How to Diagnose a Fumbling E-Mail List

If you aren’t seeing the growth you’d like in your e-mail list, it’s time to run some diagnostics.

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E-mail lists can be tricky things. You know that growing yours is essential, but asking someone to give over his or her e-mail address has become harder and harder. Nearly every store or business has a list, and some of them send out spam-like daily content that leaves subscribers feeling e-mail-fatigued.

If you’re pouring energy—or even dollar bills—into your e-mail list but not seeing growth, there are a few ways to diagnose the issue.

First of all, think about what you’re sending out. By starting with serving the audience you already have, you’ll find growing your list much easier. Are you sending out content that’s of value to your list or simply content that’s easy? Think of it this way: If you’re a wedding cake baker, who’s your audience? Engaged women, most likely. So you shouldn’t be filling a newsletter with things like recipes, even though that’s what appeals to you. You should be giving content on wedding planning, inspirational wedding decorations, or other things that engaged women will find most interesting. Write what your audience wants to read, even if it’s not necessarily what you want to write.

On that note, think about your opt-in. Is it high enough value that people are willing to trade in their e-mail address for it? Whether it’s a coupon code, an e-book, or a free guide, your offer has to be high enough stakes that someone is going to let you into his or her in-box. If you aren’t seeing much e-mail growth, consider adding additional value to your opt-in.

It’s also important to ask people for their e-mail address in multiple ways. You should have an opt-in form on multiple pages of your website and frequently share it on social media. Most people aren’t paying that close of attention to your website content or social media platforms, so the odds of them getting frustrated by repeated asks are highly unlikely.

If you still aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for, consider investing in a Facebook ad. That can be a great way to get the word out about your opt-in to audiences who you otherwise would not come into contact with. Thanks to their high-tech targeting system, Facebook ads typically deliver pretty good bang for your buck. By advertising something like a free guide that adds value to your customers’ experience, you can often grow your list quite quickly.

At the end of the day, it’s important not to panic. Simply try out a few of these tactics, and see if your list starts growing.