Day #16: 10 Things To Avoid When Building Your List
1.Having your opt-in form in only one place
The more places people see your sign-up form, the more subscribers you’ll get. Make sure it’s in multiple places on your website – top, side, bottom, dedicated page.
On the other hand, don’t get annoying or overly intrusive with your forms. Test out placement, size and number of forms on your own site. Not everyone likes pop-ups either, so experiment with things like bounce rate to see if people are running away from your site when you have pop-up opt-in forms.
2. Having multiple calls to action on your opt-in page
People get confused by too many options. Don’t ask them to sign up for your list, buy your latest product, and check out your newest blog post….all in one breath.
Tell people exactly what you want them to do, right down to explaining what they need to fill into the forms and what button to click next.
3. Not telling people exactly what they’ll be getting when they opt-in
If people get something unexpected in their email inbox, they’re more likely to unsubscribe from your list. However, if you’re very clear up front about the types of information you’ll be sending, they’ll be ready for it.
Be mindful of the types of people you’re targeting also. Some people only want to hear about special offers, whereas others want news and tips (plus special deals). If you’re clear about what you’ll be sending, people will “self-select” and you’ll naturally get the types of people you want on your list.
4. Sending people directly to the download page
People should have to confirm their email first or you may lose them completely. If you give them their download before making sure they are confirmed and on your list, they may never make it there. Many people ignore those “please confirm” emails, but if they know they need to do that to get their gift, it’s more likely to happen.
The exception is if you’re not doing a double opt-in sign up, in which case they’ll be on your list automatically, without confirming. Be careful of using this option. If you start getting a lot of unsubscribes, it may signal that people see you as sending spam. You may end up with a lot of complaints, and you could be putting your email account in jeopardy.
5. Not having a follow-up email series
You have their email, now start building a relationship. Otherwise, what was the point?
The whole purpose of building an email list is to keep in touch with your market, your prospects, and your customers. The only way to do this is through regular communication. And the easiest way to start off the relationship is to have series of automated messages which you never have to think about.
6. Not promoting things from the start
Your list needs to know you’ll be promoting products periodically; otherwise they’ll get annoyed when you suddenly make an offer. You need to condition them from the start.
While your first emails should be loaded with value to your reader, you can start some soft promotion early on. Try pointing people to a helpful resource in your P.S., or remind them of an offer you’ve mentioned in the past. Then make sure you offer something on a regular basis, even if it’s just to tell people about some new product on your site or in your store.
7. Promoting all the time
While some email lists might be purely for delivering news of specials and offers, the most successful ones also provide value. Promote offers, but just don’t do it all the time. You want people to know you’ll do some promoting, but they’ll get annoyed and possibly unsubscribe if that’s all you do.
Try alternating value-laden emails with some that are purely for promoting a product. You can still have a reference to something in the P.S. of a “news” email, but that’s not viewed the same way as a “sales” email.
8. Not being consistent
If you email regularly for one week, then nothing for 2 weeks, then twice a day for the next week, you’re bound to have higher unsubscribes. People will either forget you or get annoyed if they don’t know what to expect.
Plan out a schedule of emails, preferably each week. You can sit down at the beginning of the week and plan out what you’ll send each day. Or, if you mail less frequently, try planning out a whole month in advance. Just be flexible about adding in a time-sensitive email when necessary.
9. Too much use of “I” or “we”
While a little personal information is nice, the point of emails is to add value for the subscriber, not vent about all your problems. While there are some people who love to hear your stories, they may get tired of them if all you’re doing is talking about yourself.
Review your emails before you send them and check for the amount of “real estate” you’re using up on talking about yourself vs. your reader. You could even do a search for the number of times you say “I” or “we”. The results might surprise you!
10. Making it difficult to unsubscribe
You can give options, like switching to a weekly email, but don’t make the person jump through hoops to unsubscribe. You’ll get complaints and risk your standing with your autoresponder service.
Always put a clear message at the bottom of your email that explains what the reader needs to do to unsubscribe. You can explain again what they’ll be missing, but if they don’t want to be there, you’re better off in the long run.
The most valuable email list is one that consists of targeted subscribers who want to hear what you have to say. The others are just costing you money in your autoresponder subscription, as well as affecting your statistics.
Don’t use tricky headlines that are just meant to get people to open your email, but then don’t deliver on the subject. That’s spammy and annoying, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors in building your subscribers’ trust.
Are you making any of the above mistakes? Today’s task is to make sure that you’re not making these mistakes and to take action to stop if you’ve been making them in the past. Once you’re done with this checkup, give yourself a big pat on the back!