Why No One is Subscribing to Your Email List

So, no one is subscribing to your email list? Let’s fix that!

I’m sure you’ve heard that “creating an email list” is one of the most important things you should be doing, and honestly, it’s true.

Having your own email list is insanely valuable.

Email lists convert better than social media. They pack more power and they’re more personable.

“77% of people said that they would prefer to receive marketing campaigns through email.” – (source)

Let’s say you’re already ahead of the game and have started an email list. The whole “getting started” part isn’t the problem, it’s the “getting subscribers” part.

Growing an email list can be quite a challenge. Email addresses are sacred pieces of information these days, people don’t want to toss theirs around like candy because they have enough emails to sort through each day.

So, let’s take a look at 5 reasons why no one is subscribing to your email list and learn how to fix them!

Problem #1: You’re using the generic “Sign up for my email list!” 

Your visitors are skipping right over this line & ignoring it because they’ve been trained too. Think about it, how many times have you been on a website, saw that generic one-liner and been like “YES!”?

Probably zero times.

My email address is precious. It’s my baby. I check on it every day. I don’t want it to be flooded with things that don’t pack immense value….that will stress me out.

I’ll only give out my email address to someone if I believe their content is valuable & helpful.
But, how will I know if their information is valuable if they don’t put any effort into the pitch?

How to Fix it:

You can’t expect to just barge into someone’s inbox. That’s one quick fire way to get labeled as “spam”…which believe me, you don’t want.

So you must trade that valuable space in their inbox with useful and interesting content.

Instead of using the generic boring line, tell them why they need you in their inbox.

Lead them in with value and benefits, instead of a command.

Tell your visitors what they would be getting from you if they sign up. Be enticing, but honest about what you’ll be sending & how often.


  • Brian Dean from Backlinko: “Free exclusive traffic tips: Enter your email below to get access to my proven SEO and traffic tips”
  • Jenna Kutcher: “What’s your secret sauce? How to Own Your Awesome, Stand Out from the Crowd, Build a Successful Biz, and Have Fun Doing It! Take the Quiz!”
  • The She Approach: “Need some help navigating the blogging world?
  • Join over 7,500 bloggers + get access to my Ultimate Resource Library and weekly blogging tips delivered straight into your inbox!”
  • Zoe Linda: “Start Your Affiliate Program. Use my FREE checklist to start your first affiliate program to sell more of your digital product + increase authority in your niche!”

Even if you’re giving away a freebie….don’t make it sound like a snoozefest. Amp that baby up!

You want to be honest about what they’re signing up for, but you can get creative with how you combine the freebie with a creative slogan or one-liner like the examples above!

Problem #2: Your Opt-in Freebie Doesn’t Pack a Punch

Opt-ins are a great way to entice people to join your email list.

The point of opt-ins is to give your target audience a value-packed freebie that represents the information they’ll be getting in your newsletter.

The problem with a lot of freebies is that they usually fall into 1 of 3 categories:

  • Not enough value – If the freebie is something that your target audience doesn’t get excited over, they’re not giving you their email address.
  • Doesn’t target anyone – If you don’t have a “target audience” then how do you know what will be helpful to them? You don’t want your freebies and blog content running on two different ends of the spectrum. That will confuse your visitors and they won’t sign up because they’re not sure what the heck you’re going to send them. When you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
  • Doesn’t stand out – Is everyone in your niche giving away the same type of thing? You need to make your offer stand out from them. If your website visitors can get the same freebie from someone else they’re already subscribed to, why should they add you to their list too?

How to Fix it:

When figuring out what to give away as your freebie, focus on your target audience. Take a look at your Google Analytics, see what post performed the best on your blog.

Take note of what categories get the most engagement from your readers.

And then craft a value-packed freebie around those findings!

This isn’t a one-kind-of-freebie-works-for-everyone type of deal.

If your target audience would prefer a webinar over an ebook….make that.

Not sure what they’d prefer? Ask them!

Reach out to them on social media, take a look at successful person’s website in your industry, read blog comments, send out a survey, etc.

Would they prefer a couple of free stock photography photos?
A discount on a product you sell?
A library full of templates?

The options are limitless.

Figure out what your audience wants and give it to them filled to the brim with value.

Not sure where to start? Check out these options for inspiration:

  • Free resource library (like Melyssa Griffin)
  • Free Checklist (like Blog Post SEO Checklist)
  • WP Optin Wheel: Entices people to spin the wheel and see what they get
  • Free Strategy Call: Perfect option if you’re selling services and offer consult calls to potential clients
  • Roadmap and Process Outline (like YouTube Launch Roadmap)
  • Small discount or offer: Perfect if you’re selling products
  • Take the Quix to find out XYZ (like Jenna Kutcher)
  • Free Download of a Workshop or Audio Files (like Marie Forleo)

Problem #3: You’re Not Promoting Your Email List (aka They Can’t Find it!)

If people don’t know you have an email list, how can they sign up for it?

If people can’t find the opt-in form, how can they give you their email?

Simply having a mailing list form in your sidebar isn’t enough.

Don’t be shy about promoting it, especially if it’s packed with value. Your target audience will benefit from being on your list, so tell them about it!

