How DIYNatural Uses Social Media to Grow Their Email List

At a time when people are seeking out chemical-free alternatives to common household products, DIY Natural is building a like-minded community around the benefits sustainable living. Matt Jabs, co-founder of the popular blog, admits its success came at the right time.

“I always had a passion for DIY things. I started out writing articles about making detergent that was natural and chemical-free,” he says. “I never thought there was a way to make money in this niche.”

With over 150 thousand social media followers and 80 thousand subscribers, DIY Natural delights the inboxes of subscribers each week with a mix of do-it-yourself projects, healthy recipes and wellness tips.

Growing an audience with email

Social media has played a large part in helping the blog reach new audiences. But it’s not without a bit of trial and error—Matt spent a lot of time trying to reach the right audience with Facebook ads.

“We experimented paying for posts, but didn’t really see the benefit,” he admits. “We only reached about 15,000 people.”

But then he added email marketing to the equation.

“I started capturing email addresses with AWeber and the site started to grow and grow. Once we built up our email list, we worked to push our Facebook fans to our email list so we can keep in touch directly.”

Driving traffic with social media

Other channels have played a large part in growing their email list, too.

Take Pinterest, for example. Since a large part of DIY Natural‘s content is predominantly visual, it made sense to leverage it as a way to drive traffic back to the blog. He added a signup form and pop ups to popular pages to take advantage of the increased site traffic and get people to sign up for his list.

“As our traffic and social media channels grow, our email list grows organically and consistently,” says Matt. “Pinterest has driven all of that for us. We have the “Pin It” button on every photo and we have social sharing icons at the bottom of every email and post. No other social media channel has pushed that much change.”

It took some time to find the right channel to focus on, however. For Matt, discovering where his audience was and the most effective way to connect with them became his number one priority.

“Pinterest seems to works well with our audience and the type of content. It’s definitely the best fit for our website,” he says. “If you’re a small business, focus on the two or three social channels that your audience is and leave it alone after that. Don’t spread yourself too thin publishing to every social media network that comes out.”

Focus on the two or three social channels that your audience is and leave it alone after that. Don't spread yourself too thin publishing to every social media network that comes out. Click To Tweet

Building a captive audience

Matt attributes much of DIY Natural‘s success with growing an engaged and active email list.

“It’s really beneficial and it’s the most valuable part we’re able to hold on to,” he says. “With social media networks, you don’t really own that content. With email, you do.”

With social media networks, you don't really own that content. With email, you do. Click To Tweet

He pointed out that contests and giveaways are a big part of their list building strategy, incentivizing social followers with a chance to win free products in exchange for signup up for their emails. He launches one or two giveaways a month on each of their social channels using Rafflecopter, which integrates directly with their AWeber account to collect new email addresses as they come in. He also uses embedded signup forms within popular articles to promote bonus content when a new visitor opts in.

Send better emails

With over ten years experience writing for the web, Matt has a strong idea of they type of content that resonates with his audience.

“You want to build your list through excellent content first, and then social media channels and email lists. Wow them with your content to get them to sign up for your list. Email marketing definitely gives us a lot of pause, because we know that every article we publish will be sent out to 80,000 people.”

His content-first approach is what drives DIY Natural’s success and how they continue to see strong growth in their email list. He advises those who are new to email to always be testing to find the right frequency and amount to send, with a focus on sending fewer, better emails.

Build your list through excellent content first, and then social media channels and email lists. Wow them with your content to get them to sign up. Click To Tweet

“When we find things that are awesome, we want to share it with the like-minded network that we’ve built,” he says. “But we try not to send too many emails. When people sign up, they currently receive an email every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We’re thinking of switching to a weekly digest.”

His last piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to promote your list.

“They want to be marketed to, that’s why they signed up for your list. You have to have confidence in it.” says Matt. “Just don’t be annoying about it. Make sure you have a vision for how you want to connect with them. The content should be worth reading and sending out to your list.”

Extend your reach beyond the inbox

Are you looking for a simple, no-frills strategy to consistently grow your email list?

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  1. Melissa Danielle

    10/13/2014 10:59 pm

    This is pretty impressive. I’m always curious as to how people grow their FB likes without much advertising, considering how FB has manipulated the algorithms that affect how people find pages and view the content. Thanks for this.

  2. Leland

    10/21/2014 7:46 am

    “I’ve been writing for the web since 2005; that’s nine years. For the first five years, I didn’t see the worth in email.”

    I think that’s one of the main ingredients to their success. They stuck with it long enough to build an audience to the size it is. That’s really hard to do.

  3. vietmanh13789

    10/26/2014 12:54 pm

    This is pretty impressive.