How DroneU Launched It’s Pilot Training Program with a Giveaway (62,907 Signups in 7 Days!)

The team behind DroneU was flying high.

With just 24 hours left to go on their giveaway, they blasted out a “last chance” message to their social media followers.

And their traffic EXPLODED.

Thousands of hits per minute.

Signups were pouring in, until …

Well, I’ll let Tim Ray tell the story, since he was there.

Tim’s handling the business side of things for DroneU, and the giveaway was his idea.

When I heard about the prize he picked, and his results, I jumped on Skype to find out more.

Here’s how it went.

Josh: I guess first of all, I’d like to hear a little bit about who you are and what you do and your website and what your product is, if any.

Tim: Yeah, sure, no. My name is Tim Ray and I’ve been trying to get into the internet world, internet marketing, for some time to be honest with you, actually for years. I actually run another business, and so just between that and the learning curve, I just haven’t gotten into it yet.

Just in the process of all of that, I’ve met some great people and we’ve partnered up and are creating, really our goal is to create membership sites and one of my partners, is big into drones and that’s, oddly enough, and that’s how that started.

Josh: When you say drones, what uses?

Tim: In his case, he’s actually, he gets paid to fly drones and so he’ll do things like shoot music videos with them. In fact, he was just in Pittsburgh a couple of months ago, I believe. He filmed with a drone there, the Pittsburgh Marathon …

That was one of the first FAA-approved drone flights to do such. It’s the first time a marathon’s ever been videoed with a drone, so he’ll fly all over the country and film events and he only does drone filming for Boarder magazine and things like that, and so it’s really, surprisingly, he just has a ton of business. It’s just constant where he’s got people coming in, you know, like realtors who want to do drone videos of houses for publicity’s sake and everything in marketing.

What we are desiring to do with the company we’re launching called DroneU is to do drone training on not just piloting drones and becoming really efficient in that but also how to turn the passion of flying drones into a business. So that’s really what we’re doing. We haven’t launched yet, we’re going to launch and that’s actually why we were using KingSumo is we had no list at all, zero, and we actually use the giveaway to build our email list.

Josh: What’s your goal here with the email list? What are you trying to achieve?

Tim: What we’re trying to achieve is, Paul, who is my partner, is the drone pilot. He is in drone groups all over and so that was really our way that we were going to get DroneU out there and announce about it and try to draw people to it, but I read your article on Pat Flynn’s blog and what we were going to do initially was to do a giveaway after we launched and then we realized why would we do that? Let’s do the giveaway and try to build an email list of people who are interested in drones so that we have a list to launch to, and so that’s what we did.

We run a contest where we gave away a drone because we knew people interested in drones would be interested in that giveaway and we marketed that giveaway on all those groups and sites that Paul is part of, and that’s how we took off.

Josh: This is going to be to launch your site, then.

Tim: Yes.

Josh: Is it going to be the paid membership site at the launch, or are you looking to just make a splash with the list, or …?

Tim: No, what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a limited launch, we’re calling it, where we’re just going to let in 100 people, and it will be a paid site, yes, but we’re going give a pretty substantial discount to the first 100 people in it and that would be our seed launch to help us formulate what is it that people want with the site, how to build it to make sure it is what they want.

We’re going to have a wide range of people in it, and we know there’ll be some people in it that don’t even own a drone yet but want to and want to know what to do and there’s going to be others who are much more advanced who want to either hone their skills or learn how to make money with it. We’re trying to learn how to best build this membership site so that people get the most value out of it.

Josh: That makes sense. Have you tried building a list before? Is this your first foray?

Tim: This is my first foray.

Josh: Nice, so no previous history to go on, then.

Tim: No, it would be blind leading the blind.

Josh: Had you thought about other approaches before this?

Tim: Yeah, it being, I guess, in the internet marketing world where I’m at least following everybody and learning all that I can, I see how all the people build a list. You’ve got the blogs and you’ve got social media, which I think’s probably the most popular. It just takes time, and so that’s really the biggest thing, is it takes a lot of time to build up a list that big, and so we were looking for ways to not have to take that much time, so I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be the most effective way to build the most passionate list of people. I think that will take time, and that’s going to come over a period of putting out good content and people really liking what you’re doing, but I do think it’s a way to get a list and build it and go from zero to 60 really quick, and that’s what I’m seeing so far.

