Grow Your Email List: Breakdown of The 24-Hour #listchallenge by Bryan Harris & Jeff Goins

The first challenge I ever participated in online was Ramit Sethi’sHow to make $1000 with one email.

Ramit was going to award $1000 to the best pitch — any pitch! — that helped him in business/personal/any area of life. Spoiler Alert: I did not win the challenge.
Instead, Jacqueline Du Plessis offered to Show Ramit around Cape Town and she did a great job showing, rather than telling, by building a web page for that pitch.

I should have learned my lesson from that previous challenge and know that I work better at my own pace, rather than with a challenge.

But months later, I got another challenge that I needed to be a part of because I had been putting this off for a while and needed to kick my butt into action.

By the way, if you’d like to generate leads from your website, this post would be really helpful.

The challenge was from Bryan Harris and Jeff Goins and it was to build the most important asset of any business – your email list, and boy, I needed to do that now that my blog was up…

The challenge was announced in their webinar, “Grow your Email List Workshop,” hosted by Jeff Goins, with Bryan Harris leading the webinar. If you had 10 subscribers or less, you qualified to participate in the challenge and the winner(s) will receive an all-expense paid trip to Nashville, TribeWriters course [$1000] from Jeff Goins, Get 10,000 subscribers course [$2000] from Bryan Harris and success story featured to an email list of 250,000 (priceless).

email #listchallenge


Needless to say, I was game. And so, for the next 24 hours, I went into active mode as I was determined to man up to the challenge (I don’t thrive well in challenges and competitions, but hey…) of getting 100-subscribers ;))

In this post, I am going to be sharing with you step by step what I did to hit my 100-subscribers [ehn ehn, I mean 20 subscribers], what I did wrong [or didn’t do] and why I am certain that I will do better in my next challenge.

Get the 30-Point Checklist of what was covered in the Grow your Email List Workshop, and a free email course on Content Creation Tips for the Pro

Download the Grow your Email List Checklist + other bonuses

The steps I took may be completely different from others but reading this post shows how a challenge can stretch you and totally disrupt your day…in a good way.

The webinar happened 7:30pm WAT my time and it ended about 9pm. Tired from working on clients brief earlier on, but stoked at the chance of getting courses that can improve my business and help me build my list, I set out to work.

I got my first subscriber within minutes of them announcing the challenge by posting the link to my landing page for my free gift in the chat box; then got my second subscriber almost immediately.

Tip: step one was to take advantage of the active community that already knew about the challenge and therefore will most likely join your list to support you.

I called some friends and told them to join my mailing list. I also asked that they tell their friends to join my mailing list to stand a chance to win a free done-for-you blog [more on that in step 3]

My next plan was to organize a giveaway and one lucky winner will get a free done-for-you blog, but I also included a terms and condition, go figure.

To kick start the giveaway, I recorded a 2-min video with my Microsoft Lumia, really it’s more fun to watch (see the link below :)) and then went to Optimizepress to set up the landing page. That was where my ordeal started [I laughed so hard while setting up the giveaway page] and I am officially giving my web designer a thumbs up.

First, I thought I could pull it off in twenty minutes because those post about ready-made pages within Optimizepress got in my head, so I didn’t bother my web designer [he ended up walking me through it]. Big mistake 🙂 Anyways, by the time I was done setting up the page, I knew my way in and around Optimizepress better and I am proud of the page I set up.

I thought everything was ganging up against me to not get to my 100-subscriber goal. I had a difficult time uploading my video to the giveaway landing page, after several tries, hours and hours, and a few headaches, I decided to just upload the video I created for the giveaway directly to Facebook. The upload failed a couple of times because my internet was acting up so I had to sit with it to make sure it uploaded. At the end of the day, I settled with a screenshot of my website homepage as image for the giveaway.


Giveaway page

By the time I finished with the giveaway page, it was already 3pm WAT my time and I was worked up because I had not even reached half my goal.

At the end of the 24 hours, I had gotten twenty new subscribers. I also checked @JeffGoins and saw that Jenny (GO GIRL 🙂 already had 34 subscribers!

jenny bolt

and then some:









Kevin J Duncan of beabetterblogger didn’t even participate in the challenge yet he got 10 subscribers and 20 followers.

kevin j duncan

Some of the other things I did was chat up some people on Facebook, post tweets, tag people in my tweets and as a last resort, I decided I was going to make new friends (this was 3-hours before the challenge was over) and invite them to join my list.

Download the Grow your Email List Checklist + other bonuses

Obviously, I made some mistakes.
1. First, I should have realized that instant success comes from work that had already been done in the past.

In this case, I hadn’t been making enough real friends because a lot of the times, I stay glued to my writing space and deal with clients over the phone. I couldn’t call the owner of a company directly just like that to come and join my mail list within 24 hours. Those kind of relationships, I reserve for other request.

