Is your email list hovering at two people– your mom and your best friend?  Maybe you don’t have a list at all and want to hit the ground running.  Or perhaps you want to boost your current list.  A challenge is one of the fastest, easiest, and most fun ways to grow your list.  With a little bit of prep work and some killer content, you can breathe new life into your list in a matter of a couple weeks.  You’ll be ecstatic watching your member number climb as your target audience and ideal readers join your tribe.

I hear from too many bloggers that they don’t have a list or that their opt-in just isn’t working.  There is no excuse for not working on your list.  Unlike your social media followings, you actually own your list.

This is the exact system I used for gaining my 1st 100 email newsletter subscribers.  Steal it!  Use it!

This is it, my friend.  Let’s dive in!


An email challenge is a series of emails with actionable tips and strategies that can be implemented right away for a desired ultimate outcome.

For example:  If you are a food blogger, you could have 5 daily emails detailing a specific cooking hack with the ultimate goal of being a more efficient and faster cook, cutting your cooking time by half, by the end of the challenge.

Get it?


People love free stuff.  Especially if you promise mad, value-packed emails centered around a goal that they want to achieve.

They are getting 5 day’s worth of free, exclusive content that is going to help them reach their desired outcome.  It’s a no-brainer for them to subscribe.

Hit their pain point, promise a solution, and deliver the goods.

Get Your 1st 100 Email Newsletter Subscribers


In order to ensure that you are giving people what they want and are addressing a real need in the community, you need to do some research.

Run a poll to see what your audience wants.  Facebook makes this super easy with their polling function.

Actually have conversations with your target audience and ask questions about their needs and desires.

Show up in relevant and niche specific Facebook groups and listen to the pain points, struggles, and needs that the members are commenting on.

With this information, you can craft a tailor-made challenge that addresses and speaks to your ideal reader.  You will place yourself as an authority in the field, and you will be helping by giving mad value, which is a great feeling in and of itself.


Simple answer:  No longer than 7 days.

In my experience, challenges longer than 7 days do not do as well because people have the attention span of a gnat.

You want to have their undivided attention while you’ve got them.  The last thing you want is for them to get bored, lose interest, and unsubscribe.

I’ve seen some challenges lasting 21-30 days, and that’s a big mistake.

Thrive Leads: Build Your Mailing List


Create your challenge content and divide it into 5-7 bite-sized pieces that can be easily devoured and completed.

Provide actionable tasks in each email that can be accomplished within a short amount of time.  Do not give homework that is going to take an hour to complete.  It won’t get done and you may even be resented for it.  Tasks should take no longer than half an hour per day.

Make sure that your emails are value-rich.  Teach and educate.  Your goal is to help the reader, so you want to give as much info as possible without adding any fluff.  Stay to the point and clear on your objective for the task.


It’s the big day!  Whoo-hoo.

You want to have a specific launch day for your challenge rather than having it ongoing.  A specific, one-time challenge has worked better for me and gotten me more subscribers in a shorter amount of time than my ongoing challenges.  I think this is because of the perceived urgency and scarcity of the challenge.

Get Your 1st 100 Email Newsletter Subscribers


Offer a closed Facebook group just for challenge participants where they can share their accomplishments and their struggles with the challenge tasks.  This community is an added benefit of the challenge and ups the perceived value.

This portion is optional, as it will take more time on your part.  You will need to post into the group regularly and consistently.  You will need to moderate posts and engage with all the members.  It’s time laden, but also a fun part of the challenge and people love groups.

In fact, my group, the Brilliant Blogger’s Club, was started with a challenge and just took off from there.


This is my favorite part really.  I love sharing the excitement of my upcoming event.

You should start your promo two weeks prior to your launch.

Promote in Facebook groups, Twitter, Pinterest, and post on your blog.  Basically, shout it from the rooftops and share your enthusiasm about what is about to go down.


You don’t need a fancy email provider to run your first one-time challenge, but I do recommend Active Campaign if you decide to automate this challenge in the future.

The first email you should send to your new subscriber is a Thank You email that includes a link to your free Facebook group.

Then send a reminder email about three days prior to the start of your challenge.

Next are the challenge emails.  Just schedule each email to go out once on the specified day.

Lastly, you will want to switch everyone in your challenge list to your main email newsletter list.

You are now armed with an easy step-by-step guide for getting your 1st 100 email newsletter subscribers.  Lay the groundwork, create some killer content, promote your pants off, and you’ll be well on your way.

Use my system.  Steal my approach.  Boost your list and grow your tribe.

If you get stuck at any step of the process, just let me know in the comments.  I’m happy to help 🙂

Join our free Facebook group, the Brilliant Blogger’s Club, where we talk about all things blogging and then some.

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