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How I Increased My Email Subscriptions by 315% (and the Small, Quick Thing That Made It Happen)

How I Increased My Email Subscriptions by 315% (and the Small, Quick Thing That Made It Happen)

By Pat Flynn on

Last week, I wrote a post that went sort of viral. It didn’t get millions of pageviews or land me on the front page of, but after 7 days it was shared 1,092 times, it produced a huge traffic spike and 231 people took time to leave a comment.

I’ve had a few posts within the past few months that have seen the same kind of numbers, however this particular post produced one unique dividend: Significantly more email subscribers.

My weekly average increased by 315% (comparing last week’s average to the average from weeks before).

Additionally, I received 109 emails (I counted) just like this one:

“Pat, I just found your blog for the first time and read your latest post. I tried tip #5 and it worked! Thank you so much!! I just subscribed to your email list and I can’t wait for more from you. Thank you!”

These are emails from first time visitors who not only subscribed to my email list, but took the time to visit my contact form or reply to a follow-up email to say thank you and tell me they want more.

That’s huge, especially for a brand new visitor. Plus, 109 is just the number of people who reached out—there are several more who subscribed who did not.

So what was the differentiator? What made the highlighted post generate so many more subscribers than the others that had the same amount of traffic and shares?

That’s what I’m going to cover in this post, but first I’d like to tell you a quick story…

That Time I Stayed up for 48 Hours Straight

During my junior year of college, a friend of mine introduced me to a video game that turned into an absolute addiction.

On average, 12-15 hours of my day was devoted to this game, and at times, especially when I was near a new milestone, I’d put in even more time. Once, I stayed up for 48 hours straight as cans of Monster and Redbull populated the desk in my room.

Not good.

The game?

World of Warcraft. 

I specifically remember the first time I played WoW, and I knew—I just knew it was going to become an addiction because during the first 10 minutes, I had already completed 2 quests, leveled up twice and unlocked several new abilities—not to mention my coin bank was already growing.

It was awesome.

This game gets progressively harder as you level-up and progress, but in the beginning, so many amazing things happen rather quickly, and all of those small quick wins combined converted me into an addict.

In Charles Duhigg’s best-selling book, The Power of HABIT [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link], he talks about exactly why small quick wins are so powerful:

They’re powerful because of the quick reward. Our brain needs a reward to say “this pattern is worth remembering for the future”. 

A small, quick win helps people associate reward with whatever helped to produce it.

World of Warcraft produced several quick wins within the first 10 minutes, which is how I got hooked.

I’m also a huge fan of Ramit Sethi’s blog because there was one specific post I read that helped me save $30/month on my cable bill with one simple phone call.

I’m a huge fan of because early on my coach taught me a quick breathing exercise I could do while running to immediately get rid of the cramps on my side. It worked instantly.

And my last post generated a ton of new and excited subscribers because it was chock-full of ways to produce a small, quick win. That was the strategy behind the post.

There were 5 of them, and I highlighted that each would only take 5 minutes to implement in the title. And of course, people who took action experienced the quick win: Quick Win Comment We all want our readers and listeners to go big—to change their lives for the better from the value that we provide for them over time.


If you want change somebody’s life, give them something that changes their day first. (click here to tweet this)

And Now, It’s Your Turn

My call to action for you today is this:

Sometime in the near future, create content that helps your audience experience a small, quick win.

It doesn’t have to be 5—it only has to be 1—but be intentional when sharing it with your audience.

Let them know it won’t take very long, and if possible create a step-by-step outline or video that will make it even quicker to achieve. Then, give people an opportunity to subscribe—and in many cases, you’ll make an impression that is the start to many more experiences with you and your site down the road, and you’ll grow your email list at the same time.

If you end up publishing your quick win post, podcast or video, please share the link here in the comment section so we can all check it out. 🙂

Quick Tip:

The best quick wins to share are ones that come from your own experience. It’s one thing to create tips off the top of your head and share those, but it’s another to have also put them into action yourself.

Your audience will take notice when you do, and follow your lead even more.

Here’s to you and your success, and the quick wins you’ll share with your audience.

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