Create an Upvote Snowball: A Simple Technique to Get 600 Legit Subscribers

Ashley Hockney

| Jun 05, 2015

Recently, Scot Smith from The Retail Propeller Podcast popped up on our Teachable Tribe Facebook Group with this post, and a tactic to kick-start your efforts bringing in 600 legit subscribers in one week.

scot smith facebook post

Dude. That’s awesome. 

And no, Scot currently doesn’t sit with a massive social following on Twitter or Facebook: 

Scot Smith Social Following

Clueing us in, Scot published a PDF to The Teachable Family sharing this new approach that appears like a new tactic. 

We’re calling it an “Upvote Snowball.” 

Here’s a snapshot of how it looks: 

Upvote Snowball

We imagine it works for any type of website where you have upvotes, like Reddit. Getting in touch with Scot, he’s even tested it to effectively work on getting likes and shares Facebook as well. 

It’s a bit technical but seems to work, and fast. I’ll walk you through it. Sit tight. 

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Here’s the Step-by-Step Process How Scot Got 600 Subscribers   

1. Create your website and free offer (e.g. an online course) 

To do this, Scot took content he’d previously created and wrapped it into a free online course called The Retail Propeller University

2. Connect enrollment to email provider (you’ll use this to send an automated email to anyone who’s joined the free course) 

Scot hooked up his own Teachable course, Retail Propellor University, using Zapier to his email provider Campaign Monitor. This got anyone who signed up for his Teachable course to automatically get his prewritten email. 

If you’re not familiar with Zapier, it automates if/then actions cutting down on tedious work you have to do. 

You set a “trigger”, such as someone enrolling in your course, which automates an “action”, sending your email response. 

3. Find the right upvote-oriented community 

Then, Scot tapped into the  Reddit community by creating a coupon code for Redditors to get 100% off of his valuable course for a limited time (boom: scarcity and increased demand).  

Scot mentioned that creating this coupon is essential to the process and something he easily did using Teachable

He also went on to say some nice things about Teachable like, “I highly recommend Teachable as a membership…It’s simply badass and easy to use” 

His words, not ours (I promise). 

Scot suggests pricing the course around $100 to reflect the value of your course and express the deal you’re giving. This is how that looked:


4. Post your offer into the community 

Scot then posted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) in a subreddit that made sense for his topic, in this case

Big disclaimer here: we DO NOT recommend posting anything willy nilly. DO NOT SPAM. 

Help the community, research what’s getting upvoted, mimic it. 

This is Reddit, remember. Post something aimless and annoying and you’ll be called out. 

Here’s how Scot’s open and helpful post looked:

scot smith reddit post

5. Now, your email responder goes into motion. 

Here’s the trick: Scot set up the email autoresponder to offer a bonus course (worth $27) to anyone who joined the course from Reddit IF that person went back to the Reddit post, upvoted, then replied to his e-mail drawing in a huge audience. 

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Scot also kept a list of the e-mail addresses who clicked on his link, boosting his subscriber list. 

Here’s how that automated email he sent looked like in his email provider of choice (Scot used CampaignMonitor, but you could also use MailChimp, or Aweber)

scot smith email autoresponder

Immediately, he started getting emails that hit his inbox that looked like this:

scot smith email autoresponder results

Interested people opted into the course, got the e-mail, and went back to upvote so that they could get instant access to the bonus offer (valued at $27) in his original email autoresponder. 

scot smith reddit comment box

You’ve just incentivized a big community of Redditors to upvote you. 

As your post is upvoted, more people tend to see it, and those people take it seriously, which gives it a chance to be seen by more people. As an added benefit, Reddit posts with more upvotes get more respect and link juice from Google. 

Once Scot’s post picked up momentum, the machine snowballing over and over to 187 comments and 86 upvotes:

upvote snowball simple

Even better, it takes 3 upvotes for your post links to turn from no-follow to do-follow per Reddit’s algorithms. So basically, the higher the number of upvotes your post receives, the higher it will rank on Google for relevant terms. 

The numbers from this single promotion speak for themselves. 

From the first 425 people that joined Scot’s free course, 63 of those people (from the 60% that opened the email) clicked his link to upvote. 

This eventually led to Scot building a following of 600+ subscribers and students in only one week. 

(snow) Baller! 

Note, after the traffic from the post subsided, Scot turned off the autoresponder email. Sure, the post has died and people probably weren’t seeing it, but it’s good to tie up loose ends.  

Sidenote on not being jerk, but still selling something. 

I like what Reddit’s got going. 

The communities are organic, thoughtful, helpful, hilarious and hopefully your course is too. 

A truly beneficial course provides a solution that people need and want. 

We’re all selling something, but knowing your product benefits your audience is the difference between “leveraging for profit” (jerk) and “providing a solution” (not a jerk). 

Win for Redditors. Win for you. High five. 

So you might be wondering, why a course, why not use a different platform? 

Scot told us: “I’ve used this exact method with these same exact resources packaged differently using an Optimize Press 2 Landing page and only got 100 opt-ins. The course with the coupon code really steps it up and makes a huge difference” 

Pretty cool, huh? 

As we mentioned, Scot tested this approach to work well with Facebook likes. Here’s Scot’s call-to-action in an email to a different audience he’d helped with his company Retail Propeller (who happened to get on Shark Tank):

shark tank email autoresponder

From a list of 793, 52 people clicked: 

shark tank email autoresponder results

Here are the kind of responses Scot got:

shark tank email autoresponder comments

Leading to 45 Facebook likes, and 17 shares:

scot smith shark tank facebook post

Not bad! 

But so what? Our Teachable Family is smart, and Debbie here hits on an essential point:

fedora audience conversion question

To make money, you have to convert your audience from free subscribers to paying customers. 

At this point you’ll have to create something your new audience will love – your offer (check out this free course to learn how). 

Keep doing what Scot is here, and you’ll have a trusting audience waiting to hear about what you can offer them. 

Now, you’re the expert! Have you seen this technique before, or were you surprised by Scot’s results? Make my day and share it in the comments below.

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Ashley Hockney is a Content Marketer & Writer. Her background is in food & beverage PR i.e. she wants to talk to you about single malts.