Anatomy of a Successful Newsletter Launch

108 subscribers in 48 hours

October 28, 2020

On Monday I launched my newsletter on Substack, The MVP Sprint. I'm chronicling my journey to validate an idea and build an MVP - adapting the popular Design Sprint methodology to the startup launch process.

Going into it, I didn't know what to expect. I've never built in public like this before. I've shared articles in the past that were met with nothing but crickets. But this one was different.

I've gained 108 subscribers in the first 48 hours since launch.

I'm going to share the blueprint I followed and the metrics it produced to help out future newsletter newbs like myself.

Where did I share it?

Everywhere I could think of! Here's some details on individual channels:

Indie Hackers

I shared this post in the "Building in Public" group. This seemed like the most relevant place to share it, but with 359 members, I wasn't sure if it would get many eyeballs.

As of right now, it has 34 upvotes, 26 comments, and 811 views. Not bad! It started off quite slow, seemed to pick up steam after the IH email newsletter went out, and then picked up a lot more after this shoutout from the @IndieHackers Twitter account.


I shared a tweet storm from my personal twitter account to my modest group of <300 followers (at the time). A few of my friends gave me Twitter shoutouts and retweeted me.


I shared a post on my personal Linkedin. It currently has 72 reactions, 20 comments, and 3,318 views within the news feed.

I also tried out the new Linkedin stories, but had <15 views in the first 24 hours. I probably won't do this again.


I posted in the following subreddits:

I did my best to give as much value as possible within the posts themselves - only with a modest link at the end to the newsletter. And I tweaked the content for each subreddit to make it more relevant.

Outside of a few haters, folks on Reddit were super supportive. I received lots of friendly DM's and emails from people saying they loved the story and even wanted to help out.


I threw together some images on Figma and shared a 2-part story on my personal Instagram where I have 585 followers. Outside of a few supportive messages from friends, I can't really pull out the IG contribution to subscriber count.

Instagram Story - first screen
Instagram Story - second screen

These are the same assets I used for my Linkedin story.


I tried syndicating my first article to Medium. So far it has 12 views and 3 "reads". Not sure if I'll continue this or not. Long-term I'll want to harness the SEO benefits on my own domain and syndicated content without a canonical tag won't do me any favors there.

Substack Stats

Engagement on the first article :
Article 1 stats

The view count feels accurate, but I'm not reading much into the "40 free signups after reading this". Maybe this means lots of people subscribed without reading?

Here's the breakdown of visits and and signups by channel:

Article 1 stats

A few thoughts:

Future Channels

  1. Twitter - I'm new to using Twitter in a professional sense, but it's no secret that this could and should be a great channel for me moving forward. I just have to invest in it and find my voice.
  2. Reddit - Reddit feels like it could be a great tool, but I'll have to experiment with how to consistently engage in a way that drives value and doesn't feel spammy.
  3. Linkedin - I have a pretty deep Linkedin network so I'll keep tapping into that.
  4. Product Hunt - After I have maybe 5-10 articles, I'm planning on spinning up my own landing page and newsletter "stack". At that point, I'll probably throw it up on Product Hunt.

Some closing thoughts

That's it! Any advice for me moving forward? Shoot me a DM on Twitter!