10x Your E-mail List With This Simple Mind-Shift.

Plus examples.

Maya Sayvanova
4 min readMay 31


Photo by George Milton: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-smart-woman-reading-book-on-floor-7034697/

The afternoon sun spills through my windows, and I know my kids will be back from preschool in an hour or so. I don’t have the energy for more productive work, but I’m still in work mode. That’s when I like to set aside some time for learning.

So the other day, I was sitting on my couch, drinking my third latte for the day (motherhood!), listening to the She Means Business podcast with Carrie Green, which I love, and I hear a piece of advice I keep hearing.

Don’t overthink the freebie.


I can see the positives of this advice. First, it empowers you to act. As Neil Bradman puts it, 90% of marketing doesn’t work because it doesn’t get done. It’s better to have any freebie and grow your e-mail list slowly than not at all.

Second, this advice implies that you can (and should) create multiple freebies. With marketing, testing is always better than assuming, so trying different freebies drastically increases your chance of success.

But this could be keeping you stuck.

The problem is this advice makes you underestimate the freebie. Remember:

  • People won’t get something just because it’s free. They should see the value in it.
  • The freebie isn’t technically free. Prospects pay for it with their e-mail, their time, and their attention. Those are things you should value beyond instant money because they define your relationship with your prospects, and that relationship can make or break your business.

Here’s another way to look at it.

You should be comfortable charging anywhere from $5-$100 for any freebie you create. There’s still no need to overthink it. It can and should be simple. Yet, this simple mind-shift makes you focus on the value you’d provide rather than on your need to grow your list.

Most freebies I download are things I’d pay for. Seeing that I can get them for free is just an additional benefit, the icing on the cake. It’s not why I want them.



Maya Sayvanova

I've been running a one-person business for 10 years. Let me show you how to start & grow your own. Join the community: https://1personbusiness.substack.com/

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