something that they see as valuable.

So with my expertise, I knew I could create resources that audiences would actually find truly valuable.

Here is what I came up with:

  • A free case study breaking down how I got booked on 52 podcasts in 12-months without a booking agency

  • A list of 1600+ “ready to pitch” podcasts with the direct contact info of the hosts.

  • An example of one of my pitches that landed.

  • A video to spam proof your marketing emails so you avoid landing in spam.

All of these were deemed valuable by my market. Valuable enough to give me their email in exchange for it.

Now, for every one of my free opt-ins I created a simple landing page that could actually capture the emails and add them to my CRM.

Here are examples of how those pages looked:

Very, very simple.

(If you don’t have a software to build landing pages and capture emails, I recommend using GoHighLevel)

The key is to make these pages simple and give them only one two options:

Give me your email or leave.

This is how you “optimize” your pages for conversions.

Okay, enough on that.

Let’s move on to what I did next.

Find creative ways to promote these opt-ins.

#2 - Reached Out To All The Entrepreneurs I Knew Online To Give Them My Opt-Ins

First, I didn’t go as hard on this as I could have.

I also only did this with my warm network.

You see, after having been in multiple masterminds I collected one hell of a virtual rolodex of contacts that had businesses.

Perfect people who could benefit from my free lead magnets.

Here’s a copy and paste of a real message I sent out:

“Hey (name!) I hope everything has been well (or I specifically highlighted a personal thing). As you know I’ve been getting booked on a lot of podcasts. I put together a PDF showing how I did it. Do you know anybody who might want this?”

Some said no, but lots said yes. Enough to get me from 47 to 136 subs in a few days.

When they said yes I also didn’t send them the landing page.

I know not everybody actually follows through, so I just asked them a simple question.

“Great. What is a good email to send it to?”

I just assumed they’d give me their email, and instead of leaving them to opt-in on their own, I just went straight to my CRM, added their first and last name and then added them to my list manually.


#3 - Began Adding My Opt-In Links To The Bottom Of (Every) Relevant Facebook Post

If you have me as a friend on Facebook, you know that I am expressive as shit.

I post a lot. Mostly funny stuff.

But it’s still somehow angled into a marketing message.

And then I always throw a link to opt in to my list in the comments.

For example - this post here got me 8 subscribers:

And here are other examples of posts that got me subscribers:

Again, I just throw a link to the lead magnet in the comments of any post that is relevant to the lead magnet.

For example:

Simple, effective and gets subscribers.

And every single sub counts on the way to that first 1000.


#4 - Make “Two-Step” Posts Giving Away Resources

Yes, I like to just say funny shit most of the time on social media.

But I am no fool, I also use my Facebook to directly make offers.

Especially lead magnet offers.

Here are some examples:

And sometimes, I’ll make them a little longer:

When people commented that they wanted it, I would send them a DM saying something along the same lines as before:

“Hey (name). Saw that you wanted (the thing). What is a good email to send it to?”

And then I’d simply grab, copy and paste their email into my CRM and add them manually.

I recommend doing this because most people won’t opt-in to a link that you send them on their own.

They’re busy, sometimes even skeptical of the link or whatever the hell.

So I just do it for them.

Then after I send it over, I follow up and ask them to verify that they received it by sending me a DM letting me know if they got it or not.

This creates a better connection with my leads, and oftentimes can lead to a sales convo right there.

But I refrain from pursuing the sale on the first contact.

Going for the sale before they’ve gotten a chance to consume the value you’ve given them is just asking for a rejection.

#5 - Drop My Opt-In Link In Bio And Sent Daily Requests To Ideal Clients

Okay, the last way I used Facebook to get subs.

I simply drop my lead magnets in my bio:

That link takes them straight to…(wait for it)... an email opt-in page.

You see?

But something I did to get my first 1000 free subscribers was sending friend requests to people who looked like they could clearly benefit from the lead magnet in my bio.

I sent about 30-50 a day (I sent until Facebook gave me a warning.)

A certain number would see the requests, then a percentage of them would accept, and yes, click the link.

You’d be surprised how many people will join your list simply based on the copy of your landing page.

This is why putting serious consideration into the words you choose for your landing pages is not something to throw salt at.

Facebook also gives you the option to display three other links in your “about’ info, which shows publicly. So it’s also worth it to throw links to other opt-ins or even sales pages.

I do.

#6 - Guesting On Podcasts That Had My Ideal Subscribers Listening

Next step, which is where it got real fun, was borrowing other people’s audiences.

I was and still am an avid consumer of podcasts.

Which means, I know how they work.

I myself have joined people’s list after hearing them on shows.

I knew that when a host had a guest on, they’d usually end it with asking something along the lines of,

“How can the audience follow you?”

So I thought by that time I’d have sold these people on my solution, so it would be perfect to offer a free lead magnet at the end of the show to drive those people to my list.

Which is what I did.

After cracking the code on pitching shows, I went absolutely bonkers and got booked on over 80 shows in a short amount of time.

And sure enough, at the end of these interviews, I was asked the question…

“Adrian, where can the audience follow you?”

I’d then answer:

“Well, the best way is to actually go to (url) to get (xyz), and then you’ll get an email from me and you can follow me wherever from there.”


Now, if you want to know how I got booked on these shows, I recommend you download this lead magnet.

It’s a list of 1600+ podcasts that are “Ready to pitch” in all kinds of niches in personal and business development.

In the following email after receiving it I’ll show you how to pitch these shows.

You see how that works?

#7 - Spoke In Masterminds As A Guest Expert

Other than writing, I can speak my ass off.

And I enjoy doing it.

So, using the same strategy from above, I borrowed other people’s audiences by doing guest talks and training to masterminds that had my ideal subscribers.

