Zero to 100k Email Subscribers (In A Week)

Howdy! Nathan Sykes here. Thank you for joining me on one of our first long-form podcast episodes. A few housekeeping things before we jump into our topic (email marketing!) this week:

  •  A blog post comes out every single weekday! I don’t bother with email list nonsense, but please bookmark me or refer me to a friend – I’d really appreciate it!
  • If you have some cash to burn, I’m a speaker and consultant about traditional marketing, but more specifically teen entrepreneurship and the public school system. Check my services out here – let’s do some work together!
  • Every single one of my blog posts is converted into a podcast over at The Teen Entrepreneur. If blog posts aren’t your thing, we have you covered. Podcasts are released every single day, just like the blog posts.
Today’s post is about the uber-successful launch of Harry’s. You may know them as a men’s grooming & lifestyle brand.
 
They did the world a personal favor of open-sourcing all of their code and templates, so I’ll be linking to those so you can pull this off as well. Harry’s successfully gathered 100,000 valid email addresses in 7 days from interested prospects. It’s the type of marketing that we only dream of, and yet they’ve open-sourced everything. Why aren’t more people taking advantage of this?
 
I know I personally am – as a lot of you know, I’m currently in the middle of working on a few very secret projects. I plan to market at least one of these with the methodology that the Harry’s engineering team has laid out for us here.
 

The idea for their campaign was built around the concept of referrals. They thought that the most powerful marketing tool was somebody saying something good about Harry’s – not because they were paid to, but because they wanted to. Their thinking led them to create a campaign based entirely around referrals.

The concept was simple – they’d send a promotional site out to everyone they knew. Out of the people who liked it, they’ll send the promotional site over to everything they know who thinks they’ll like it. So on, and so forth. 

The job of knowing who-referred-who is detected through a unique referral code. And the most important part: people were incentivized to refer because they could win free Harry’s product.

The Site Design

The design of the prelaunch website was painstakingly simple. It was two pages – a splash page, and a “refer-a-friend” page.
 
The splash page did nothing but collect emails. This was important to capture emails for the list, and to implement the technology used to be able to track referrals.

It was painstakingly simple, and impossible to misunderstand – they wanted your email, they had razors. This still remains one of the shining examples of permission marketing to this day.

The second page was where all of the magic happened. The referral system was on page two, and contained each person’s unique shareable link, as well as options to post the link on social media at the click of a button.

It automatically generates a unique code every time an email is entered, and forever associates that code with that email address. The code is then pasted on the end of a URL, and is displayed as the shareable link. Now whenever somebody visits the shareable URL, since it has the code in it, when people sign up using the URL, the system can detect it and assign a referral point towards the referrer.

Professional Resources
Talk about having everything ready! Harry’s open-sourced their entire prelaunch campaign. Everything is accessible.

For the Github file, click here. For a direct download to the code, click here.

The app is built on Rails, and requires technical knowledge to deploy. If you’re unfamiliar, don’t hesitate to hire a freelancer. I recommend UpWork for all freelancing services.

Take a look at this – this might be well applied in your own business! If you want a more in-depth overview of the way this system and the methodology behind it works, today’s podcast goes in a little more detail.

Nathan Sykes, over and out – thanks for being here!

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