Creating an Engaged Email List

When creating a startup, I feel it’s essential to create a passionate userbase before your product launches. This may be in the form of speaking at conferences, personally emailing potential users, or creating a landing page.

Personally, I opted for the latter. It’s simple and accessible for a recent high school grad in Nebraska: yours truly. Cole Townsend and I went through a few iterations of the design, but we finally settled on a hero-style landing page with a CTA before the fold. It’s easy to visitors to understand and translates into amazing conversion rates. Not to mention it looks pretty fucking great.

Before I launched a platform for designers and developers to link up called Meet, our waiting list had around 5,500 people, and that’s without a press release. Here’s a few tips that I have gained to creating a passionate subscriber list and getting 10x industry average open rates…

Stay human — I know it may seem very difficult to scale, but this is a big one. Be sure that if you’re not personally emailing subscribers yourself, you take the time to answer any questions or comments they may have. You’re never too good for that.

Stay humble — When you’re gaining visitors and subscribers, don’t obsess over the numbers. Your main focus should be on creating a passionate userbase that cares about what you have to say.

Stay simple — Don’t spam your users; think quality over quantity. Try and send them weekly, or semi-weekly updates.

There’s no huge secret to creating an engaged userbase, no online service you can subscribe to, and no seminar you can attend. At it’s core, it’s all about creating content (or a product) that people care about. Not everything you touch will turn to gold, especially when you’re in a startup. Trust me.