One thing that we have been, we didn’t just do the giveaway and nothing else. We started our Instagram account and our Facebook account and our Twitter account. Those are really our three mechanisms on the social media footprint that we’re going to focus on, and we’ve been building that following very quickly, but a big way we’ve done that, frankly, is through this giveaway. We’ve really built quite a following already, literally in less than a month, just from the giveaway in having those sites up, so they work together.

Josh: Tell me a little bit about the social media thing. You have the accounts. You probably didn’t have much there. Now, what growth did you see?

Tim: I should have checked that stuff before I got on. I have to go a bit by memory, but I can tell you three weeks ago we had, I think, four likes on our Facebook page. As of right now, we’ve got almost 1000. Our Instagram account we started about a month ago, and we have been, I think we had 14 posts. We’ve got more now, probably 20 or so, but we have, I don’t even know, but last I checked last week, we had about 1200 followers on Instagram, and then Twitter, we’ve got over a couple thousand.

Josh: I’ll take it, right?

Tim: Considering that literally a month ago we had nothing on any of them, it’s been amazing, so yeah, it really helped.

Josh: Tell me a little bit about your giveaway. How’d you structure it? The prize was a drone, you said. Tell me more about that, what kind of drone?

Tim: Yeah, we were giving away really the most popular drone, and we wanted to do that knowing it would get the most pub, I guess, and that’s, was a DJI Phantom 2, Version 2. I don’t know why they did that. It’s really the Phantom 3. They did the version Phantom 2, Version 2, and that’s what we started with. I’ll explain later what we ended with and why, but we started with that and yeah, we were going to do a weeklong launch or giveaway with it, and it went really well, and that’s pretty much what we were giving away. It’s about an $1100 prize or so, somewhere in there.

Josh: I don’t know anything about drones, so I’m just curious. What size is this thing? What are some of the uses for it?

Tim: It’s a quad copter, so it’s a four-propeller drone. I think there it’s the most popular just because it’s the most user-friendly, I guess?

Josh: Steve Wilcos has got four.

Tim: Yeah, it’s something that’s got some speed and I’d say it’s the most versatile drone, and as a result, it’s one of the most popular drones.

Some people have them, and in fact, I literally copied what you wrote in our emails are virtually the exact same as yours, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, and I know you had this statement in there, “If you already have a copy of this, we’ll send it to you in cash,” or whatever …

Josh: Right.

Tim: … so I in effect did the same thing, knowing that some people would have that drone and didn’t want to discourage them, and yeah, so it’s just a pretty easy-to-fly drone when it comes to drones, so we figured it would be the most popular one to give away as a result, so that’s why we did it.

Josh: You just had one prize, then, and how long, you said the contest was a week?

Tim: Yeah, we were going to do about, we launched this on Monday, I believe, and we were going to do it for a week.

Josh: Close it out the next Monday.

Tim: Yeah, something like that.

Josh: One thing, just real quick, so from that, usually in my world, anyway, Monday is a bad day to do stuff. Usually Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, people tend to be more responsive … On Monday people are preoccupied with digging out from the weekend, and Friday’s like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t wait for the weekend,” so I usually do Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I have noticed that some things were, where it’s a little more aspirational, stuff you dream about doing, I see more people buying on the weekend and in the evenings, so it depends on your market, I guess, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

Tim: That’s good to know. I appreciate that very much.

Josh: You hinted that you didn’t end up with that prize?

Tim: We ended up with that prize, but we added some stuff because we had some technical difficulties. I reread your post, like I said. Numerous times I actually printed it and I put it in a notebook, and I really tried to cut all the issues off ahead of time so I wouldn’t have the same issues you had, but that did not work so well for me, so I am a technical idiot.

