Start a Newsletter Business with AI PART 4 – Using AI for audience growth

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Hey Prompt Entrepreneur,

Today is a fun one – we’re going to start getting our newsletter out into the world and start audience build.

The basic idea here is to leverage social media networks to grow an audience then use a special technique to get those audience members over into our newsletter list.

Let’s get started:

Using AI for audience growth

1. Creating a name for your Tribe

You have probably noticed in my email newsletter that I start every edition with:

“Hey Prompt Entrepreneur”

This is a conscious decision to carve out a Tribe.

Seth Godin famously introduced this concept into marketing. You can learn more about it here: Seth’s Blog.

The short version though is : a Tribe is a group of people connected to one another connected to a leader and connected to an idea.

In our case:

  • We are connected via Twitter (if you’re not come join us here
  • I’m the “leader,” as much I don’t want to be (!), because you are reading this
  • We are connected around the idea of using AI to start and grow businesses

You need to do the same with your newsletter business. You need to become the leader, the authority, the voice that people want to listen to.

The first part of this is coming up with a name for your tribe. This starts to help people identify.

We use “Prompt Entrepreneurs”. That’s who we are.

Let’s work out your tribe name.

Act as Seth Godin, marketing thought leader and author of Tribes.

I write a newsletter about [topic] 

The name of the newsletter is [name of newsletter]
Here is a description of the newsletter: 

#start description#

[insert newsletter description]

#end description# Give me 10 possible catchy, easy to say Tribe names. Give me a mission statement and a vision statement.

Plug in details that we created using ChatGPT in Parts 2.

Prompt Output 💬

This gives me a couple of jumping off points for my Tribe name, as well as some additional information about the mission and vision of the newsletter.

As always ask for more examples if needed. And if they need a tone change say something like “less serious” and you’ll get more fun names. That gave me “AI Avengers” which could be a lot of fun – telling my AI Avengers to assemble!

Use this Tribe name in all your newsletters that you publish from now on. And sprinkle it into social media too when relevant.

2. Choosing a social platform

Our best tool in getting initial subscribers, for free, to our newsletter is via social media marketing.

The best tool overall is paid advertising – but that should come later once you’ve proven the business model and want to scale.

For now we’re going to leverage social media using a specific technique we’ll develop in the remainder of this part.

There are MANY different techniques you could use but I’m going to give you ONE surefire method to build an audience and gain subscribers.

Act as a social media strategy expert

I want to promote a newsletter called [title]
The topic is [topic]
I will be using a DM giveaway as the primary mechanic to build my audience initially. 

I am choosing the best social media platform to use.

Provide me with different social platform options, their pros and cons and rank them by attractiveness.

Expand on your top choice in detail.

Prompt Output 💬

This was using my own newsletter and LinkedIn and Twitter are my primary platforms.

I actually use Twitter as primary and LinkedIn as secondary but ChatGPT’s analysis is spot on. The high frequency and effort required for Twitter is why ChatGPT chose to put it in #2 instead of #1 but for me personally that’s not a problem, hence it being top choice.

Run this analysis on your own newsletter to come up with suggestions.

Still in doubt? Use Twitter. It’s the main platform for a lot of growing newsletters. And very likely it will work for you too.

3. The DM giveaway strategy

Building an audience from scratch on any social media platform is difficult. I can’t cover a full strategy here, especially for multiple platforms. Well – I could…but for your sanity we’re keeping it simple!

Instead we’re going to focus on a tried and tested method called a DM giveaway.

The basics are:

  • you create something of value.
  • you talk about it on social media
  • for someone to get it they need to follow you, like your post and comment that they want it
  • you DM (direct message) the thing to them

That’s sort of it.

It works on all social media platforms but best on Twitter. Especially when combined with tools like Tweethunter that do the DM’ing for you automatically.

It’s easier with an example. Here’s one I made earlier:

This tweet told people about something of value : a new prompt playbook.

It gives them instructions to follow, like the post and comment Blog on the post.

