1) Not building to a niche
When you are building a list, the more general your list demographics, the more difficult it is to sell to the list (and isn’t that your purpose?). For example, if you build a list of animal lovers, that might include pet owners, environmental activists, nature walkers, and people who just enjoy watching animal movies. So when you try to mail this list what do you mail? Anything you mail will not be a strong fit for the entire list, only for one segment of the list. Correction to mistake: Tightly target your list or create multiple lists, one for each category of animal lovers.
2) Not creating a relationship with your list
It is easy when you first begin building a list to think more about building a list and driving traffic to the list than to be thinking about the people on the list. If you subscribe people to this list, but do not mail them after the confirmation email for two months, when you do mail them they do not know who you are and are likely to unsubscribe. Correction: immediately begin to build a relationship via email with your list, even if you only have 5 on your list.
3) Mailing your list rather than the people on the list
Think about when you receive an email. If the email reads, ‘Sean, I’d like to share something with you today’ are you more or less likely to read it than one that reads, ‘To all my newsletter subscribers, I’d like to share something with you’? You must treat your list like it is a group of friends, not a list of email addresses.
4) Trying to sell all the time.
We all know you are in business. That is what your signature line is for. When you simply try to sell hard in every email, you will get unsubscribes, and the ones that don’t unsubscribe aren’t reading your emails anyhow. Correction: Give your subscribers useful information in your emails. You can occasionally send a recommendation to a product you personally use or know will be useful to your readers, but do it sparingly.
5) Not communicating with your list.
Find out what they want to hear about. Ask questions. Send your list a survey. Ask them what are their top five questions for the niche they are in. Then when they answer the survey, be sure to answer all the questions in the next few emails.