I think in your world of coding and everything, you probably have a lot more technical expertise than I do and I am a total moron when it comes to that, so I called our host account, which was with HostGator, and I simply asked. I told them what I was doing. I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t have the same problem you had, and that’s that your server crashed. I was reassured over and over that wouldn’t happen because I had unlimited everything.

Again, not knowing what I don’t know, I didn’t know what questions to ask, and boy did I have sharp learning curve, when everything went haywire, because what happened is that, the first few days, just trek along with going. I did not know what to expect, by the way, because I felt your results were probably very unusual …

Josh: Yes.

Tim: … and so it’s really hard to go into this with that as my basis and to know what to expect.

I did expect a good response, and it started out well and was going better than I hoped, frankly. I don’t have the day-to-day progression, but the first several days, we had a couple thousand entries which were contestants, so I thought, “This is cool.” I expected at that point to probably get 5,000 to 10,000 emails, and what happened is that, I didn’t know this, because I obviously wasn’t watching it close enough because I didn’t know better, but I should have been watching the traffic more, because as time went on, traffic started to go up a little bit, and what happened is we basically posted about a 24-hour, like a post on our social media account that said, “There’s only two days left,” or something like that, and it went nuts.

At that point, HostGator shut down our account …

What I learned that I didn’t know to ask is we were on a shared server.

Josh: Yes, HostGator, Bluehost typically.

Tim: They didn’t tell me that when I called them originally, and so all of the “Unlimited” that I had, yeah, I had unlimited bandwidth and unlimited whatever, but they didn’t mention to me that I only can use 25% of the shared CPU. I didn’t know that.

I blew it out of the water. They shut us down, and so that was a long 24 hours. We literally ended up being down for 24 hours because what happened is that we couldn’t do anything because it had gone viral, and anytime that the site would come back up, it would immediately go crazy again and then it would go back down. I was just up and down, up and down. Finally, they password-protected the account so that anytime anybody visited the site, they had to enter in a password.

I was literally screwed, because I couldn’t just, I tried everything. I could not opt-, they kept saying, “Well, just optimize it back in.” I’m like, “People, this isn’t an optimization issue. This is a traffic issue. I can optimize it all I want. It doesn’t matter,” so literally, I was toast. I was like, “Okay,” so I …

Josh: This was over the weekend, then, right before …?

Tim: … no, I wish. This was on, let’s see, I started it on that Monday and it ran during that week, and it went crazy on the following Monday I believe, and then we were down from, I got the email from HostGator at 11:00 on Monday night. That’s when it was.

I remember that was 11:03, right when I could do nothing about it, and the next morning I got on it, and we were down from 11 at night on Monday until Wednesday morning. In fact, we re-opened it Wednesday at noon because I had to. What I had to do was, I had to move our entire host account to a new vendor, because there was nothing I could do, so what I ended up doing is going to a VPS, and I did go to Bluehost because they do have VPS and I actually went over there because of Pat Flynn and got my web guy to transfer everything over and relaunched, and it’s great after that.

I expected it to really just be okay, and so just to back up a minute, I learned that we had, that day that they shut me down, we had 318,000 unique visitors to our site.

Josh: Three hundred eighteen thousand? That’s almost as many I had in my whole contest.

Tim: It was nuts. Not everybody registered, so we had at that point, our registrations were going about 80 to 100 an hour before that, and then we shot up to 2000 an hour.

Josh: What happened is you had built the social media following over the previous week, and then when you blasted that out, boom. You had enough momentum there to kick it into high gear.

Tim: At the time it crashed, we were at about 34,000 emails, is when it crashed, and literally, I woke up the morning, it went nuts and we had, I think, 10,000 or so, 12,000 maybe, I can’t remember. I told my wife, I said, “I think we’ll end up with about 15,000.” That’s what I told her. We went from that 12,000 or 10 or so thousand to 34,000 in less than a day, and just, it was amazing, but I was like, “Oh my word, what have we done?”

I figured that we got that high, that is awesome, but we won’t get much more because we’ve been shut down for a day-and-a-half, so that was fun while it lasted. Let’s open it, so what we did, we were keeping people very up-to-date about it on social media, and people were, for the most part, you’ve always got your turds in there, but for the most part people were kind about it, but what we did is we upped the ante and we threw in a Go-Pro camera and also a year’s membership into DroneU when we launch.