As soon as they do that they get sent this follow up:

What’ we’ve done is:

  1. Gain a new follower
  2. Gained like + comment engagement on the original tweet (which in turn means it will be seen more)
  3. Plugged your newsletter in the DM so people can then subscribe
  4. Delivered something valuable to your new audience member so they become a huge fan.

That’s the play. Capiche?

It works on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other platform where you can DM the individual.

I’m going to focus on Twitter because i) it’s generally the best platform for newsletter audience growth and ii) there are powerful tools to automate the DM’ing process.

First though: we need something of value to give to audience members!

4. Creating a Lead Magnet

“Lead magnet” is a term we use in online marketing.

It basically means something attractive (like a magnet!) that brings in leads for our business.

An eBook we give away in exchange for an email? That’s a lead magnet.

A free consultation in exchange for a telephone number? That’s a lead magnet.

A free Notion guide to AI in exchange for a Twitter follow, like and comment? That’s a lead magnet.

Lead magnets take a huge amount of forms. But there are similarities.

Lead magnets need to be:

  • Valuable to the audience member
  • Short and easily consumable

What the exact form and content of the lead magnet will be will depend entirely on your topic and expertise.

Let’s use ChatGPT to help us brainstorm some possibilities:

Act as a marketing strategist

Help me create a list of lead magnet ideas for my newsletter

The goal is to get people to engage with my social media content in exchange for this lead magnet. 

My topic is [topic]

The lead magnet must be highly valuable, unique not generic and easily consumable (ie. less than 5 minutes to read, watch, listen to)

Give me a list of 10 possible lead magnets including title, format and brief description.

Prompt Output 💬

Choose the ones that you like and ask for ChatGPT to expand.

For example I like the first one here. I simply put “Create Option 1” into ChatGPT and get given a checklist to use as my lead magnet.

From there adapt using your own expertise and style. Don’t just copy/paste ChatGPT as your lead magnet.

Why? Well: it’s lazy.

But also remember this is the first big interaction people will have with you. You need this first interaction to leave them stunned – “wow! they gave away a lot of valuable information here!” Leave a first good impression.

5. Preparing your DM giveaway

Nearly there – we need a handful more elements to launch your giveaway.


  • Giveaway tweet
  • Thank you message
  • Optional – automation for DMs

For the giveaway tweet use this prompt to get started:

Act as a [social media platform] engagement expert

Write a post for a DM giveaway post and a thank you message.

##instructions for giveaway post begin##

The giveaway is for this lead magnet:
#begin lead magnet#

[copy/paste text of lead magnet]

#end lead magnet# To receive the lead magnet they must follow, like the post and comment “DM”. Add these details. ##instructions for giveaway post end## ##instructions for thank you message begin## Write a thank you message that delivers the lead magnet. Add a thank you Add a placeholder for me to add a link to the lead magnet Add a plug for the newsletter [name] with the link [link] suggesting they sign up Sign off ##instructions for thank you message end##

Replace [social media platform] with whichever platform you are using, ie. Twitter, LinkedIn.

Is your lead magnet video or audio? Copy paste the script in here. It’s just to give context to ChatGPT about what the content is.

Prompt Output 💬

From here just plug in the details like the link to the lead magnet. I personally use Notion, which allows me to easily share documents to the web via a public link.

For the actual giveaway you can certainly do it manually, especially initially when volume will be low. Just have your thank you message somewhere easy to access and copy paste it to anyone who signs up.

If you want to automate it though TweetHunter is fantastic. That’s what I personally use and recommend it highly.

Pulling it together

In this part we’ve fleshed out a single tactic for building your audience using social media.

It’s my belief that having one strong strategy is better than 10 weak strategies. Don’t spread yourself thin.

Instead focus on one thing, get it working and automated, then onto the next.

I’ll explore social media platforms and growth in more depth in other guides but right now just nail one audience growth channel using the technique above.

We’re moving into the end of the week now.

Tomorrow is monetisation and howe actually make money from our newsletter. Fun!

Part 1: Understanding Newsletters and AI Tools

Part 2: Setting up your newsletter

Part 3: Content Creation with AI – Part 1

Part 4: Content Creation with AI – Audience Building

Part 5: Monetization: Advertising and Sponsorships

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