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One simple trick to grow a newsletter to 1+ million subscribers with Sam Parr from The Hustle

Yaro Bagriy
Yaro Bagriy

About this episode: This week we have Sam Parr, the founder of The Hustle, a massively successful newsletter with over 1 million subscribers. In this episode we're diving deep on The Hustles main growth channels, how The Hustle got its first 150k subscribers, how Sam would grow a newsletter to 1 million subscribers today, optimizing the overlooked parts of your newsletter, and so much more.

Episode Sponsor: EmailOctopus
"EmailOctopus has the flexibility to design great-looking newsletters that stand out. The best part is it's free until 2,500 subscribers."
Join the Newsletter Crew
Want to build a successful newsletter? Join the community and connect with successful newsletter creators who can help.
8 Quick Tips to Double Your Newsletter Landing Page Conversion Rate
Getting traffic to your landing page is difficult and converting them is even difficult. In this detailed guide, we will focus on the latter. With minor tweaks to your landing page, you can increase your conversion rate significantly and get more subscribers despite getting the same website visitors.

This is part 1 of the episode and part 2 has the second half of the call. If you’re interested in part 2, then become a member of the Newsletter Crew.

We're also announcing that we are launching our very own newsletter referral software, just like The Hustle uses for massive growth in their newsletter. So if you're interested in growing your newsletter effectively with less effort, then send an email to to get on the list.

Show Notes & Insights:

  • Sam Parr's main growth channel was blogging and making it viral. Putting out viral and controversial topics with click-worth headlines lead to millions of page views. Naturally a small percentage of those visitors subscribed to The Hustle.
  • After you've reached 100k+ subscribers paid marketing will be one of the main growth channels for your newsletter.
  • Finding profitable acquisition channels for your newsletter is the key to massive newsletter growth. To do this, you'll need every metric you can get. Subscriber acquisition cost, landing page conversions, subscriber lifetime value, etc.
  • You don't need to be an SEO master to create a popular massive newsletter. All you need to do is get as many people to your landing page as possible. That could be through anything!
  • If you're going to post a blog on Reddit or any community, you must provide value first before plugging in your newsletter. Even then there will be times where it will backfire and get you banned. That's the nature of some of these online communities.
  • Here are the steps when writing viral content:
  1. Where is this going to get popular?
  2. What subjects will actually spark interest to go viral for that audience?
  • The way the internet works is if you write cool content, it will rank high. Viral content will get linked to.
  • Engineer your content for vitality. This will take a lot of work, sometimes months. But the payout is well worth the effort.
  • Growing a newsletter is hard but very simple.
  • The strategy the will always work to grow your newsletter is to just keep getting people to your landing page. It's worked in the past and it will work in the future. Only a small percentage will actually be your true fans, but that's okay since you're constantly driving massive traffic.
  • Twitter is one of the best channels today to grow massively. The platform is much more popular than it was even a few years ago.
  • Facebook groups is a popular and trending way to grow an audience and get big. Start one around your niche and keep driving traffic to it. Then funnel them into your newsletter.
  • Focus on one or two channels at most, then go all in on those. That will lead to the best growth for your newsletter.
  • Emotions get shared more. Outrage being the biggest shared emotion on the internet. So if you want content to go viral then write something that causes outrage.
  • Look for content ideas that cause certain emotions that are correlated to sharing and clicking. Anything that causes outrage does well or content that uncovers something extraordinary.
  • People have been complaining about newsletter fatigue since the beginning of the internet. Don't think about it. There are billions of people on the internet, you can find enough to build a successful newsletter.
  • The newsletters that are second tier should be worrying about fatigue. Top newsletters aren't worried about it nor are they affected by it. Focus on making your newsletter a top tier newsletter.
  • A few things that effect email deliverability
  1. The actual code that you send
  2. Being whitelisted with email platforms (like gmail)
  • A few tips on getting a 50%+ open rate:
  1. Focus on email deliverability
  2. Scrub your list like crazy
  • Setup automations to automatically scrub your newsletter. If you're a daily newsletter, a good starting point would be 30-days of consecutive no opens. Once they hit that 30-day mark, push them into an automated email sequence to see what's up. If they don't open that or answer that, then remove them from your list.
  • Optimizing your newsletter subscribe page is a really good idea to improve retention.
  • Put work into places that are often forgotten:
  1. Welcome email
  2. Thank You page
  3. Unsubscribe page
  4. Confirmation page (if you have double opt-in)

Newsletter + Guest Info:

Yaro Bagriy

Podcast host & community manager