If you are blogging, building an email list is as basic as breathing.
An email list can help you
- Grow your traffic
- Boost your online brand
- Increase your revenue and
- Build relationships with your audience
Almost everyone wants to build a huge email list of subscribers. After all, more email subscribers means more click through rates and more money, right?
Not everyone will be able to build a huge email list that makes money. You may never know what list building mistakes you are making while growing your email list.
Here are 8 mistakes majority of the people make while building their email lists. Find out what mistakes you are making among them and avoid them to build a huge list who are hungry to buy what you offer.
Are you ready to discover? Let’s get started.
Are You Making These 8 List Building Mistakes?
#1. Not Offering Any Incentive
I still see a lot of people who are building an email list just use random words like “Sign up to my list”, “Join our newsletter” etc.
If you are not offering something for free or not giving any strong reason for your website visitors, they won’t subscribe to your email list.
Offer any free incentive like eBook, video, Infographics or anything that is easy to create and distribute to your readers. It can really help you in converting normal website visitors into email subscribers.
On my own blog at BloggersPassion, I used to get around 5 to 6 subscribers a day (when I wasn’t offering any free incentive to my subscribers). But once I started giving away a free eBook on making money blogging, my email opt-in rate skyrocketed (with more than 200% email opt-in rate per day!).
That’s the importance of offering incentives to your subscribers. They quickly help you boost your email list without increasing your website traffic.
#2. Lack of Social Proof
People follow those who have a huge following. It's a general tendency to follow the crowd!
Social proof is the currency online. If an expert is recommending you or your blog (even though if you are a beginner), your sales or email opt-in rates will skyrocket. That's the power of social influence.
Just imagine for a second, you landed on a blog, skimming through a blog post and suddenly there comes a popup which shows “Join over 100,000 marketers”, would you join?
I bet, you will (if you find their content interesting). The reason you'll join their list is because of the big number you see on their email list. That's how social proof works online.
So make sure to add social proof to the copy of your opt-in forms. Ask for an expert to say something about you or take testimonials about your freebies or content from your own readers and feature it. It can definitely help you boost your blog’s social proof.
#3. Popups are not Conversion Killers!
Most people hate popups. How do I know? Okay, let me be blunt. Even I hate them.
But let me tell you one thing. Popups give you more signups than any other source!
When I started using exit-intent popup (which shows a popup when a visitor just about to abandon your blog) by LeadPages, my email subscription rates really went high. I still get majority of my email subscribers from that popup alone.
Popups really work like a charm.
Almost every top blogger uses them once in awhile. Because they know how essential they are to grow their email list or website sales.
If you are not using popups on your blog yet, you better should consider using them immediately.
Popups are conversion boosters, they quickly help you increase your email subscription rates no matter how much traffic your blog gets. Check this tutorial from Ms. Ileane on How to Set Up Lead Pages with Lead Boxes that Popup
#4. Not Understanding What Your Goal is With Your Blog
Do you know your target audience? Do you know what your audience truly wants?
Do you know what to do with your email list? Do you know how to monetize your blog’s traffic?
Without properly understanding what your goal is with your blog, no one can help you in building a profitable blog.
If you are building an email list just because everyone else building, you are making a huge mistake. If you don’t know your top priorities and things to do with your email list, you can never make any sales out of it.
That’s the harsh truth. So it’s better to spend quality time in knowing your blogging goals and find out your audience needs and wants. That way you can better serve them to build a successful blog in the long run.
Recommended: Breaking Down Gmail's Primary Tab with Chris Lang
#5. No Landing Pages? You're Kidding Me!
Landing pages are golden. They help you quickly increase your email opt-in rates because they focus only on one call to action i.e to increase your email signups.
Don’t use any sidebars or footer section while creating landing pages. Landing pages are meant to focus only one goal. That’s how you can help your audience to easily decide whether you are worth their time or not.
So start using landing pages if you want to build a huge email list that grows without increasing your blog traffic. Here's an example of a great landing page.
#6. Displaying Opt-in Forms in Only One or Two Locations
I know most people are doing this mistake. They show their email opt-in forms at one or two places and they expect to grow their email list rapidly.
