Welcome, back Grow-Getters.
Each week, we’ll break down the best hacks to scale your newsletter & email list - in real time - reporting on our fails and wins.
If you’re starting here, you may want to check out this case study in order - with our first post on how we got started here.
Candidly, we hate Facebook.
Too many Karen’s and Rand’s posting about their kids/cats/birthday parties. Probably why we are typically terrible at leveraging Facebook.
BUT we kept hearing about people using Facebook/Reddit/LinkedIn/ groups to grow their email lists by the thousands.
Perhaps not surprisingly, every time we tried to leverage Facebook Groups we failed. My comments were deleted, we felt spammy, or our personal favorite: getting kicked out of a group entirely. There’s nothing quite like getting online bounced out of a virtual club.
To be fair, we were doing it all wrong. We deserved to be ignored. We didn’t understand the platform, we weren’t adding value, we were trying to take it from the group. That is never a good look.
The problem was that no one could tell us a good way to attack groups for growing email lists that actually felt additive as opposed to salesy. So we thought well, let’s build some examples ourselves, read up and try to hack the system.
For now, here’s what happened when we went down Facebook group rabbit hole:
The key to sharing is coming up with something worth the share in the first place. So since we only have one newsletter post, that’s what we used. We needed a worthy idea that was novel, interesting and highly value added. Something that if you told a group of people about it, they’d ask questions and want to dive deeper. Codie used this same strategy at Contrarian Thinking and landed hundreds of emails (aka - it’s worth repeating).
What we shared:
Our first newsletter on how we got 1K subscribers in a week —> Link here.
Why it worked:
The #1 rule in sales is that it’s always easier to target warm leads, aka the people you already know. So we started posting with groups with which we have personal relationships where we post or follow along, or those groups where the members know us (like if we’ve spoken in front of them).
We went after five main groups that were related to Entrepreneurship, Newsletters, Growth Hacking, Marketing, and Self Help Groups. The thought process here was that these niches are our target subgroups so if we find something interesting and our subscribers do, then this crew is likely to as well. We also felt comfortable posting in those groups because a couple of them (i.e. Trends) actually grew this way so they wouldn’t feel hoodwinked. They’d feel like we were adding value.
Kept a list in Notion (we’re loving this software): (It’s an AppSumo special wink wink).
After we use the groups we’re most active in, we pivoted to the groups that are most active, period. There’s little use posting awesome content to a group that has no one engaging. So we selected the ones at the top who were active and skipped those further down given their inactive status (side note - that last one’s name!). Honestly, this entire process made us realize we don’t have many groups we utilize and we need to join more. Throw in the comments below other groups you know and like, pretty please.
Now that you have your target and your value add, it’s time to craft a message that resonates with the right people in each unique context. You can use the same base post but tailor it with a few personalized tweaks. This is a good lesson for any sort of outreach: add personalization every time to get through to someone, personally. We all know what it’s like to get a mass email (love your article: link) and how refreshing it feels when someone has actually done their homework prior to reaching out.
Below is the message we used as the baseline, then tweaked for each group to include: the name of the group or members, a compliment up front on the group dynamics, tone shift depending on the levity/seriousness of the group. We were honest, tagged a human who was actually in the group, gave credit, and tried to provide value.
Giving away something that should be paid has been a surefire growth strategy for us in the past, and will continue to be our gameplan. Sharing quality ideas goes a long way. Check it out:
Then we take this same content we used in the Facebook Groups and posted it on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram — now that one workshopped piece of content can live amongst multiple audiences and keep generating engagement. This is why effective marketing is all about creating flywheels. More to come on each platform’s success in future editions of the newsletter! If there are any specific tactics you’d like us to try out, please comment below OR ask us questions.
Like most things on the internet, we encountered a mixed bag in terms of responses. Ranging from this:
Our answer, um yes!
Some of our Facebook group posts got really positive engagement, some deleted our posts altogether.
Ultimately, our goal here is to try just about everything and report back on our effectiveness. Sometimes that means we fail, but our hope is that throughout it all, we grow and you grow alongside us.
Despite it all, we still consider our Facebook group exercise a success.
Here’s where you don’t just read, you act. Ready?
The results of our FB group exercise are still in the works - and this isn’t a one and done type of deal. As we learn about more relevant groups and build up more content, we’ll continue to rinse and repeat on this tactic. Our goal is to have 1K subs attributed to Facebook groups (and we’ll keep updating you on that goal), but here’s the preliminary scoreboard:
Your rule of thumb: Facebook Groups can be effective, but they’re time consuming and manual if you want to do it right. Do the work up front to be value-additive so you can connect vs spam.
And here’s how last week’s post engagement was for our 1st post. Love answering your questions in the comments!
If you have any questions click the comment button below or at the top next to the heart, and we will be your personal concierge to newsletter growth. Well TBH - we’ll at least answer your questions, the rest is up to you.
Codie & Olman & Ilona