We didn’t necessarily feel we had to do that, but we just wanted people, we’re so new, we didn’t want people to think we were some yahoos, even though we are. We just wanted people to know it was just a legitimate problem that we were dealing with and sorry, so we will up the ante.

We relaunched Wednesday at noon and we said we would keep it open for 24 hours and that is it. We said, “It doesn’t matter if it shuts down. We don’t care. We’re going for 24 hours and when it comes to noon Thursday, we’re done,” and it went nuts again. I literally thought we’d end up about 40,000 or so, because I just didn’t think it would go viral again but it did, and so when it was all said and done, we ended up with 62,907 emails.

Josh: Awesome, congratulations.

Tim: Yeah, everything worked the last 24 hours, so that was good, and that’s when I was starting to contact you about, “How do you do this, I need somebody,” because I could not get KingSumo support fast enough, and it’s not their fault, it’s just I was panicking and I was like, “Oh my word, I don’t know what to do.”

I was nervous because I had to move the entire thing over to a new server, and I was like, “I don’t want to screw up the move.”

A couple of things just to tell you is, we scrubbed our list as of right now, and when we went down from 62.9 to 44.8.

Josh: Yeah, I had 353,000 emails, but a bunch of them, like I said, there was 100,000 from one guy, and another 60,000 from somebody else, so it ended up being about, it was about half of the entries were decent.

Tim: We actually have done our first mailout on it. We did a video announcing the winner, so we thought it would be a good initial contact.

What we really learned from that is, we really, next time, I don’t know if there’s a good way to do this, but we uploaded our list in two different groups. We uploaded them as a confirmed group and an unconfirmed group, because we wanted to see how they worked, and what a difference. It’s crazy, and so that’s something we really are going to try to work on next time is I don’t know how to do it, but just really trying to get people to confirm, because it’s night and day with the quality of the list.

Josh: Yeah, so what did you notice, different open rates, different click rates?

Tim: Yeah, so let’s see. We had 36,245 unconfirmed, and 8,646 confirm emails, but the unconfirmed, we had almost 13.5% bounce back, so obviously, we’ve got some more bad emails in there that need to go, but of the confirmed emails, we only had 46 bounce, and so a big, big difference, obviously.

We had 333 opt-outs on unconfirmed, and 205 on confirmed, so that actually was a lot less than I expected.

Josh: Probably a much lower open rate, though, on the unconfirmed.

Tim: That was the big difference. We had 24% opens on unconfirmed and 77% on confirmed. That was shocking to me.

Josh: Yes, well, that’s not surprising. Some of those are going to be people that, you can’t avoid this. People will enter other people’s email addresses.

Tim: We had that. I couldn’t believe that. I had one lady contact saying, “Don’t email me again,” and I just replied. I tried to reply to everybody, just being nice, but she told me she didn’t enter that. I was like, “Really?”

Josh: Yeah. One thing I did is try to be upfront with people. I framed it in the email I sent to the unconfirmed people, I was like, “Hey, your email address was used to enter this contest. If you don’t want to hear from me again, here’s the link to unsubscribe. I’m very sorry. I won’t bother you again,” and then I gave them a slightly different message than I gave the confirmed people …

Tim: That’s smart.

Josh: … yeah, and people seemed to appreciate that. I definitely got a nice number of bounces like you did. I got one or two spam complaints. MailChimp slapped my wrist a little bit. Did you use MailChimp, by the way?

Tim: No, we have InfusionSoft, and we just went through it.

Josh: You are a heavy hitter, there.

Tim: Yeah, that’s another part of our learning curve, is InfusionSoft, totally.

Josh: I bet that’s expensive too, that list you have now.

Tim: Yeah, it ended up, that’s another thing that we didn’t account for when we had this list. We’re like, “Oh wow, we have to pay more because we didn’t think.” Thinking now, so it ended up being another 150 bucks a month.

Josh: That’s not too bad, though.

