Top Three Mistakes Stopping Your Email List from Growing

Welcome to the OTW Show! I’m your host, Paul Gowder, here to help you get on the way to building the lifestyle you want with actionable tips to level up your business. Today, we’re diving into three common mistakes that might be stalling the growth of your email list.

But first, let’s celebrate some wins. Credit goes to my friend Lou Mangiello for encouraging me to always celebrate wins, no matter how small. It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to recognize progress, even when it feels like we’re not getting anywhere. Shout out to Angie Robinson for suggesting we write them down every Friday. It’s a fantastic way to reflect on all you’ve accomplished.

Now, my win of the week: For Father’s Day weekend, my wife and I headed up to Kentucky to explore the Bourbon Trail. We had a great time, and I even managed to pick up two bottles of Blanton’s, completing my collection to spell out “Blantons” with the little horses. What’s your win of the week? Share in the comments below!

Alright, let’s dive into the main topic: the top three mistakes people make that prevent their email lists from growing.

Mistake #1: Not Asking for Emails or Hiding the Ask

One major mistake I see is not asking for emails or hiding the request. Let me show you some examples.

I found a website called Y Travel Blog. As I scrolled through their content about Myrtle Beach, I couldn’t find any mention of subscribing to their newsletter until I reached the very bottom. And even then, there was no compelling reason to join.

On the other hand, Travel the South does a great job. They offer a free guide titled “99 Things to Do on Your Southern Travels” for subscribing. However, the issue is that this call to action is in the sidebar, which isn’t visible on mobile devices where most people browse.

A better example is from a mother-daughter duo I’ve worked with. They have a clear email opt-in right within their article content, asking readers to sign up for recipes and tips. This placement ensures it’s seen by everyone, regardless of device.

Mistake #2: Lack of Context for Email Sign-Ups

Another common mistake is placing an email form on your website without any context. You have to give people a reason to subscribe.

For example, I came across a site with a pop-up saying, “Get on the list.” Why? There’s no incentive or reason provided, so it’s unlikely anyone will sign up.

You don’t need a massive lead magnet. A simple promise to keep readers updated with new content or exclusive tips is often enough. Just make sure you offer something of value.

Mistake #3: Failing to Engage Subscribers

The third mistake isn’t just about growing your list but keeping people on it. If your subscribers are leaving, you won’t see growth.

Your first emails must be compelling and personal. Don’t just shout at your subscribers. Use storytelling, humor, and direct engagement to keep them interested.

For example, my friend Jeff C. sends emails that feel personal and engaging, often using humor and storytelling. His subscribers feel like he’s talking directly to them, which helps retain his audience.

Avoid the generic, flashy, ad-filled emails that feel impersonal. Engage with your readers genuinely, and they’ll stick around.

Wrapping Up

To recap, make sure you’re asking for emails clearly and in prominent places, provide context and value for sign-ups, and engage your subscribers with personal, compelling content. You can check out my favorite email tools at to help grow your list and avoid these common mistakes.

Thanks for tuning into the OTW Show! I hope these tips help you take action in your business and get on the way to creating the lifestyle you want. See you next time!

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