Ah. Email lists. It’s probably one of the first things you check when you wake up (besides Instagram): did anyone subscribe to my list?
As you eagerly log in, you’re instantly met with disappointment…then frustration. No new sign ups today, ugh!
Now that you’re taking your blog more seriously and want to turn it into a business, you took the giant leap and made an email list…YAY!!! But now you’re facing a new challenge: no one’s signing up for it.
Don’t let the fact that no one is signing up for your list discourage you and give up. Your email list is an ESSENTIAL component to growing a successful blog and business. It’s important to focus your time and energy on it.
If you’re struggling to get subscribers and need a little *tough-love* to give you that extra kick in the butt to take some major action, keep on reading!
When I started my email list over a year ago my first subscriber was my boyfriend. And my first few after that were people I knew in real life who I *kindly* asked to join if they wanted to (no bribery involved, I swear!)
These are good action steps when you first create your list, but it’s not sustainable or strategic at all. I mean, are your friends and family really your target audience?
When I got strategic and started putting some thought behind my list-building, it’s when it took off.
I’ll never forget the day I gained 101 subscribers in 48 hours. It was INSANE and made me feel like I “cracked the code” when it came to growing my email list.
I wrote a whole blog post on that, which you can click here to bookmark for later.
But let’s get back to you. You’re probably reading this because you’re struggling to grow your email list, right?
And you don’t mind a little tough-love. In actuality, you thrive being told “like it is” as it gives you a kick in the butt you’ve been desperately needing.
With that said, let’s move into 7 reasons why no one is signing up for your email list that I’ve learned over the past year and a half trying to grow mine!7 Tough-Love Reasons No One is Subscribing to Your Email List Click To Tweet
1. YOU DON’T HAVE A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO SUBSCRIBE
Throwing up a sign-up form on your sidebar that says “Join my mailing list for updates!” isn’t going to cut it, girlfriend.
I don’t need to be on your email list for updates. I can get that by following you on Instagram or checking your website.
There is literally no reason for me to subscribe. And that’s why I don’t!
People need a damn good reason to hand over their email address to a complete stranger.
I mean, when we go shopping the store associates always ask us for our email address at the end of our transaction…
Sometimes they ask if we want to receive discounts and promotions. Or maybe it’s to send us our receipt.
And sometimes they just say can I have your email address? In those instances, I decline because THEY GAVE ME NO REASON FOR ME TO GIVE THEM MY EMAIL ADDRESS!
Think with the same strategy when you’re building YOUR email list. You need to offer them an incentive and the best way to do that is with an opt-in freebie.
An opt-in is something you offer to your readers (for free) in exchange for them joining your email list. They’re a great way to grow your list quickly in a short amount of time.
2. YOUR OPT-IN FREEBIES AREN’T VALUABLE ENOUGH
Okay, so maybe you already have some freebies on your blog, awesome!!
But it’s been a few months and no one is signing up for them…whomp whomp.
To be straight with you: they probably aren’t valuable enough.
Readers are bombarded with freebies out the wazoo when they visit websites and go on Pinterest, so your printable checklist probably isn’t the first one that they’ve seen.
So what the eff does “valuable” mean anyway, Sheila?
To make your freebies *valuable* they should:
- Promise a quick solution your ideal readers are struggling with
- Help your readers achieve a specific result
And keep in mind that they need to be valuable to your IDEAL READER. Not you. Not your mom. Your readers!!
3. FREEBIES ARE ATTRACTING THE WRONG PEOPLE
Your freebies need to be directly related to your niche and something your ideal audience would be interested in.
If you’re a self-help blogger who helps millennial women improve their self-love and confidence, a blogging checklist isn’t something they need or will find value in.
More tough-love: Even if you do have a blogging checklist as a self-help blogger that’s getting people on your list, you’re attracting the wrong people. While yes, your numbers are growing, in the long run, you’ll have a hard time connecting with them, building trust, and selling to them because they aren’t who you’re truly meant to be helping.If your opt-in freebies aren't related to your niche, content, and offers you won't attract the right people to your email list! Click To Tweet
4. FREEBIES ARE IN THE WRONG FORMAT
Different people have different learning styles.
I personally prefer learning with visuals and audio, so video courses are my favorite way to learn. Again, you need you take your ideal reader’s preferences and learning style into account!!
And some freebie topics are better suited in certain formats.
When you’re marketing a self-help challenge, it’s better to put it into a 5-day email series vs. a one-time downloadable eBook because it helps people become more engaged and accountable to take action.
One huge thing I’ve learned on my journey is that the format of your freebie can make a hell of a difference in getting sign-ups.
My audience prefers video lessons to eBooks because it’s more actionable and engaging for them!
How do I know this? From my email subscriber stats! More people sign up for my video workshops and masterclasses vs. my printables!
5. YOU’RE NOT PROMOTING YOUR FREEBIES STRATEGICALLY
Okay, this is a big one!!
Maybe your freebie actually is incredibly awesome, valuable, and in the right format…but, your ideal reader isn’t seeing it!
Again, swapping out your sidebar form with “Join my mailing list for updates” for “Sign-up for my free 7-day self-love challenge” isn’t enough. You need to go above and beyond with this and be INTENTIONAL.
Tips for freebie promotion:
- Place opt-in forms in optimal places on your blog: within your posts, the top bar, and announcement bar
- Write a blog post that directly relates to it
- Update older related posts
- Create multiple Pinterest images for it
- Promote like crazy on social media (people need to see and hear things a million times before it registers)
- Create a landing page for it
I promise that if you think you’re being spammy with your freebie promotion YOU PROBABLY AREN’T. People need to be reminded of things multiple times before they actually take any action.
6. YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR IDEAL READER ENOUGH
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO YOUR READER.
They’re the ones you’re targeting.
They’re the ones you want to help.
They’re the ones who are ultimately going to give you their email address. So knowing them inside and out is absolutely crucial to grow your list!
So you need to get really clear on your target reader. What are their pain points? What do they need help with? How can you help them? How do they prefer to learn?
When you figure out a solution to their problems, turn that into a freebie!Struggling to grow your email list? You might not know your ideal reader well enough! Click To Tweet
7. YOUR BLOG HAS NO FOCUS
Time to go full circle with the tough-love.
Your whole blog might be the problem, not just your freebies or ideal reader profile.
If your blog lacks a focus, mission, and branding, it’s probably all over the place. When I was trying to grow my email list before my rebrand I was attracting ALL the wrong people to my list.
Because at that time my blog was all over the place. I covered multiple topics, was trying to appeal to everyone, and had absolutely no focus.
And when I rebranded, narrowed my focus, and figured out my ideal reader, my list started to grow and grow to over 2,000 subscribers.
If this sounds like something you’re going through, it’s time to forget about the freebies and go back to the drawing board and build your blogging foundation. You’ll thank me later.
- You don’t have a good enough reason for people to subscribe to your list
- Your opt-in freebies aren’t valuable
- Freebies are attracting the wrong people
- Freebies are in the wrong format
- You’re not promoting your freebies strategically
- You don’t know your ideal reader well enough
- Your blog has no focus
NOW TAKE ACTION
Want to go deeper with your list-building and take some action to increase those sign ups today? Grab my free List-Building Blueprint that outlines my 5-step framework to get your email list on track to success to getting your next 100 subscribers!
Inside you will learn:
- My 5-step framework to get your next 100 subscribers
- What you need to be focusing on when you create your opt-in freebies
- How to get people to actually sign up for the freebies
- Newsletter ideas! Because once you get those subscribers, you need to shower them with love