Tim: It’s not as bad as we thought it would be, and it’s going to go down, because the threshold was 45,000, just barely over it.

Josh: That’s not too, too bad, and you’ve got potentially this business. This has some serious revenue potential, so 150 bucks isn’t, in a month will be a drop in the bucket to you, probably.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely. I sure hope so, let’s put it that way, so I think when it’s all said and done, we’ve got almost 63,000 emails and I think when it’s all over, we’ll probably end up with, I don’t know, let’s say 30-ish thousand that are, we have a very good start. We started with nothing and really are seeing just a, it’s just cool. We’ll see. We’re going to do this limited launch here in a couple of weeks, and so that’s really going to be the tell-tale, but we have a start at least.

Josh: Yeah, the way I look at this, if you built this list, say mine, we’ll say, right now I have 82,000 people on my list. I’ve trimmed it down, trimmed it down to try to keep the cost down, but for me to build a list of 82,000 people would probably have taken years, 10, 15, 20 years the way I was going before, so I’m going to get a lot more unresponsive people with a giveaway like this, but if you think about it over the 10 or 20 years, how many of those people are going to drop off anyway, so you’re getting a mix of people.

You’re accelerating the growth from 10 years to 10 days, so you end up with a similar mix where you’ve got completely unresponsive people and then hyper-responsive people and everything in between, and you’ll probably end up with similar numbers to what you would have ended up with in 10 years, if that makes sense.

Tim: I would absolutely rather go through the having to scrub people in the list and figure out who’s good and bad and then wait that time, because I agree with you. I hear about these guys who have a ton of people on their list, but that’s just because they built.

Josh: They have 500,000 people on their list, but really only 5,000 of them actually are good customers.

Tim: Exactly, that’s right. I was going to say, they have a big list, but they have the same issues. That’s just huge, but the bulk majority of them are unresponsive.

Josh: Right.

Tim: Yeah, so I have to say that, “Gosh, would I do this again in a second,” and we are going to do this again. We’re already planning our next one, and so I just, and there’s no doubt that what KingSumo’s created here is brilliant because it’s all about the sharing. It wouldn’t happen without giving the entries and being able to go share. That’s really what it all comes down to.

Josh: What, aside from the social media initially, you mentioned some groups. What promotion strategies did you use to kick it off?

Tim: Nothing very detailed or difficult. Again, I really tried to follow what you did, and you had three ways and that was your email list, your social media, and then you also contacted some people, that you let them know about it in the hopes that they would pick it up, essentially.

We did the same thing except for we didn’t have a list so we didn’t use a list. We had created our social media accounts and we’re pushing it there and promoting it. I think that may have been a little bit different than what you did, I don’t know, but we actually did a lot of paid promotion to targeted groups of drone-type people, and then also the pilot Paul, our pilot, he was part of Facebook groups of drone people that we could post to, so I don’t know that I necessarily felt that ended up doing a ton for us, because those people seemed skeptical I guess sometimes, so I think a lot of our paid promotion is what really worked to get the word out, but …

Josh: Did you do Facebook ads, Twitter ads?

Tim: Facebook ads, yeah.

Josh: What engagement did you see on, have you done any Facebook ads before?

Tim: I don’t do a lot of them, Paul. He actually, what he was before, he was a social media expert. He knows that really well. Our engagement was through the roof. At one point, we had an increase of seven figures in our engagement, which I know is ridiculous, but that’s just again, because we started from basically nothing, so our engagement, in my opinion, looks a little skewed just because of where we started, but we had amazing engagement, and that’s what I frankly loved about this the most is it was really neat to see them buzz. That’s what was really cool. We could see the buzz on Twitter and Facebook where we could see people talking about it, and that was really cool.

Josh: How much did you spend in ads, do you think?

Tim: No more than 500 bucks, so we did about, probably four to six posts, that was it. We didn’t do a ton of posts, and then we would promote some a little bit and then we would see which ones were really doing well and we would push a fair amount out. Yeah, probably around 500 or less.

Josh: Yeah, probably around, so for the whole contest, you’re looking at around …

Tim: Two grand.

Josh: … yeah, two grand.