It’s impossible to grow a huge list without increasing the exposure to your email opt-in forms. The more you use the more email subscribers you get.
Here are few great places to add email opt-in forms on your blog.
Sidebar: Sidebar is one of the most visible places on any blog. So make the most out of it by showing an email opt-in form with a freebie to boost your email list.
Feature box: Derek Halpern introduced feature box to grow an email list. They quickly became popular and almost every top blogger is now using them. You can use this tool to create a feature box on your blogs.
Headerbar: Apps like Hellobar and SumoMe can help you show a header bar on your blog. It can’t be ignored by your website visitors. It always shows up at the top of your blog and by using an email opt-in form there can quickly boost your signup rates. Many blog themes come with the built in message bar at the top, for example, Appendipity has this feature.
Footer: Majority of the bloggers still use footer section on their blogs. And most blogs footer section are filled with 3 columns. Why not use an email opt-in form at least in one of such places?
High traffic pages: Open your Google Analytics account and find out the top 10 pages that send you most search traffic. Start using email opt-in forms at the beginning and ending of them to grow your email list.
End of each blog post: If a visitor is reading your blog’s content for the first time and if he makes it to the end of your blog post and finds an email opt-in form, he would gladly consider subscribing to your list for more relevant information. So don’t miss a chance to show email opt-in forms at the the end of your blog posts.
#7. Asking For Too Many Details
No one likes to fill too many details to get into an email list. It doesn’t matter how much value you they find it!
There’s no reason for you to ask for personal details, phone number or full name while building your email list.
If you are starting from scratch, just ask their email address and that’s it! Let your website visitors to easily sign up for your email list without much burden. That’s how you can increase your email sign ups.
When you are building an email list from scratch, you don't want anything other than the email of your website visitors. No one really bothers about entering too many details to sign up for an email list. So make sure to keep it really simple.
Don’t fake: Another important thing to consider while building a list is don’t use invalid credentials just to grow your email subscribers. I see few new bloggers using “Join 15,000+ email subscribers” when they don’t have even 100 subscribers.
How can I say that they don’t have so many subscribers? Well, there are so many website traffic checker tools out there that will help you easily estimate the traffic of any site. If a new blog is not getting even 500 visits a day, how can one build such a massive list?
So don’t try to fake until you make it. It doesn’t work and gives you a bad impression on your site in the long run.
#8. Sending too Many Emails or Not Sending at All
About 4 years ago when I first started building my email list, I made a big mistake of not sending any emails to my subscribers. I thought my subscribers might ignore my emails or unsubscribe from my list if I send emails. I know how foolish I was.
Whether you believe it or not, most beginners who are building an email list from scratch make this mistake. They don’t plan sending any emails to their subscribers. They just think about growing the email list and that’s it.
They forget about the importance of email broadcasts and scheduling weekly emails. See, you don’t have to send 1 email per day. Even sending 1 email per week is enough to educate your subscribers about the products or services you promote.
Just make sure you are not sending too many promotional emails or your subscribers might get irritated and simply unsubscribe from your email list.
Likewise, sending too many emails (more than twice a week) to your subscribers is the surefire way to increase your unsubscription rates. Most people don’t like getting too many emails every week from the same blog. They might think you are manipulating them by sending too many promotional emails and they just unsubscribe.
So be careful while creating an email autoresponder series to broadcast emails to your subscribers.
As a rule of thumb, sending 3 to 4 emails per month (2 to 3 educational emails which are informative and 1 to 2 promotional emails to increase your sales) is a good start.
Final Thoughts About List Building Mistakes to Avoid
Building and growing an email list takes a lot of time and money.
Everyone makes mistakes while growing their list. Just make sure to correct your list building mistakes as soon as possible to avoid wasting too much money and time.
Make sure to analyze the tactics used by the top bloggers in your field to grow their email list. That will give you a better idea on how to grow your audience without irritating them too much.
So what are your thoughts about building an email list? What are the other list building mistakes you made while growing your list? Share your views in the comments.