How To Grow Your Email List with a Free Challenge | Learn how to grow your email list exponentially by offering a free challenge to your audience.

If you’ve run an online business for any length of time, you probably already know the importance of growing your email list.

In fact, the Content Marketing Institute reports that 87% of B2B (business to business) marketers say email is one of their top free organic distribution channels.

There are numerous ways to grow your email list but one of the best ways to quickly grow your list of subscribers is by hosting a free challenge.

In this blog post, we’ll share everything you need to know about creating an awesome free challenge that will help you grow your email list effectively and exponentially.

Why you should use a free challenge to grow your email list

Before we dive into the steps to creating a free challenge to grow your email list, let’s cover why you should consider using a free challenge as a technique. As we mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to grow your email list but a free challenge has perks that other ways don’t offer.

1 | Creates momentum and engagement with your community

A free challenge gives your community something specific to focus on during a fixed period of time. 

Having time parameters and working towards a common goal helps create momentum and engagement within your community because everyone is working on something at the same time.

It creates an experience where everyone is in it together, so they are likely to feel more engaged and focused. 

2 | Gives a tangible result 

A free challenge should give a tangible, measurable result that people are working toward. This helps manage people’s expectations of what they should be able to achieve by the end of the challenge and gives them a clear cut goal.

3 | Heightens your expertise in your industry

Hosting a free challenge to grow your email list enhances your clout within your industry. If you regularly host challenges, you then can become the go-to person people think of when someone is searching for an expert in your industry.

Related post: How To Grow An Email List Before Launching An Online Shop

How To Grow Your Email List with a Free Challenge

Now that you know why you should consider hosting a free challenge to grow your email list, let’s get down to how to actually host one that yields amazing results!

Step 1: Figure out your challenge solution

Before we start mapping out what the challenge looks, we need to figure out what your challenge solution is.

What will people be able to accomplish by the end of your challenge? 

Your free challenge needs to provide tangible, measurable results so people have something specific to work toward.

Examples of free challenges that have worked really well for other online entrepreneurs:

Pat Flynn’s 0 to 100 email challenge: This is a 3 day challenge that helps you build your email list from 0 to 100. 

Simple Green Smoothie challenge: This 7 day challenge helps you incorporate green smoothies into your daily life.

Alex Beadon’s Double Down on your DMs challenge: This 5 day Instagram story challenge helps you get more DMs on Instagram.

Related post: 5 Blog Hotspots To Place Your Opt-in Forms And Grow Your Email List

Step 2: Determine the length of your free challenge

Once you’ve determined what your challenge solution is, you can then start figuring out the length of your free challenge.

As listed above in the examples, there isn’t one “right” amount of time for a challenge.

Some challenges are as little as 3 days. Some are as long as 30 days.

What you need to figure out is what is the amount of time needed to realistically reach the goal of your challenge.

Parkinson’s law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” so be sure to not have your challenge be too long. Give people just the right amount of time to take action and get results.

Learn how to grow your email list with offering a free challenge with these tips from @hibluchic!Click To Tweet

Step 3: Figure out how you will deliver the challenge’s content

Now it’s time to figure out how the challenge will be packaged and delivered!

If you’re just getting started with offering free challenges to grow your email list, we’d recommend starting with a simple email challenge. 

This means that you will be delivering the content of the challenge all via email.

This requires the least amount of tools and set up on your end. All you need is an email software (which you should already have since the purpose of doing this is to grow your email list!).

We recommend MailerLite and Flodesk for email marketing providers (affiliate links used!)

If you’re ready to get advanced, you can consider adding a video element to your challenge, a Facebook group to host live videos, and more. 

Step 4: Set up your landing page & materials

We’ve made it to our favorite part….setting everything up!

We understand it might feel overwhelming to set up all of your systems for a free challenge so we’re here to make it super simple and easy!

  • Our free challenge landing page templates include all of the landing pages you’ll need to get your free challenge off the ground! This bundle includes:
    • Opt-in page Template to help you grow your email list with super fans who are excited about your challenge.
    • Thank you page Template to professionally end off the opt-in process and build hype around your challenge.
    • Video series page Template to host your 3-day series or 5-day challenge, so that everything is housed in one convenient location.
Free Challenge - Landing Page Templates
  • If you plan on creating checklists or workbooks that accompany your free challenge, our lead magnet templates include a variety of pre-designed Canva templates making it super easy to create a well-designed PDF in a matter of minutes!
  • Need help creating social media graphics that promote your free challenge? Look no further than our Canva Social Media Templates! There are over 80 design options available for each of the major social media platforms!

Step 5: Start promoting your challenge

The final step to grow your email list with a free challenge is promoting your challenge so people sign up to participate!

Once you’ve created your social media graphics, it’s time to promote the heck out of it!

A few ways to get the word out about your free challenge:

  • Social media: Obviously you’ll want to share about it on all of your social media channels including Facebook, Facebook groups, Instagram, Instagram stories, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you want to take it a step further, consider doing paid social media ads to your target audience demographic.
  • Email your current list: Don’t assume everyone on your current email list wants to be signed up for the challenge. We recommend sending out an email to your current subscribers and letting them choose whether or not they want to participate.
  • Reach out to people with a similar audience: One of the best ways to get the word out is to reach out to people who have a similar audience to you but offer a different product or service. Make sure that your challenge is a perfect fit for their audience so it makes it a no brainer that they should share!

Related post: 6 Small Tweaks To Your Social Platforms That Can Explode Business Growth

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! Your A-Z guide on how to grow your email list with a free challenge. 

Some people host their free challenges live so they can interact and motivate their audience, others evergreen their challenges meaning anyone at any time can sign up and go through the challenge.

We recommend doing what works best for you and your business’s goals. 

Don’t forget to check out our free challenge landing page templates to help you get a jumpstart on launching your free challenge!

Free Challenge - Landing Page Templates