How To Get Your First Email Subscriber

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Issue #104

Subscriber count: 11,127+

I want to make sure this is the most useful newsletter for digital PharmDs.

My most popular newsletters are when I’ve written a solution for a single person’s problem. So I’m going to do more of that! Weekly, I’ll share a received question and its solution to benefit you.

Today’s question is about getting your first email subscriber.

Can you relate?

You’re here because you’re a PharmD who wants to build your own strong brand online.

How do I communicate with my growing number of followers directly? Hoping they see my next post online feels too disheartening and like a stressful waiting game.

How do I get them off social media and into my own world even though I haven’t built anything yet?

How do I even get their email address?

Read on. How you get your first subscriber is wildly different from how you’ll snag your 2,697th.

Here is what to do and the exact script you can use:

How to get your first subscriber?

Easy. Ask your best friend to sign up.

How to get your first dozen subscribers?

Text three dozen people you know. Some will join.

  • Ask a coworker who is having a problem you can solve.

  • Ask that colleague from a few years ago you still stay in touch with.

  • Ask some of your old classmates.

Send a simple email or text such as, “Hey there! I’m working on a cool project about XYZ. I think you’d like it, and you are one of the first I’m asking to share it with. Are you okay with me emailing you regularly? I'll share what I’m learning and ask for your feedback sometimes.”

You can't get 10K subscribers before you get the first dozen.

The first subscribers will come from people who already know and like you.

Ask people in your life to join what you're doing.

Software that you need

When you are first starting, you don’t need expensive software or a CRM. You need a place to gather all the emails you collect. Google Sheets is an ideal for this task.

That is it. Keep it simple. Keep it cheap.

Request an email address and consent to send frequent updates.

What does this look like in practice? Copy all email addresses from GoogleSheets. Paste them into a bcc email message. Send it regularly. (I vote weekly).

Your job is to stay in touch with people who like the subject you are talking about. Don't get stressed. Don't worry about using complicated software like HubSpot or ConvertKit. That will come in time, usually after you have ~100-300 active email addresses. Start sending basic emails to people who already like you.

Why should I start my own list? I’m still figuring things out.

6 reasons why:

  1. Motivation: Committing to a list pushes you to take tangible steps forward.

  2. Direct Communication: Connect directly with people interested in your content.

  3. Niche Practice: Test and develop your niche within a dedicated audience.

  4. Product Development: Build and refine your first products or services.

  5. Direct Outreach: Cultivate the habit of engaging offline with your audience.

  6. Teaching Platform: Convert subscribers into loyal customers; followers can be fleeting.

Creating a list of people is the most important thing you can do to build something people want.

I see many PharmDs who are ‘popular’ online, but they have no email list and no customers. They have no way to teach effectively or monetize their niche working that way. They only have ‘likes’ and those aren’t worth much. Followers are cool, but email subscribers are where a business is born.

My experience with email subscribers:

Email subscribers are a real joy in my life. I get messages from my email opt-in saying things like this:

How cool is that?! People want to hear from you. They want more of what you have to say. So, start giving it to them. It an unselfish thing to do.

The beauty of unsubscribe:

Fear grips you as you think, “Ah! But I don’t want to bother anyone, Jamie!” Never fear, my brave PharmD. If someone subscribes to your email but doesn't like it, they can simply unsubscribe.

I love unsubscribes. It means people don’t want me to email them anymore. So they opt out. Now I never feel like I’m sending someone a message they don’t want to hear. This is the perfect, simple, non-judgmental solution that works well for both of you.

My unsubscribe rate month-over-month is 1.2%. That mean 98.8% of people enjoy getting my emails. Give people the option to opt out, and you won’t feel weird about writing to them every month.

Most PharmDs hate this subscriber advice and won't do it. They will also keep floundering.

  • “It feels weird!”

  • “I don't want to ask people I know. I feel too scared”

  • “I only want strangers online to be my subscribers. Not people I know.”

  • “I'll have an anxiety attack doing this. Feels too salesy/forward”

  • “I just want people to come to me. I don't want to ask anyone to join”

Your ability to ask people you know will set you up to succeed growing to 100, 1K, 10K+ email subscribers.

If you don't dare ask the people you know it is going to be impossible to convert people you don't know to join you.

This exercise is exactly what you need as a developing entrepreneur. It is as much for you as it is for your audience. You’ve simply got to be able to reach out to people and invite them to join you. I know it feels scary. All new things do. Think of it at a digital success muscle you get to start doing reps with every day. It’s not strong now. If you put in the work it’ll become a strength to you going forward that almost no other PharmD has. 💪🏻


Email subscribers are the first thing a digital brand needs.

Your subscribers will give you the best insight. They will confirm the need of your niche and be your first customers.

PharmDs who are serious about making their digital businesses successful & profitable get their first email subscribers early from their own personal network.

You got this. Send that text to your BFF today. Right now, in fact

👋🏻 Jamie

PS-Whenever you're ready, there are 2 more ways Jamie can help you:

  • I'm building a waitlist for my private community of digital PharmDs building their own thing online. This group will turn your expertise into influence and your silence into success. Join here

  • Hit reply to this email with a problem you’re facing in starting/growing your digital business. Chances are I’ll write a newsletter to solve your problem if it applies to others.

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