And at the end, similar to podcasts, I would ask who wanted this free resource, something to build on what they just learned, and when they said yes I’d either:

1 - Drop it right there

OR (what I prefer)

2 - Tell them you’ll get their emails from their “coach” and you’ll send it over.

And in physical settings, I’d typically have a QR code for them to scan that showed at the end of my talk.

One time I put the wrong QR code by accident and told people to just come up to me instead, this was a good blooper.

#8 - Email Cross Promotions

This is one of my favorite strategies out there.

It’s so damn effective and a no brainer, especially if you do #1 right and make a quality and no brainer lead magnet.

Also, since it’s a strategy based on reciprocating a favor, it works.

Here’s what I mean:

My friend Jason Fox had a lead magnet that was a free DM outbound and inbound script to book calls.

I knew my list would find that valuable, and I knew that his list would find it valuable to get booked on podcasts.

So we made a deal.

Promote my stuff to your list and I’ll promote your stuff to my list.

Now, let me be clear, I only promoted free offers.

Not paid offers.

The objective was to get highly targeted subscribers.

From there I’d work my email magic to turn those subs into buyers.

The strategy is simple.

Two list (complimentary) owners promote a lead magnet to each others list to ramp up subscribers on both lists.

I still use this today as my main list building strategy.

And if you want to learn how to do it, I have a free lead magnet for you.

It's a training that will show you how to add 100-300 subscribers a month using cross promotions.

(See what I did there?)

#9 - Email Gift Giveaways

Next, and very similar to #8, I used a lot of email gift giveaways to get to my first 1000 and more subs.

The only difference between this one and email cross promos is there is no reciprocal promotion.

There is still reciprocation, just not in the form of promotion.

For example, I found a business owner who ran a hypnotherapy certification program and pitched him on promoting my free lead magnet (that will show his list how to promote their hypnotherapy practice through podcast guesting).

The only problem? My list isn’t interested in becoming hypnotherapists. So I couldn’t in good conscience promote that to my list.

So to sweeten the deal and make it worth it, I’d offer more than 50% on all the sales made from their leads.

I worked it in my backend to track every one of their leads long after that joined my list, so when they bought eventually I would send them (and still do) monthly commissions.

Now, this only works if you have something that the other audience really wants.

How can you give the audience of the list owner an edge?

Think about who your lead magnets can really impact and go after those people.

How can you give the audience of the list owner an edge?

You gotta make that list owner look good.

This is how you want to think.

At least it’s how I did.

#10 - Wrote Articles With Links To Lead Magnets

Another thing I did on my way to my first 1000+ subscribers (and something I still do), is create free blog content, and in those blogs I'll link out specific lead magnets that expand on the content.

Exactly like I did in #8 when I linked out my list builder training.

(See, I just linked it again)

I focused on creating content that can lead to a free giveaways that "expands" on the content I wrote about, to drive people from my site to my list.

For example, in one of my medium articles I wrote about how authors can sell their books by getting booked on podcasts that have their listeners.

And inside of that article I linked to zero paid offers, only to a free lead magnet that was a case study on how I got booked.

This converted well for me, along with a few other lead magnets.

#11 - Created Pop Ups

Lastly, as you've probably seen, I have a few pop ups on my site.

These are good at generating new subs for me. Right now my pop ups convert around 9-10%

Here are quick snapshots of them:

Again, as you can see, I follow the same rule I follow with my landing pages.

Clear, simple and to the point.

Now What…?

You think I went through all of that work to let that list collect dust?

I may have graduated high school with a 1.57 GPA, but I ain’t no idiot.

If you don’t know this by now, email marketing has been the highest converting marketing channel for just about every industry in existence.

You can’t run from the truth.

Email marketing runs laps around most of these “pretty” marketing strategies.

The reach of email is insane, and it isn’t run by an algorithm.

So what I did with these subscribers was send emails every single day.

Yes, every stinkin’ day. Even on Sundays. (This ain’t church!)

Sometimes I send two, three or even eight in a single day.

I know, it sounds insane.

But my numbers are clear.

I am making more dollars than I am losing subscribers.

In other words, I’m winning.

I’ve collected multiple six-figures from emailing a list that is smaller than 3k. Sales are a daily occurrence now.

And after sending thousands of emails and making hundreds of sales - I created an email writing framework that will show you how to master the art of writing high converting emails… in only 10-15 minutes a day.

You don’t even need to be a “good” writer.

Just being an “okay” writer is enough to turn you into a dangerously profitable email marketer.

All you have to do is be willing to spend 15-minutes a day (minimum) writing a sales email using a framework that is so easy to replicate.

Here’s the link to learn more about that:


PS: “Do I really have to send daily emails to my list?”

Short answer: No.

But the real answer? It depends on how much money you want to make.

If you want to make less than what’s possible, then you absolutely don’t have to email daily.

But if you want to make as much money as humanly possible in your business?

Then yes, don’t be a fool, absolutely email your list on a daily basis.

Historically, it’s been shown that companies who email daily have higher conversion rates.

And a study by HubSpot found that companies that send 30 emails per month had the highest open rates (32.4%) and click rates (6.5%) compared to companies who sent less.

Furthermore, another study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that companies that sent daily emails had the highest conversion rates, with an average conversion rate of 12.5%, compared to a 9.9% conversion rate for companies that sent emails less frequently.

But let’s not forget, this entirely depends on the quality of your emails.

If you’re sending emails like everybody else (which is funny, you’ll see that nearly every company emails the same way)

The key is learning how to write the kind of emails that stand out like a sore thumb.

The kind of emails that leave subscribers salivating as they wait for your next email.

And again, I can show you how to master the art of writing these kinds of emails.

So, if you want to turn your subscribers into raving fans and buyers, then hit this link to learn how:



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