How to fix it:

Here are a few ways to get your opt-in in front of more people:

  • Promote your freebie/newsletter on social media.
  • Mention it in your social media bios.
  • Link to it in your email signature.
  • Write a blog post about it. (Here’s an example of mine)
  • Add a sign-up form (+ why they should sign up) at the end of each blog post.
  • Create a landing page for it (explain why they should sign up, show testimonials, list the benefits) – this also makes it easy to link to in other parts of your website or when you guest post on someone else’s website!
  • Put a bar across the top of your website, enticing your visitors to sign up.
  • Place an opt-in form or a picture of your freebie in your footer.


Word of Caution: Ever been on a website that attacks you with their email list?

They have a pop-up as soon as you get to their site, then a slide-in a few seconds later.

They toss an opt-in in the blog header, footer, sidebar, at the end of the post, and in the middle of the post….like okay, we get it.

Totally annoying.

Idk about you, but I leave the site. I don’t care how good the content is.

The over-promotion is overwhelming.

Underpromoting your freebie or email optin is bad….but so is overpromoting. Don’t bombard your website visitors with your opt-in or freebie because you’ll look spammy, then they’ll leave your website and most likely never come back.

Problem #4: Your Website is a Mess!

Maybe it’s not your opt-in, maybe it’s your website that’s driving away subscribers.

You might have the perfect opt-in, with the perfect one-liner message, placed in the perfect spots on your website…..but if your website is a mess, your sending new visitors running for the hills.

Your website is the first thing your visitors see and it’s their first impression of you AND your content.

If your website looks like it was built in the 90s, how can your users trust that your content is up to date?

If your website is hard to navigate through, how can they be sure that your content will be organized?

If your website is slow, how are they supposed to read your content effectively?

Users judge a website within seconds. 25% of visitors will leave a page in less than 4 seconds if it doesn’t load….and the people that stick around, make their first impression of your website within 1/20th of a second.  – Google’s First Impression Study

And you thought the people in high school were judgy? Pfftttt.

But, what does this mean for you and your website?

What impression are you giving them if you have blurry images, confusing visuals, or inconsistent branding?

What will your visitors think if your website is covered with broken links and distractions?

Simple websites are more user-friendly & conversion-oriented.

A successful conversion, in this case, would be someone signing up for your email list. The key to converting users is by giving them a clear action to complete. You have to tell them what to do and guide them to it.

The more complex your website is, the more distracted the user will be, the less email subscribers you’ll get.

38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.Adobe

38%?! That’s more than a third of your users!

If a website doesn’t look like it’s being taken seriously, how do you expect the users and readers to take your email list seriously?

Your users and website visitors are the reason you blog. They’re the reason you have a website.

You want to give them value in one way or another, so in turn, you need to value them and their experience on your website.

They’re the reason you have a website.

You want to give them value in one way or another, so in turn, you need to value them and their experience on your website.

How to fix it:

  • Simplify your website: Every part of your website should have a reason behind it. Take a step back & think of your audience. Focus on what they need & trim down on everything else. Utilize the power of white space.
  • Speed up your website (Read: How to Make Your Website Faster!)
  • Use high-resolution images, not blurry ones.
  • Make sure your branding elements are cohesive and work visually together.
  • Double-check your links to make sure they work.
  • Look at your pages, are the other elements distracting the user from the content?

Problem #5: Not Getting Enough Website Traffic

If you’re not getting a lot of traffic to your website, then getting a lot of subscribers to your email list is not even on your playing field.

There are a ton of reasons why a website or blog isn’t getting enough traffic.

Things like how long you’ve been blogging, the type of content you have, the number of links referring to your website, your social media strategy, your website speed, your SEO, user experience, lack of promotion, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Regardless of how many blog posts you read that promise “Get X amount of visitors within X amount of time!“…..but, the truth is, it takes time.

You can have an amazing website, with insanely valuable content, but no one notices because they don’t see you yet.

You have to MAKE them see you.

You have to get out there.

There are over 83,000 blog posts published on the internet every hour.


You have to help yourself stand out. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Don’t rush this and get burnt out! Blogging and growing an online presence takes patience and persistence. Don’t expect overnight success and your email list to shoot up from 1 to 15k from one blog post.

How to fix it:

  • Step up your social media game: A rule of thumb, you should be spending just as much time, if not more, promoting your blog posts and you do writing them.
  • Update your website: Google likes websites that are keeping up with technology. Your website should be SEO-friendly, mobile responsive, fast loading, and easy to navigate. Take a step back and focus on improving one aspect of your website at a time.
  • Improve your SEO! If you’re using WordPress & you haven’t downloaded Yoast yet….you’re missing out. I have a whole ebook dedicated to teaching you how to improve your website’s SEO. It can make a HUGE difference in your website traffic, which could ultimately lead to a higher number of subscribers to your email list!
  • Guest Post: Find other blogs and websites in your niche that get a decent amount of traffic and pitch them a guest post idea. That will get your website in front of their audience AND give you a little off-page SEO bump up!
  • Join Facebook groups! I’ve gotten a ton of traffic from being active in a few Facebook groups for bloggers and small business owners.


Growing an email list isn’t as easy as the pros make it look.

It takes time, patience, and strategy.

You have to know your target audience, know what they what, what their problems are, and how to reach them. Then, you have to gear your website towards them and create valuable content for them.

Your website isn’t technically for you, it’s for them.

They’re the bread and butter to monetizing your blog and website.

What strategies do you use to grow your email list?!

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