Tim: Yup. I felt two grand for a list of that many emails, and it’s far better than trying to go buy a list, in my opinion, because what we couldn’t have bought was just the pub around this social media reach that we got, and we’ve already had, in fact, I just got an email this morning from a guy who is here locally and they’re doing an event in July that they want us to do a demonstration for, so things like that, Paul has gotten some business out of it to go fly, so it’s been cool to see that, and so time will tell now, because we really, I want to see how this works once we actually launch. That’s really going to be the interesting thing next.

Josh: What’s your timeline then for launching?

Tim: We’d like to launch next week. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think it’s going to be the week after, and what we’re going to do is a really simple video where we have one of the other partners interview Paul and try to build some more of that social crew from authority into what he does and what we’re doing. That is one thing I will say that I did find a little bit challenging about this tactic to build your list before you ever launch and people know really what you do, is it was not really, what we were going to do initially is we were going to do this, we were running this giveaway. We were going to end the giveaway and the next day we were going to launch, but what I realized is, nobody knows who we are.

They know we’re DroneU and that we’re giving away a drone, but they don’t know who we are, so we, halfway through the giveaway we bagged that idea, realizing that would not work, and so what we started to do was in our social media posts and everything, give really short statements about what we do, because that is the challenge with doing this giveaway for this purpose, is people will find out from the giveaway because they want what you’re giving away, but they don’t necessarily have a clue, nor do they frankly even care who you are, so we’ll see how that goes, because we’re going to have to really build authority quick so people know who we are.

Josh: Yeah, the way I think about it is that you’re not so, traditionally, building an email list with blogging and that sort of thing, you’re building an audience. Here what you’re doing is getting traffic.

Tim: That’s right.

Josh: You’re getting people, you’re not getting their attention, you’re getting a handle on them so that you can earn their trust later, and so it’s a different, you’re getting people to raise their hand and say, “I’m interested in this,” but you’re not, like there’s no connection there. It’s all on you after the fact.

Tim: Absolutely, yeah, and I’m not sure how that’s going to go. It’s a problem I don’t mind having.

Josh: What’s your strategy? Have you thought that far so far, or how are you going to win trust with this group of people?

Tim: Yeah, we’re still talking that through, and I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, you probably know that by now,” but those are reasons we’re not launching next week because we’re really trying to think through the best way to go about this.

I think our strategy isn’t necessarily going to be anything new, then everything I’ve learned, and that’s just we’ve got to build our trust with them by building our authority and that we know what we’re talking about and really showing them the transformation.

I’ve followed Jeff Walker for a while and he’s pretty just constantly, “It’s 80% transformation and 20% stuff,” and really, that’s what we’re going to go after, is, there’s really not a community of drone people and enthusiasts that are really coming together to help each other, number one, but number two also, a place that’s, there are places out there that train people to be pilots, but they don’t train them to make money at it, and that’s really what we’re going to focus on is teaching people how to become expert pilots and make money at it.

We’re going to get people in there that don’t want to make money at it but they do want to be an expert pilot, so we’re going to get those people too, but I think that that’s really, well, we have to go after and just build that trust and authority over time, which is also why to say, “We’re going to do this limited launch, because I think doing a huge launch right now would, it would probably work to some degree, but if we can just get 100 people, that’s the other thing that I think will work for us, is scarcity.

Josh: Yup, absolutely.

Tim: If we create that scarcity, I think we can get 100 people out of a list of 40,000 people. I think we can find 100 people who …

Josh: I think you’re going to find 100 people in 10 minutes.

Tim: … I hope so, I really do, and then we’ll put them on a waiting list, then we’re literally just take 100 and refine it, and we’re not going to do it for long. We’re only going to do a 30- or a 45-day wait, but it’ll give us an opportunity to survey these people and really find out what they want.

Josh: This business you guys have on your hands now seems really solid, to me.

Tim: I appreciate that. To me, I do hope so because I’m telling everybody we just have to stay two steps ahead of everybody right now. There’s so much to do, it’s a little crazy.

Josh: Let’s wrap it up here. Any last-minute lessons learned other than what we’ve covered?

