6 Reasons Why No One Is Joining Your Email List

Jenna Kutcher 

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March 10, 2022


You signed up for the email marketing platform (check!) and designed your spiffy freebie (check!). And now… nothin’. Practically no one is joining your email list, and you can’t wrap your head around why.

People say, “Build it and they will come,” but you’ve built it and the only people hanging out on your list are your mom and your BFF. So let’s get to the bottom of it today with this checklist of what not to do when it comes to growing your email list (and the easy fixes for each).

6 mistakes to avoid if no one is joining your email list

Truth: my email list is my biggest generator of profits for my business. But it isn’t because I’m only there selling stuff. It’s because I share openly and provide value and show up consistently.

In other words, you want your email list to be a desirable place for your audience to be… here’s how!

1. Your sign-up form is hidden (or generic).

If I land on your website and there’s not a CLEAR form on the homepage to join your email list, that’s problemo numero uno!

Equally iffy? Forms that say something generic like: “Sign up here to receive newsletters from us.” Even if your sign-up form is simple and brief, you can make it enticing AND fun. Show some personality; share what people will get when they sign up! 

Here are some examples:

  • Join the insiders’ club for weekly emails with exclusive tips, discount codes & the occasional mom joke.
  • Drop your email address & we’ll be in your inbox every month with encouraging stories, helpful resources & beyond!
  • Sign up now for fun surprises & happy notes every week!

2. You don’t have desirable enough freebies.

When you don’t have people flocking (or even trickling) to your list, one important thing to check is your lead magnet (aka, your freebie). What do people get in exchange for handing over their email address? Is it something your audience truly wants?

If you aren’t sure, poll them on social media: ask what problems they’re facing or what questions they have. And then, create a resource around that in the form of a PDF download, checklist, e-book, guide, or how-to manual! 

Another awesome “freebie” for product-based businesses specifically is providing a discount code or free shipping when someone signs up for your list. 

RELATED: How to Create a Freebie that Your Audience Can’t Resist

3. You aren’t sharing your freebies.

Maybe the problem isn’t so much what your freebie is, as much as how often (and where) you’re sharing it. You might have an incredible freebie that your audience would totally be interested in, but they just don’t know about it yet.

It’s easy to share it once or twice and assume everyone you know has seen it and chosen to opt-in or not. But, remember only 6% of social media followers see what you post! And, often we need more than one reminder to take action on things.

So keep sharing. Consistently, and in many places: your Instagram stories, static posts, LinkedIn posts, Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, pop-ups… anywhere that your audience is already hanging out, essentially!

4. You haven’t explained the value of joining your list.

This goes back to your sign-up form and even the copy that promotes your freebie. People obviously know that you’re going to reach out to them if they hand over their email address to you. So, it’s good to communicate how often you’ll be in their inbox and the kind of material you’ll be sharing with them.

Most importantly, share why it matters and what value you’ll be dropping for them. Getting people to opt-in because of a stellar freebie is great, but getting them to stay around because they look forward to what you’re dishing up is even better.

5. You’re selling without serving.

If people come to your social media or your website and get hit with majority sales pitches, they’re probably going to steer clear of your email list, too. The best brands don’t hard sell 24/7. They tell stories. They provide value for free. They make their audience feel something.

Start sharing valuable tidbits on your social media and in other places like blog posts and podcast episodes so people feel incentivized to receive even more content and communication from you.

6. You aren’t speaking to your audience like friends.

One of the fastest ways to put someone off from your brand is to talk down to them (even if it’s unintentional). Write and speak like you’re talking to your bestie. And, over-simplify any complicated industry jargon. Life is already hard enough—let’s not make our marketing materials one more thing for people to research and dissect in order to understand!

See? Just a few lil’ tweaks here and there to your messaging and opt-in opportunities will have folks flying to your email list. And then, it’s just up to you to keep treating them like humans and delivering a helpful resource or two along the way! Easy peasy.

The List to Launch Lab is now OPEN!

Get my exact email system for launching, nurturing, and monetizing your very own list.

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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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