Warning: These 13 Common Mistakes Will Destroy Your Email List and Slash Your Sales To Zero.

Written by Donna Patterson

13 email marketing mistakes

 The Money is NOT in the List.

 I know that you have heard that the money is in the list. But the money is really in following up with an interested and engaged list.  More on that later. 

Just to be clear, you need a list. However,  the fortune is in the follow-up and that requires communication that is relevant, timely and value driven. Technology has made this a bit easier by giving us the tools that improve productivity and efficient use of our time with better results. When done properly.

An email list is also a valuable asset for any home business owner. There are four main ways to use email to build your home business. Email marketing can save you a lot of time and increase your earnings. I explain all about that in this previous article.

 In this blog, I will be sharing the valuable and costly lessons I learnt from my dead email list and hope to save you from making similar costly mistakes. Make no bones about it. These mistakes can cause you to lose out on a lot of sales and commissions. I suggest you read closely.

Click here if you want to give your business a surge by building your list of targeted prospects that are actually interested in what you have to offer and hear from you, almost on autopilot- to give you more time with family and save your relationships.

So what happened?

#1    Poor Quality Traffic Source and Audience Targeting

This is a major list building mistake many marketers make in the beginning.

 A list is only as good as the quality of people on it.  Think about it. When you first joined your business opportunity, you went through your list of friends and family.

  • How many of them joined or bought your products?
  • Even if by some miracle, they did join, were they active?
  • How many of them quickly quit?

Leaving you back to square one.

For the same reason, your upline would have told you to recruit up in order to sponsor high quality people.

target market

  Similarly, if the persons on your list are freebie junkies and only signed up for the free information then you are likely to get a lot of unsubscribes as soon as they download your free thing.

These soon-to-be unsubscribers don’t want to consume more of your content or even buy something. Expect even more unsubscribers when you pitch your offer.

As a new marketer, this can be unnerving but it is all part of the process to weed out the rebels, time-wasters and find your true tribe.

 Also, the source of the persons opting into your email list can also be significant. I have found opt-ins after a conversation is best followed by particular social platforms.

Persons from LinkedIn appeared to be of higher quality compared to other platforms such as Facebook. Even if Facebook may dominate in terms of the number of persons consuming your content.

Establish and authority and influence by offering relevant value upfront.

 Persons opting in from Ad campaigns such as Facebook Lead Ads using an audience that does not know you are less likely to be responsive than someone who opt-in after reading your content. That is why content marketing is so important.

#2 Late Replies

Setting up a welcome sequence is crucial so that your new subscriber can start getting to know you immediately. This is a really great way to follow up with people when they get on your list.

The Welcome email gets the most opens.

The last thing you want is losing potential sales by not following up with persons. Which is what happened to me. Someone sent an email reprimanding me about how long it took for me to get back to him.

Now he reached out and emailed, but what about all the potential customers I lost because of that error. I have several ways for persons to get on my list but I did not set up a welcome sequence for all of them. In today’s world, people expect high quality customer service and quick responses.

customer service

Customers expect quick and quality service

#3 Not Setting Expectations For My Email Subscribers 

 I did not do this from the beginning. I was really random and so my list didn’t know when to expect an email from me.

You want people to be looking forward to receiving your emails. Be clear from the beginning on how often you will be sending out emails and do your best to stick with it. Let people know if it will be daily, weekly and so on.

For some people daily is too much while I found that fortnightly may be too infrequent causing them to forget you. You need to find the right medium that works best for you but keeps your subscribers engaged.

There are tools in autoresponders like Aweber where persons can choose how often they wish to receive emails.

#4 Too Afraid to Email My list

 Have you ever experienced this?

Subscribers are just there, but as soon as you send an email, many just unsubscribe.

 You are in a dilemma or so you think. You need to email your list to make money but as so as you do, they unsubscribe.

 This use to paralyze me and kept from sending an email. Until I heard this from one of my mentors.

He basically said that the persons who unsubscribe was never part of your tribe and so technically you are not losing anything except trimming the dead weight. Once persons don’t resonate with you, sooner or later they would have unsubscribed anyway.

Wouldn’t you prefer to have someone who wants to hear from you? Of course, yet you must also have something worthwhile for your list to read. That is another story. I address this later down.

# 5  No Segmentation of Email Subscribers

Not segmenting my list from the moment the person is added as a new subscriber. This would allow you to better serve them by only sending information on topics that they are actually interested in. This boosts the email open rates, click-through rates and sales.

For example, I had a list built on a skincare lead magnet and sent them general health updates.  In my mind, health and beauty go together but my subscribers didn’t agree and only opened emails about skincare topics such as facials and masks. They never opened emails about health updates or other health only related information.

Also, segmentation and tags allow you to select the best offers to present to the appropriate group which increases your sales.

#6 No Surveys or Feedback Systems

online survey

  I did not do a survey to find out how often persons wanted to receive my emails. You should also do surveys to find out what topics they are interested in, or which email they liked.