Tim: Not really. I guess I just say this, KingSumo works. I should say this to you as well, I did do KingSumo on another thing before I did this launch and it was a bomb, and so what I learned from that end, it wasn’t anything related to this, it was a whole another thing that my wife and I work with on, and what I learned from that is really if you’ve got, I felt what worked for you and what ended up working for us is we had a market that, number one, was trained to buy, and number two, is very passionate about what they do.

I feel if you’ve got that market and you’ve got a product that they all use in that market, it’s almost unavoidable that this will happen, and the one that we did that was a total bomb, the market was trained to buy it, there’s no doubt, and they were a passionate market, but I just don’t think it was a very exciting giveaway, to them at least, because it was things that they could get easily on their own that they often would have. It wasn’t a big-ticket item, and I felt that’s really what makes this work is a valuable prize that is a reach for some of them.

Josh: My prize was only 70 bucks, but I think what helped me a lot is that it’s a piece of software, it has an unlimited free trial, but it is in your face all day. Every time you save a file, every third time you save the file if you haven’t registered it and paid for it, you get a pop-up, and I’ve seen people complain about this pop-up so much, and so I actually mention that in the text of my giveaway, “Get rid of that stupid pop-up that you hate,” and I think, if it had just been a $70 product, it might not have gone as well, but since it was a product they were using all day every day and it was constantly nagging them, I think that increased the value.

Tim: Absolutely. We’ll wait and see, and we’ll go from there.

Josh: I definitely want to hear more about your launch …

Tim: Absolutely.

Josh: … and I’d love to hear more about your strategy for warming these people up, too.

Tim: Absolutely, we’ll do that. I appreciate it.

Josh: Thanks for your time.

Tim: Thanks, Josh. I appreciate your article. It was a big help, and for just responding to my email. I really do appreciate the help.

Josh: You’re welcome.

Tim: Big help.

Josh: If you’ve got questions, hit me up as you’re developing your strategy here.

Tim: I’ll definitely do it.

P.S. Want to run your own giveaway? You can get a 50% discount on KingSumo Giveaways, the same tool that Tim used to rocket DroneU’s list to 62,907 signups in just 7 days.

Click Here for 50% Off KingSumo Giveaways

Devin Rose - February 18, 2015

Wow, that guy did awesome like you Josh. I got to try King Sumo. One thing I’m concerned about is, I also have a shared hosting plan through LunarPages that could explode if I get this much traffice.

The other question I have is: once you have that many emails, do you really need to have an expensive product to pitch to them to make it worthwhile to keep such a big list (that you pay a large monthly bill for)? What if you only have inexpensive products (e.g. $12 ones)?

    Josh Earl - February 18, 2015

    Hey Devin,

    Great questions here.

    If you’re on a share hosting plan, yeah, you have some risk of getting into trouble if the thing goes supernova. It’s really hard to tell if that’s going to happen, though, so I wouldn’t let that stop you. Most giveaways do OK on shared hosting.

    The product question is one I haven’t gotten before. I’m currently paying around $469 for my email hosting. I’m going to be dropping some inactive subscribers soon that’ll get this down to around $400.

    I have two $22 ebooks that I’m not actively promoting right now anymore that bring in around $400 a month, so that covers me there.

    What I’ve been doing lately is partnering up with other people who have good, relevant products and promoting those. Last month a guy paid me $900 to send one email for him, and he got a great result. This month I’m promoting a webinar for a guy who has a book/video package that goes up to $249.

    I don’t have time to create products at the moment, so I’ve had to get creative. 🙂

Spencer Goldade - March 19, 2015

HOLY MOLY, that’s a long read. Sorry, J, I always find you have incredibly valuable and interesting information but I just can’t make it through all of this. Will try and skim for the bullet points.

    Josh Earl - March 19, 2015

    LOL, yep, it’s beast. 🙂

Abhishek - July 9, 2015

Thanks for the 50% discount on Kiing Sumo. I haven’t tried it yet but my next Giveaway will be through King Sumo. Let’s hope that it will be a success story worth covering on your blog 🙂

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