If I had been going out to meet people in real life, I could have hit my 100-subscriber goal.
To correct this mistake, I have decided to attend a minimum of 1 – 3 live events monthly and also use my follow-up system to keep in touch with these contacts

2. Mistake number two was spending so much time setting up a webpage, and uploading the video. There were technology mishaps beyond my control, but still every hour counts.

LESSONS LEARNT (final thoughts)

Bryan and Jeff turned the #listchallenge into the most fun, most stressed, most crazy and one of the most challenging days of this year for me. I will definitely do this challenge again because it stretches your imagination and your blogger muscle.

My twitter followers increased during this #listchallenge, and my blog enjoyed increased exposure.

In future correspondence with Bryan and Jeff, I can use the #listchallenge as a foot in the door.

I learnt that it’s better to do than not do at all. Not everyone that heard about the challenge participated even though it could have helped them. As Ramit Sethi said in how to make $1000 with one email:

I’m proud of the work all of you did last week. Some of the pitches were good. A few were GREAT. Most were fine (some were bad), but that’s normal — this is new for most of us.
The best part is how many people stood up and took a chance. Who cares if your pitch sucked? At least you stood up and gave it a shot. As Theodore Roosevelt said,
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

If you participated in the #listchallenge, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What bold, dumb, crazy strategies did you use to grow your email list in 24-hours?

Didn’t participate in the #listchallenge, I will still like to get your feedback in the Comments.

Oh, and if you love this post [Wahoo!] please give it a share.


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  • Yusuff Busayo

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    Hi, Edia,

    You’ll give me a moment to leave you a comment *quickly* while I get to finishing up a chore.

    But I love what I’ve seen so far and must confess, after reading through some pages on the site…you’re ‘it’.

    Hope to come back to read this post through soon, and leave my epic comment on it.

    But if I do not show up today, set my email inbox on fire. I’ll accept the spams.

    And by the way, Kevin Duncan sort of referred you. I mean, I found you through there.

    You see, I’m ready to stick around for long, but i’m a snail eater.

    That means I could forget to get back.

    So feel free to kindly send your missiles to my inbox as reminders.

    Thanks for not hiding your head between sheets. The web will be doubly blessed to have you around, i believe.

    Oops! I can’t believe i did it here again; i left you a long tripe as against the short “hi” I had in mind.

    Hope to check back soon.

    Best regards.

    Yusuff Busayo

    • Hannah Edia

      Reply Reply September 30, 2015

      Hi Yusuff, thanks much for reading the post. Hope you found it helpful.
      You can always subscribe to blog updates so you get notifications immediately I publish a post.
      Thanks again!

  • Kevin J. Duncan

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    Hi Hannah,

    Awesome work. And thank you so much for the mention! Great job getting those 20 new subscribers.

    Already tweeted it. 🙂


    • Hannah Edia

      Reply Reply September 30, 2015

      Hi Kevin, thanks so much for visiting the site and tweeting the post!
      You are awesome!

  • Jana Barclay

    Reply Reply October 1, 2015

    What an experience the 24-hour #listchallenge was! I learned an unforgettable lesson about the ridiculousness of procrastination and all the silly things I tell myself to justify it. I truly have been going through an extremely rough season in my life lately, but using that as an excuse for why I couldn’t get my blog up and running was just that–an excuse.

    While it’s true that I’m dealing with post-traumatic stress (looooong, ugly story) and that I don’t know the first thing about designing a website (Squarespace seemed like it would be so easy!) or creating an email list to make sure the content I’ve already written is actually read, the fact that I put off doing it for so long because “I don’t know how” was foolish. One simple post asking my Facebook friends to pre-subscribe to my blog that was “in the final stages of preparation” and would be “launching soon” generated over 200 subscribers. I am still blown away! The best part is that I have so many people are hounding me about it now, I can’t make excuses anymore!

    • Hannah Edia

      Reply Reply October 2, 2015

      Wow Jana, amazing.

      Just imagine how many subscribers you will get by the time that blog launches.

      I am so happy that we took the challenge together and I am proud of your result.

      Let me know if you need my help with anything and do let me know when you publish your blog.

  • Theodore Nwangene

    Reply Reply October 23, 2015

    Great stuffs here Hannah,
    It shows you’re really up and doing. The most important thing most times is to simply take action even if you failed at the end, the main thing is that you will learn something from it.

    I’m sure you wouldn’t have learnt anything if you hadn’t taken the challenge up and that’s so good of you.

    I’ve also learnt a couple of things from this post.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hannah Edia

      Reply Reply October 24, 2015

      Thanks Theodore.

      I learnt a whole lot during the challenge and I just might organize a challenge for my audience too.

      Thanks for reading!

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