5 Reasons No One Wants to Join
Your Email List

build email list fast min

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If you've come within ten feet of a marketing blog in the last couple of years, you have undoubtedly heard the PSA about email lists. Just about every marketing blogger is talking about them, and I'm about to join the ranks as well.

Here's what I didn't know about email lists when I first started out (that turned out to be really important):

  • Most of the money your blog makes will come from your email list, not directly from your blog posts.
  • Creating an email list and strategy isn't nearly as complicated as you think it is, and
  • You should start your email list from the very beginning, even if you have no traffic and nothing to sell.

Basically, having an email list is pretty damn important and if you don't make a committed effort to mastering email marketing, it's going to be really tough to make it in the blogging world.

build email list fast

Of course, there's more to the story than just starting an email list and patting yourself on the back. You also need to optimize your blog to convert readers into subscribers!

If you've set up the basics but are finding that very few people are actually joining your email list, you'll likely find that one of these common mistakes is the culprit.

1. You Aren't Offering A Content Upgrade

The first mistake new bloggers often make when trying to grow their email lists is that they don't offer a content upgrade in return for that reader's email address. Gone are the days when a simple “subscribe to my newsletter” box in the sidebar of your blog is enough to grow your list.

Nowadays there are so many blogs and websites asking for people's email addresses that you really need to stand out from the rest.

You must offer something really useful and exciting to your reader that they simply can't wait to get their hands on.

Here's mine for reference...

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This is called a content upgrade.

It's a free digital that helps your readers with the exact problem your blog is there to solve. 

Your content upgrade can be a PDF, and ebook, and mp3, an email course, or pretty much any other type of digital product out there.

2. Your Headline Doesn't Grab the Reader

The second biggest reason that people might not be opting in to join your email list is because the headline or description on your opt in isn't good enough.

I can tell you from experience that I was able to triple my daily number of options (overnight!) simply by changing the headline and the text in my opt in form. 

You want the headline and description to be very honest about what they will be getting from joining your email list, and also to create some excitement for it as well.

How is your freebie going to help your reader? What transformation will they go through once they get it?

If you can answer this on your opt-in form, your opt-in rate will go gangbusters.

#3. You Don't Have Enough Opt-Ins on Your Blog

Most new bloggers start out by putting a single opt in form somewhere on their blog and calling it a day. The reality is that this simply isn't enough, and most readers will miss it.

I've included a number of opt-in forms on my blog. That way if someone doesn't see the first one, they will definitely catch the second or third one.

It's a fine balance between offering just enough that plenty of people subscribed, and not annoying your readers with way too many opt in forms.

I've added an opt-inform in the following places on my blog:

  • A static one at the bottom of each blog post
  • A pop-up on each blog post
  • Several option forms on my start here page
  • A notification bar that shows up on each post
  • On the homepage

You certainly don't have to add as many forms to your blog as I have, or even in the same location as mine are. However, it's a smart idea to sprinkle them in a couple of different places to encourage your readers to sign up.

#4. Your Readers Don't Think They Will Benefit From Being Part of Your Email List

How many times have you seen an opt-in box that says something along the lines of…

  • "Sign up to join my newsletter about babies and toddlers."
  • "Sign up to get blog news and updates." 

I don't know about you, but I NEVER sign up for those! There is nothing enticing about them, nothing that pulls me in, and I really don't expect to get anything of use from them.

Your reader needs to really believe that they are going to benefit from being a part of your email list to sign up.

Most of it us get so many emails these days, we are so much more hesitant to give out our email address than readers were 10 years ago. 

If you want people to sign up to your email list in droves, you're going to have to give them a really good reason to.

11 Things to Do In Your First 3 Months of Blogging

#5. Your Pop Ups Appear Way Too Soon

This last one is one that I see on so many blogs, and I also hear tons of people complaining about it in Facebook groups.

One of the biggest reasons people don't sign up for your email list (and leave your site instantly!) is because your pop ups appear way too soon.

How many times have you clicked onto a blog only to be inundated by a pop-up, a banner, and a Pinterest follow box all in the first half a second you arrived?

You had just started reading the first sentence and then... BAM! Tons of little boxes flying in your face. 

I'm going to guess that you clicked the back button too, right?

I know it's easy to think that you are going to miss people if you set your pop up to go off a little later, but I promise it will actually help you!

I set my pop-ups to arrive between 20 and 30 seconds after someone has landed on one of my blog posts.

This gives them some time to start reading, see if they like my writing style, and then see my content upgrade and decide if they want to be a part of my community.

This works so much better for encouraging people to opt in, and I've never had someone complain about my pop-ups.

Thankfully, Thrive Lightbox makes it so easy to set a timer on your pop-ups. It's what I use to create my opt in forms and connect them to Convertkit.

(Thrive Lightbox is one of the many features that comes with the drag and drop blog builder called the Thrive Membership.)


Growing your email list is so important to your blog's success! If your opt in rate is low, there are a ton of things you can do right now to start seeing more people sign up. And...

If you aren't sure which things you should be working on next in your blogging business, make sure to grab my Profitable Blogging Blueprint below! It will walk you step by step through every action you need to take, in correct order, to make money from your blog.

canning jar labels free printable

Ready to start stocking your pantry full of your own preserves? Grab these editable canning jar lids as a perk of becoming a subscriber, and you'll have shelves of beautifully labelled jars in no time.