#154: 5 Reasons Your Mailing List Isn’t Growing

Week after week, coaches ask in our Health Coach Power Community Facebook group about growing their mailing list. Sometimes it’s slow going, huh? In this episode, Michelle shares 5 things she’s noticed are often happening when a coach is struggling to build a list. How many are happening to you? Be sure to join our upcoming, free training event to Multiply Your Mailing List (Without Paid Ads!) at https://healthcoachpower.com/multiply

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Hello, health coaches. You know, every week inside of our Facebook group, I hear health coaches saying that they need help growing their mailing list. So it's like, why is it such slow going with the mailing list growth? Do you ever think like this is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. So today what I want to do is. There are five things that I've noticed often happening when a coach is struggling to build a list. So if you're here live, please go ahead and say hello in the comment area and ask your questions as we go along. Cause this is a pretty juicy topic. And if you want more on building your mailing list, I have a free event coming up in just a couple of weeks. This is a good one. You guys, it is so jam packed. It's called multiply your mailing list without any paid advertising.

That's right. You can do it for free and you can sign up for this event for free at healthcoachpower.com/multiply. This is going to help you out when you're like, I feel like I've done everything and I still can't get names on my mailing list. I know why. And we're going to fix that. So go ahead and sign up for that. now athealthcoachpower.com/multiply. Now, as for our five reasons that your mailing list isn't growing, let's dive in.

Okay, reason number one. And I don't know if this is true for you, but again, I'm just guessing based on what I see inside of our community. But, do you have a freebie to offer? Like right now, do you have something that you can be offering for free in exchange for an email address? And it could be anything. It could be that you have an event coming up that's free, like a webinar or a five-day challenge or an e-course or whatever.

It could be a PDF download. It could be a guide. It could be a checklist of some kind. It could be a meal plan. Do you have something like that? You have to give people a reason to join your mailing list. So what most new coaches do? There's a spot on your homepage of your new website or something, and it says, join my mailing list. Nobody's joining your mailing list. Nobody really wants to be he on another mailing list. That is the sad truth of it. Do you, do you want to be added to a bunch of people's mailing lists probably not join when there is an incentive to join. So if you, I don't have a freebie to offer. You're going to want to start thinking about what would act as a great incentive to get somebody, to give you their email address.

And if you don't have any ideas about this, don't worry because inside our multiply your mailing list event, coming up in a couple of weeks, I'm going to give you a ton of ideas. I'm to showing you examples. I mean, you guys, right before I got on the air to record this podcast episode right now, I was getting all that material ready for the event. And we have so many ideas for you, but at the heart of it, you need to be able to offer an incentive or else probably nobody's going to join your mailing list. Okay? So that's first and foremost, if you already have a freebie, tell me in the comments and why not tell me what your freebie is. Maybe you have something coming up this summer. I would love to hear about it. Cause I like to keep a pulse on what everybody is working on the best that I can.

Okay. Moving on to reason number two that your mailing list may not be growing. Let's say you have a freebie. Let's say you have something and nobody's opting in for it. Nobody's giving you the email address. So the question to ask becomes why isn't this freebie working? And that is a layered question. I get this a lot from coaches. I have a freebie, but nobody is signing up for it. And the assumption is the freebies. No good. This was a bad idea. And that's not necessarily true. There are so many different reasons that your freebie may not be working for starters. Are you getting it out in front of lots of new people all the time? Because if you're just posting it to Facebook, like once every three weeks, that would be a reason that your freebie isn't working, um, or you putting out in front of people again and again, but it's the same people, your freebies not going to work.

If you keep offering it to the same people, because the 5% of them that are interested. I mean, statistically speaking, they've already signed up. So when you keep offering it to same group of people, they don't want it. You got to get your freebie in front of new people. Again, this is something we're going to be talking about during our multiply your mailing list event, how to do exactly that. Now let's say that you are getting, you're free to be out to a ton of people on lots of new people. And, oh my goodness, you're all over the place with this freebie. And yet still, maybe you can look at your stats, which you can, and you could see that a thousand people visited the page to get your freebie, but only three of them signed up. Oh no. Okay. But that's really good information because that would mean you're doing a good job.

Getting people to the page, people are interested. Nice. You're reaching them. They're interested. They're clicking a link. They're landing on the page, but they're not giving the email address. Now. You know where to look for the problem it's on that page. Sometimes it has to do with the headline or the copy on the page. Sometimes it has to do with the layout of the page, right? Sometimes it has to do with some sort of tech problem on the page. For example, maybe your page isn't working properly. There are so many different things to look at, but you would know based on those numbers, that there's some kind of problem on the page itself. So I would look at all those different things. How is the design of this page working for, or against me? How is the headline? The copy on this page? What's the call to action?

Is it very clear how somebody can sign up? Am I asking for too much information? Sometimes I see health coaches putting together their first opt-in page and sometimes they want to collect first name, last name, email address, phone number. No, no, no, no, no. Just first name and email address. We don't want to create any barriers for people to sign up. We don't want to make it difficult for them. So that would be the next thing to look at. How is this page actually working? And then another thing that just came into my head and another reason you may not be getting as many people on your mailing list, as you wish that you were is because you may have a double opt-in situation where people are going to your page, they are giving an email address, but in order to actually get on your mailing list, they're getting an email.

That's asking them to confirm and people miss that email. It's a really good thing to do. It is such a good practice for a clean email list. But in my experience, all my God, people are not paying attention. If they didn't immediately get the thing that they asked for, they get some other intermediate email that's asking them to confirm, and then they have to wait again. Oftentimes they will just give up or they just missed that email completely. And they don't even realize that they didn't complete the loop and confirm their email address. So after much trial and error on my side, I am absolutely happy to share with you. I have all that double opt-in stuff turned off because I have found that it is a huge barrier to adding new names to my list. So, if your freebie isn't working, there are lots of different ways that you can look at it to figure out, okay, what's exactly going wrong here, Sharon saying that her freebie is the ultimate five-day energy reset, but I'm now working on a five-day challenge.

