Undoubtedly you’ve heard that email is a powerful tool for engaging your audience in a personal way that other inbound marketing techniques just can’t do. You’ve probably also heard that it’s highly effective at increasing your traffic on landing pages for your marketing campaigns and fostering the delight stage of the buyer’s journey. So, you’ve set out to build the hugest email list ever! And nothing. You’re probably making five beginner errors that are sabotaging your success with email list building!/blo

1. Your opt-in is boring and obscure!

Creating a widget on your website’s sidebar that says, “Join our email list” may seem like the right thing to do since you’ve likely seen on it on almost any site you’ve visited. Think about that for a moment–did that encourage you to plug in your email so you could subscribe to more of the same? There are two reasons that outdated method is well, outdated. First, it’s boring. Spice it up a little bit so it captures attention and makes people want to read more. Second, things that are pushed quietly to a sidebar get lost on mobile devices. You’ll be lucky if your users pinch their screen to see what that little box is, let alone have them typing their email address in to join your list.

2. You have to give to get.

Bribery is an effective tool, especially with audiences who are used to getting something when they give their info! Give your visitors a value proposition when asking them to sign up for your email list. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

3. You’re freaking people out.

To achieve success with email list building, you don’t need to know what color of underwear your potential leads are wearing. Asking for too much personal info, especially since it’s such a sensitive topic lately, is a definite list-building killer. Instead of freaking people out by asking for too much information, simply ask for their first name and their email address. (There’s also the fact that if they have to work too hard, they’ll ditch)

4. No opt-in on your contact page.

Ouch. Your contact page or “about us” is likely one of your highest performing pages on your website. Readers won’t go back to another page looking for a place to opt in for your email offers, so make sure to include one there. Once they see that you’re a “real” business, they are more likely to subscribe.

5. You’re not leveraging your new subscribers.

You captured a new lead because they followed your CTA and signed up for your list. New leads have friends, and if they follow one CTA, they are likely to follow another. Provide some awesome content in your welcome email, maybe even ask your new subscribers to submit a few questions to engage with them, then hit them up to share your opt-in with their friends or business associates.

Success with email list building isn’t rocket science, but these beginner errors are surefire ways to sabotage your efforts. How many of these mistakes have you been making?