Why your Email List Isn’t Growing and How to Fix That

By: | Updated: August 25, 2016

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One of the most important things you can do to grow your blog is to build your email list.

Without an email list, it’s much more difficult to market your products, to let your existing readers know about new blog posts, and to create a sustainable income from your blog.
But for most beginner bloggers, growing an email list seems like an impossible task.
Getting 1 or 2 subscribers a week can sometimes feel like a win.
So what are you doing wrong?
Here are 5 things to change if you want to grow your list more quickly and fill it with the right people.

1. You’re not getting enough traffic

First of all, in order to grow your email list you must get more traffic to your blog.
Out of your total blog traffic each month, less than 10% of your visitors will convert to email subscribers. In fact, your conversion rate will be closer to 2–5%.
What that means is if you have 1,000 page views a month, you will get around 20 to 50 new subscribers. And that’s if you are doing everything right.
So if your list isn’t growing, the key is getting more blog traffic from the right people.

2 ways to increase your blog traffic without paying for ads:

  • Write guest posts on other popular blogs in your niche
  • Create round up posts on your blog where you interview other bloggers in your niche

Make sure that you are targeted in who you approach for guest blogging opportunities. Because if you get more traffic, but it’s from people who aren’t in your niche, it’s not going to grow your email list.
Want more tips for increasing your traffic? Click here.

2. You’re not giving your audience enough places to opt in

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve looked at a new client’s website and had to actively search for a way to join their email list.
They hide their subscribe box at the bottom of their sidebar underneath 20 Google Ads, and then they wonder why no one is subscribing.
If you want people to subscribe to your list, you must give your readers as many opportunities as possible to sign up.
Include a feature opt-in box at the top of your blog.
Put your lead magnet in your footer.

Add an unobtrusive slide-in box at the bottom of your blog.

You may also want to include pop-up boxes, as long as you don’t barrage your readers with too many of them.
Many new bloggers feel like they are bothering people by giving them so many opportunities to subscribe.
Don’t feel guilty about asking people to join your email list. Once they join, they will get even more value from you, so you are actually helping them by giving them many chances to subscribe to your list.

3. You’re not offering a lead magnet.

Often, once I find a new client’s subscription box, I encounter another big no-no if you want to grow your email list.
That’s asking people to subscribe to “get email updates” or to “join the newsletter.”
I hate to break it to you, but no one wants email updates any more.
Maybe 10 years ago, when blogging was a new and exciting thing, that would be enough to get someone to subscribe, but now, it just doesn’t cut it.
You must offer something valuable to get people to sign up for your email list.

Examples of good lead magnets include:

  • Free reports
  • Webinars
  • Email courses
  • PDF checklists

Take the time to create subscribers-only content that is truly valuable. That is the best way to grow your list.

4. You’re not offering the right lead magnet.

So now you know that you need a lead magnet in order to grow your email list.
But how do you make sure you offer something that your readers actually want?
It all comes down to understanding the transformation your readers want to achieve.
Your lead magnet should help your readers experience a small win – a taste of the results that you can help them get by working with them.
If you’re not clear about what your readers want to achieve, take the time to get to know them. The key to growing your list – and your blogging business – is understanding your readers extremely well.
Once you know what your readers are struggling with, and what they want, you will be able to create a lead magnet for which they will happily trade their email address.

5. You’re not packaging your lead magnet in an enticing way.

You may be thinking,

But Sue, I do have traffic, lots of subscribe boxes everywhere, and a lead magnet that people want. But I’m still not getting subscribers. What am I doing wrong?

If you have everything else in place, but you’re still not growing your list, it could be a matter of packaging.
Look at your subscribe boxes. Are you effectively highlighting the benefits of your lead magnet? Can your readers easily tell why they should download it?
What about the name of your lead magnet? Is it eye-catching? Does it describe exactly what your lead magnet is and how it will help your readers?
Do you have images that show your readers a visual representation of your lead magnet?
Make sure that your subscribe boxes look appealing to your readers, and that your subscribe buttons are nice and noticeable, as well.
OptinMonster has great templates for growing your list. Check it out here.

Wrapping It Up

Do you recognize any of these common mistakes? Are you making them on your own blog?
Time to get more blog traffic, create a lead magnet your readers want, create subscribe boxes that get your readers to take action, and place them strategically throughout your blog.[spacer height=”15px”]

by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.

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