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AP 0800: How Should I Reach Out to My Audience to Start Growing My Email List?

AP 0800: How Should I Reach Out to My Audience to Start Growing My Email List?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 800 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: What up everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode…eight hundred! That was the big opening to this eight hundredth episode of the AskPat Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering you online business questions five days a week. And I didn’t want to do a huge celebration, I think we’ll do something super-special at a thousand.

But for now, let’s just continue moving forward as we always do. And of course, we have a great question today from Craig. But before we get to his question, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is

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All right, now here’s today’s question from Craig.

Craig: Hey Pat, it’s Craig over at First things first, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you do. I’ve been a listener since 2010. You’re actually the reason why I entered the world of online business and for that I’m forever grateful. So here’s something I’ve been wrestling with.

I’ve been providing value and building relationships with people on places like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter who fit my ideal audience. Many of them, I even have their personal contacts and emails. I just started using ConvertKit and want to build a very responsive list. I plan on sending a personal email to a select few people inviting them to join my list. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for how to approach it or want to include in the email to have the best impact. Most of all, I want it to be sincere. I want ensure them that when I send an email it will be packed with value. So they will be looking forward to opening it.

Since you’re a master at it, I figured I would approach you first. Looking forward to hearing from you Pat, thanks and take care.

Pat Flynn: Hey Craig, thank you so much for the question and also for being a long time listener. I truly appreciate that. I also love the fact that you’re going to be reaching out personally to people to start your email list. That is the number one way to begin growing your list. You’ve discovered the secret and you’re putting in the effort to do that, which is great and I’ll share with you some tips on how to personalize that email. But for those of you just starting out, if you’re worried about the technology or about getting started with your email list and all of the things that are involved with that…well, it doesn’t have to be very difficult, start simple. You don’t even need an email service provider to begin building your list. You can always get into that later so once you are ready, you can get involved with ConvertKit like Craig was talking about.

But for now you can just reach out to people that you know, that’s the best way to start from scratch and then build up from there. So, if you are looking for a more defined sort of walkthrough of that process you can go to a challenge that I created that I automated for you that will help you get your first hundred email subscribers. Craig, you can go through this too if you would like. There are some tips related to your question in there as well. You can go to Sign up there and you’ll get an email once a day for three days that will help walk you through the process of actually reaching out to people that you know and starting your list. And how to get involved and started with ConvertKit down the road.

So, go ahead and go to that: Now Craig, if you’re already through that process and your gung ho and ready to go. Here is what you do, you send a personalized email to each of your contacts and if possible, make it personalized. Meaning take something you’ve discussed before and insert it in there. Just so that they know that this is not an automated, cookie cutter, copy/paste situation. The more that you can personalize it, the better. But at the same time, you don’t want to make it an essay. If it’s super long people aren’t going to want to read it. So, being concise is really important.

Also, personalizing it and thanking them for something or talking about something you have in common really quick, or asking them a question up front can be really helpful to kind of break the ice and also make it easy to get into the actual ask. The ask is going to be coming from your heart and talking about exactly what it is you’re going to be doing and what they’re going to get once they’re signed up to this list. You don’t want to say it’s a list either. Hey, you want to join my email list? You want to say something like, “Here’s what I’m going to be working on and this is my plan. If you’re interested in learning more, just send me your email address.”

This is if it’s a direct message on social media or if you’re interested in learning more about what I’m up too or hearing more about this in the future from me, let me know and I’ll add your name to the list. Or I’ll add your name and make sure that I will contact you the next time I have something to say about it. Language like that will work very well.

You don’t want to say, “Hey I’m building my email list and I’d love to add your email list to my list.” Because people will make a connection in their head with the email list to spam and you don’t want to do that. You want them to sign up and actually give you permission to send them more information. That’s the whole entire goal here. So be real but also be upfront. Make sure that they know what they’re signing up to and I think if you come from a place of giving and serving it’s going to work out really well. Just know that most people will probably not want to be contacted about that information, however, what you’re looking are the people who are. So, I’d ask and an answer that is a ‘no’ is totally fine. I think if you approach it in this way, very upfront but very real and personalized, even if it’s a ‘no’ it’s not going to sever that relationship that you have with them, which is obviously a good thing.

Finally, if you wanted to take it one level up, you can offer something that will show them the kinds of things you will be sharing in your emails down the road. So you could say, “Hey I created this pdf file, here’s a link to it.” Obviously, don’t have them sign up through a landing page to get it. Just give it to them and say, “Hey if you’re interested in more things like this, this is what I’ve been working on. I’m really passionate about it, I’m excited. I’m going to be sharing more information about this in the future. If this is something that you want to see more of, let me know and I’ll make sure that I reach out to you next time I have something like this or the next time I have more information.” If not, totally cool, no worries. Boom, there you go.

So Craig, thank you so much for the question. I wish you all the best. Again, for those of you who want to start your email list to go to And you can go from there. So, Craig, I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having a question featured here on the show and for those of you listening. If you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Cheers, thanks so much. I look forward to serving you in the next episode and the next eight hundred episodes down the road. For now, here’s a quote to finish off the day by David Ogilvy. He said, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

All right guys, I’ll see you in the next episode. Thanks again, and if you have a moment, head on over to iTunes and leave a review for AskPat. It would be super helpful. Cheers.

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