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From 0-32K in one year: Loïc Le Meur’s entrepreneurial email journey Pt. 1

In this three part blog series, find out how entrepreneur Loïc Le Meur grew his email list to 32k subscribers in just one year.

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If you follow the Mailjet blog regularly, you’re probably well aware of the importance of building your list without purchasing data or by using other black-hat email practices. Even though using honest list building practices takes time, the results are definitely worth it.

To talk about email success stories, we sat down with Loïc Le Meur, a successful entrepreneur and blogger currently based in San Francisco. He started his entrepreneurial career in France by founding several startups, most of which were eventually acquired by larger companies. He relocated to San Francisco to launch a startup called Seesmic, which was acquired by Hootsuite in 2012.  He also co-founded the Le Web conference, an event centered around blogging and other web-based initiatives.

First, why email?

As you can probably imagine, his previous success brought him quite a social following. But even with over 100K Twitter followers, he became frustrated with social media when he started working on a new venture in November of 2015. He found that the algorithms on these platforms determine and limit what followers see, and he didn’t want those restrictions as he continued to expand his personal and professional reach, especially as he planned to start a new company from the ground up. Like most entrepreneurs, Le Meur was no stranger to experimenting, so he decided to try email as his new channel for outreach.

Who could he email?

With absolutely no email list, he decided to start by reaching out to his existing network of 200K Facebook followers and 100K Twitter followers. His messaging was simple: “I’m starting a new company from the ground up. Join my email list to follow my journey.”

His message was spot on, and captured 2000 initial subscribers to his newsletter in 24 hours from his Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, Le Meur now had a new challenge to face: creating, sending and delivering his emails. Going blindly into the world of emailing, Le Meur sought a solution that was not only fit for a beginner, but also one that would grow with him as his skills and email list increased. His search led him to a Facebook Live session by Julien Tartarin, Mailjet’s former co-founder, and he decided to try Mailjet.

What do the readers want?

Now that he had the list, he had to figure out what he was going to send them. He decided that simplicity would be the main goal of his newsletter. He chose to keep his design as close to a personal, text-only email as possible, in order to create the feeling of a one-to-one conversation. His future subscribers would have an insider’s view of the entire startup creation process as he provided day to day examples of the life of an entrepreneur. The experience would be similar to writing a personal blog in the form of an email.

The weekly newsletters feature summaries of the previous week, including authentic experiences with both victories and failures. He also occasionally shares emails that he’s sent to investors to constantly give his subscribers open access to the highs and lows of starting and growing a successful business.

By creating his campaigns using Mailjet’s Passport tool, he designed a simple template to make his newsletter look as close to a personal email as possible. He also utilized the campaign statistics within the Mailjet App to analyze open and click- through rates. “I use statistics to understand my subscribers. It helps me to understand where people actually click, which is sometimes quite different from what I expect,” Le Meur explains. Based on the statistics, Le Meur would adjust his subject lines and text placement throughout his emails. Le Meur also allows his subscribers to see his weekly statistics to show the subject lines that have performed well. If you'd like to see the newsletter for yourself, you can subscribe to his updates here.

Was it worth it?

As a result of building his audience by leveraging his resources and creating relevant content to keep users engaged, Le Meur managed to grow his list to 32,000 subscribers within his first year. He’s also seen success by marketing his events through his newsletter, with his most recent event selling out.

Stay tuned on the Mailjet blog to find out how he continued to grow his audience after his initial jump in subscribers. If you’d like to know more about Loïc Le Meur, you can find him on Twitter or Medium.

What methods have you used to grow your email list? Tell us on Twitter using #EmailMarketing!

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