Everywhere you turn, it seems blogging coaches and experts always say “grow your list.” They tell you to collect the email address of every person who visits your site.
But, is that always wise? Are there times when it makes more sense not to try to capture that coveted email list?
Believe it or not, there are times when it makes absolutely no sense to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter. And, you need to give yourself permission not to ask them to sign up.
But, before you go and remove your sign-up boxes or stop asking entirely, make sure that it is a smart move for your site.
Why would anyone not want to collect email addresses?
You want to get people onto your list who want to be there. It never makes sense to send emails to people who will not read your content.
When you send emails to people who are not receiving content they want to read or see emails on topics that they have zero interest in, one of four things will happen:
- They will unsubscribe.
- They will never open the emails.
- The reader will never click any links or products.
- They will flag your email as spam.
The best scenario for someone who does not want to read your emails is to unsubscribe. After all, you do not want to pay for people to be on your list if they have no interest. This is not a big deal.
However, the second item is a big one – they never open your email. Why would you want to waste money paying for someone who never opens any email you send? You wouldn’t.
In addition to that, you will also see a much lower open rate. The goal is to reach 25 – 35% open rates for every email you send. If these people don’t open because they aren’t finding your emails apply to them, then that rate is diminished. If your provider sees low open rates, it can affect deliverability.
Another thing that may happen is the reader opens the emails but never clicks on a link or buys your products. If they are not genuinely interested in the topic, they will never buy. That means you pay for them to be on your list.
The worst scenario of all is when the reader flags your email as spam. You don’t want that. If they are getting emails that they are not at all interested in, they may forget they signed up and then flag you. That does not help you.
What type of content should not include an opt-in?
There are times when it makes sense not to encourage people to sign up for your list. Three scenarios to where it makes sense to drop the sign-up include:
- When you have old content that you still have on the site but no longer write about.
- You happen to write an off-topic post that is not really about your niche.
- You get visitors on a random post who may not be interested in the rest of the content.
If you find you have this type of content on your site, then I would advise against getting them to sign-up. Do not put any sort of sign-up box on these posts.
Well, they are not your people. That’s why.
Changing Blogging Niches
Let’s say you once blogged about travel and fashion. Now, you have shifted to only travel and do not talk about fashion at all. However, there is old content on the site that you did not want to delete.
Since your newsletters will be about travel, you would not want someone who is there to learn about fashion to be on your list. You will never email them the content they want to learn about. They will either then unsubscribe (which is what you want) or stay on the list, thereby lowering your open and engagement rates.
Writing off-topic content
There may also be times when you want to write about something that is not entirely about what you usually blog about. Let’s say you are a food blogger and find a way to get a good deal on the kitchen supplies you need.
Sure, it has to do with cooking, but you are not a deal blogger. You will not keep finding them more ways to save money.
If someone signs up for your list, they will want those deals and bargains. You won’t be providing that. They will not be interested in the list.
Not only that but by focusing the reader’s attention on links, you can get a higher conversion rate, so you make more money on the products or services promoted.
Random content that you rank for
Once in a while, you will rank for an article that may not 100% in line with the content on your site. It makes no sense to create additional content around that single topic, does it? Not if that is what you want to blog about.
If you get visitors to your site who are not your target reader, do not work to convert them onto your list. Instead, work on getting them to buy the products or services you mention.
Those are not your people. They are not who you write for. Therefore, do not worry that they are not signing up for your list and instead, use that traffic to convert into sales and commissions so you can make money!
How to grow your email list the right way
Now that you know what not to do, you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to build your email list. There are some simple tricks anyone can use to get people signing up again and again.
Offer something of value
While a resources library is a great feature, that is not anything of value for a reader. No one will sign up to “get access to my library.” However, if you show one of the downloads available in the library, they will.
For example, I have a free start a blog checklist in my library. I want to offer that to people, so rather than say “sign up for my library,” I tell them to sign up to get my freebie (which happens to be in the library).
When you offer a value that enhances or helps the reader more with what they just read, they will be more willing to hand over that email address.
Make sure the content offer fits the content
You may have a fantastic menu planner you offer on your site. It looks great, and you want to give it to everyone. But, if you put the menu planner on a post about a budget, no one will want it. They just won’t.
However, if you have an article about how to cut back on spending money dining out, the menu planner makes sense. It aligns with the content.
Always look at what you have to offer and sure that it works well with the placement on your site.
Your email list is the direct line of communication you have to your reader. Don’t blow it by adding people to your list simply to say you have a large list. You only want the people who really want to be there.