This can save a lot of time in testing. If I had asked my list for their preferences, then I would have avoided the above scenario. Where I sent topics my list was not interested in until they stopped opening my emails.

#7 Performed No Analysis On my Email Marketing Efforts

observe and analyze

Never wing it.

  I remember  I was using a phone app to send emails and not checking the open rates. I was told to not over pitch my list so I was a give value session before the building up to another offer. Or so I thought…

After  2 weeks, I only then realized that no one opened my emails which leads me to the next point.

Track everything.

#8  No Testing

Check to see the opens and resend to the group that didn’t open the first time. A/B testing the headlines could save you a lot of time without killing your momentum.

You can test variations of the following:

  •  Headlines
  • Body
  • Intro
  • Call to actions ( text and placement
  • Gifs
  • Buttons
  • Delivery or send  times
  • Images
  • Background colour
  • Email design and template

What is A/B testing?

According to Aweber, A/B testing (or split testing) is when you compare two or more versions of an email against each other to determine which one performs better with your subscribers. 

For instance, you could send two versions of a message to a small percentage of your audience — say, 10% receive one message and another 10% get the other version. Then, you can send the winning version to the remaining 80% of your list. 

 I changed the headlines of the emails and resent them.  That usually increase the opens bit if not, I then change the headline and resend them. You can automatically resend an email to the persons who didn’t open it using autoresponders such as Mailerlite.

You must remember that everyone may not see your email on the first delivery, so resending them can make a real difference. I remember a trainer saying that just by changing the colour of a button, she significantly increased her sales.

Content and presentation matters

#9 Forget The Gurus And Stick To What Works Best For You.

  Try different styles and see the reaction but respond quickly with what works. For example, I saw other top marketers using short, punchy emails. I decided to try that.

That didn’t go too well with my email list.

What an understatement!

I found that stories with a lot of emotion worked best for my list. Many subscribers even reached out to just say that they connected with what I was saying.

#10 Not Focusing On Building A Buyer’s List.

Warning: These 13 Common Mistakes Will Destroy Your Email List and Slash Your Sales To Zero. 2

 In the beginning, you build your list with a free thing but to really build a business, you still need sales.

Yes, most require 5 to 10 touches before making a buying decision when they are ready. But you don’t want to waste time with people who just want free stuff and don’t buy anything. 

 You can run yourself out of business by just giving value and promoting solutions. Yes, they want tips but you have to lead them to the next logical step. Don’t leave them in a ditch.

  A buyer is a buyer and will not be offended when you offer your product for sale. They will be happy that you made the offer.

Unlike the freebie junkie.

There are several ways to build a buyer’s list. It takes time to build that type of email list. Yet when you do, sales become so much easier. Then you implement specific strategies to connect with more of those types of people.

I can better serve buyers since they are willing to invest in changing their circumstances. So that is what I am focusing on right now.

#11 Not Respecting The Process

 I now recognize that there were some major gaps in how I built my list and communicated with my list. I now have gone back and recognized some of the skills that I was weak in. I am committed to improving each skill one by one and in the right order.

#12 Not Consistently Adding New People To My Email List Daily 

Warning: These 13 Common Mistakes Will Destroy Your Email List and Slash Your Sales To Zero. 3

Your  LIST is the lifeblood of your business. Over time people change interest, no longer relate to you as you evolve. So you always need to expand your reach and exposure to get fresh eyeballs on your content and on to your list.

Yes, I was getting new opt-ins and leads and sales but I was not consistently doing the daily actions required to acquire those new prospects. I also needed an improved prospecting system to predictably get leads without being labour and time-intensive.

 Click here if you are home business owner wanting to truly leverage the internet to build the business to help you enrol more teammates, create duplication and get more customers. To live your dream life on your terms

#13 Be  Authentically and Unapologetically YOU and Find Your Voice

I don’t know about you, but when I read emails or posts from top marketers, I wanted to say things like they did and say it the way they did it. It just sounded so compelling and so perfect.

However, the person reading your content can know when it is not you.

You need to show who you are to attract your perfect prospect which in most cases is YOU. You can’t be afraid to repel the wrong person and share your views which may be polarizing.

Some people will like you or hate you. That is life. You want the best people who share your ideals to be attracted to you from all the noise around. You won’t grab anyone’s attention by being afraid to speak your truth.

Could you work with people where you had to pretend to be someone else other than yourself? That is not healthy and more damaging than you know.

There are many people out there that are looking for you. However, they can’t FIND you and they won’t TRUST you if you have a chameleon spirit.


 I hope that you gained some insight on what to avoid in order to

  •  Keep adding  high persons to your list, 
  • Increasing  email opens
  •  Continue making sales.

 So yes you need a list but build a list of highly interested people who want to hear from you and buy from you over and over again.

Keep testing, tracking and training.

Invest the time and resources to learn and take action. Track and evaluate and simply repeat what works for you.

Can’t wait to hear what you do with the information.

 Need help with A/B testing or Split testing your emails to increase your open rates and sales? The get Aweber’s Free Minimalist Marketer’s Guide to Split testing.

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