How to Use Software to Scale to 1000's of Subscribers

We get by with a little help...From our software friends. The stack we're using and why.

What’s happening, Grow-Getters?

We have some relationship news we want to share with you — we’re breaking up with Substack and seeing other providers.

If this comes as a shock to you, we understand. But people change, and the things we thought we loved about Substack started to annoy us. (Just like that ex with the distinct laugh). 

This newsletter is all about giving you the inside scoop into the fastest ways to get your message out to bigger audience. So we share, what we’re doing, and how it’s impacting our subscriber growth. Here’s the TL;DR on why we’re making a switch:

  • We want to have more creative control over how we talk to you, including our layout, email capture, etc.

  • We want to be able to send from our own domain name (aka no substack in it)

  • We want to export our content after it’s published without hassle (seriously, Substack, why so particular?)d

  • We want to have pop-up’s where we can share guides and increase our conversion rate

We’re exploring our options, so if you’ve had a good experience sending with another provider, let us know in the comments! (Yes, we fully recognize the irony that you’re reading this via Substack. We’re working on it!)


All this talk about software had us thinking, What tools are must-haves when running a successful newsletter?

Olman and Ilona both work at AppSumo, a software marketplace where they’ve helped launch over 1K SaaS startups for online entrepreneurs — so you can say they know a thing or two about software. 

That’s why today, it’s all going to be about how we get by with a little help from our (software) friends.

(Pssst! Stay tuned for next week, where we’ll break down how we used these tools and more to create partnerships and tap into new audiences! We have a few big announcements in that vein. Seriously if you haven’t started pinging your humans about your content, start.)

How to Get Access to New Followers

QuuuPromote

What it does: QuuuPromote gets your content in front of pre-warmed audiences in your niche. Basically lets you “boost” a post organically (read: not paid) to grow your following and drive traffic to a group of people who are in your niche. 

How we use it

  1. We started with the two posts we had, and identified the relevant niches, or categories, for each of them.

  2. Next, we set off on promotion! We have these posts set to be in motion for a full year and have nearly 100 shares in the first day.

lemlist

What it does: lemlist is has been one of our most successful tools for email outreach. Use this when you’re tired of sending outreach emails individually from Gmail or your contacts.

Lemlist is designed from the ground up to make your outreach as successful as possible. All you have to do is upload a list of contacts, write at least one email, and click send. Lemlist will then track the engagement across the entire campaign (how many people opened, clicked, responded, etc). These emails will be sent through your Gmail account so they’ll have the appearance of being sent manually. And replies will also end up in your inbox, making follow up a snap. You can also send a series of emails so if someone doesn’t open your first, the second one is different and non-spammy.

How we use it: As we’re growing our newsletter, lemlist is what we’ve been using to reach out to a bunch of our contacts at once. Here’s what it looked like:

FindThatLead

What it does: Find verified email addresses of people you want to get in touch with. You can search by company, domain, or for a specific person. Then, export and plug those contacts into Gmail - or lemlist - and send them targeted outreach!

How we use it:
As we’re looking for prospects to cross-promote with, relevant podcasts to guest star in and founders to shout out - FindThatLead helps us find the right contact & email.

Bonus: Notion.so

What it does: Notion is a project management POWERHOUSE. You can keep all your docs, files, tasks, and team members in one place. Ilona is the only organized one on this team and this has been a game changer for us in managing our content.

How we use it: Notion has been our HQ from inception, here’s are just a few of the ways we’re using it:

  1. Creating a Content Calendar with all of our upcoming posts

  1. Using the Mood Board to house our braindumps of ideas

  1. Tracking our subscriber counts as well as the methods we’re trying out 

To recap, this is our stack so far and how it all works together:

We start with Notion, to house all our ideas and content plans. Then once we publish on a newsletter post, we hit up Quuu Promote and boost it to a relevant niche, letting our unknown internet friends do the sharing for us. While they’re busy getting the good word out, we’re thinking about which publications and influencers (🤢) would be good partners for us to continue gaining momentum and traction - so we turn to FindThatLead to, ya know, find that lead. Take those bad boy contacts and put them into lemlist to send highly personalized outreach emails. The synergy of it all!

Ok, now it’s our turn to ask: What software do you use to manage and grow your newsletter or business? Are there any must-haves that we’re missing? Comment and let us know! 

Happy Hacking,
Ilona, Codie, & Olman

P.S. Shoutout to David over at Fancy Mouth — congrats on the traffic boost. WE LOVE seeing that our ideas to grow help you! Check him out here.