Cool. So that sounds like Sharon, you have an evergreen freebie that you've created something that you can offer year round. And now you're working on a five day challenge. I know you are because you're inside healthy profit university and that's going to work as an event or a onetime type freebie, which you know what those tend to convert better. Cause it's just a little bit more exciting when it's like, this thing is happening on this date and you know, don't miss it. It gives people a reason to go ahead and sign up because there's that date? There's that sense of urgency, but it's good to have both. So I'm glad that you have both and it's possible to also have multiple evergreen freebies going on. You know, maybe not right now if you're new in your business, but as your business grows, I know inside my business, I have lots of different evergreen freebies.

And then I tend to have one event type freebie going on at a time. Christie says that she has a handout, 'Eat your way to hormone health' and she's looking for ideas to promote it. Awesome. Eat your way to hormone health Christie, I don't know what the headline is on that page, but I would love to look at it. Um, but I know that what you want is a headline that speaks to somebody's pain point. So this is not that I know the answer, but I'm just posing it as a question. Does your audience know that they are in search of hormone health or would they use different words to describe that? Like what do they want or what do they not want in their own words? And oftentimes that makes for a more effective headline in how you are selling this thing. Now, of course you're not selling it, you're selling it in exchange for an email address, but an email address is very valuable.

So you are kind of selling it anyway. We're going to be going over evergreen freebies, one-time event, freebies and promotion ideas for all of it inside the multiply, your mailing list event coming up in a few weeks. And I put the link in the comments here. It's healthcoachpower.com/multiply.

Okay. Let's talk more about, about promoting actually. Because I think I mentioned this a minute ago, but I want to talk more about it. Um, you need to be able to get yourself and your freebie in front of new eyeballs. So just think, how am I doing that right now? Christie, you said that you're looking for ideas to promote your handout. Well, who are you offering it to? And how could you start offering it to other groups of people that haven't already heard about it or other groups of people that are just meeting you for the first time?

I like to think of these as partnerships or sometimes I call it borrowing and audience. So you can do that type of thing. It's a strategy where you are offering something to somebody else's audience, and this can happen on social media. For example, it could be something like two people, two practitioners, two brands, whatever, doing a Instagram live together, right? That's a partnership just for that one 30 minute time slot or one hour time slot. You're going to do this Instagram live together. But if you can offer your freebie during that, you're getting exposure to that. Person's entire Instagram following. So that would be one example of something that you could do. Social media based. You could also borrow borrow audiences when it comes to giving workshops. So I used to do a lot of workshops at yoga studios. You could be doing it anywhere in your community.

You can also be hosting workshops online, but again, you don't want to host it yourself in like your living room. You want to be the guest or the expert that is being hosted for this event, at the Pilates studio at the spot somewhere else, where they're providing the audience and your showing up to provide the content and getting in front of all new eyeballs, right? So this is where a lot of coaches fall down. We create the thing and then we're like, oh, why doesn't anybody want it? You have to do the legwork of getting in front of lots of new audiences. So you want to think about partnerships on social media. You want to think about doing partnerships. IRL, you want to think about doing workshops in different places. You can be writing article articles, excuse me, where you are writing something up.

It's being published, not on your blog, but on somebody else's blog or somebody else's website. And that's a way that you can be getting in front of new audiences and you can offer your freebie within that article. And another fantastic way to do this is with podcasting again, not your own podcast, but you can show up in front of new audiences. If you can be a guest on somebody else's podcast, this is easier than you think. And very, very effective during a podcast episode, I'm sure you've listened to so many. It's very common. If it's an interview, let's say I'm the host for me to say, thank you so much for joining us today. You have a gift for our listeners. Can you tell us more about that? And then you would have an opportunity to share your freebie with everybody who listens to that show.

Excellent way to reach new people that you otherwise would never have come into contact with. So make sure that you are not only creating something really cool, but working hard to get in front of all those new eyeballs. Okay. The other thing that I want to talk about today is a reason that your list may not be growing is because I have a, I have a suspicion and I don't know if, again, I don't know if this is going to be true for all of you, but I have a suspicion because I see it happen all the time. Are you limiting yourself to social media? When you say nobody's signing up for my thing, whatever that thing is, is it because you're posting it to Instagram and you're posting it to Facebook and maybe you're posting it to LinkedIn or another place. And you think, boy, I posted this all over the place, but it's all just social media based.

I can't tell you how many new coaches in particular, I want to say in the past two or three years, I get this question a lot. Isn't there some way to promote myself that's not on social media or I hate social media and so I'm never going to be able to make a health coaching business. Where did we get this idea? You guys, I started my health coaching business practice basically before social media existed. It was like in its infancy. When I, when my business was in its infancy, I wasn't using social media to promote myself very much at all. And I took off very quickly in my practice in real life. That whole IRL thing is still very, very important. So, while social media is an amazing and powerful tool that we now have at our disposal, yes, there's also a world of opportunity like in actual life.

Isn't that amazing. And we forget about that. So think about what you're doing to promote yourself and your business day in and day out. And if everything you list off is utilizing social media or is on a screen, I want to encourage you. Get the heck off the screen. Like we were talking about, go do that workshop at the yoga studio, go show up at the natural food store and hold a talk or go show up at the library. I mean, literally anywhere do anything, but get out and meet people in real life. Not only does this expand your options, but when you meet somebody in person, they are so much more likely to become a lifelong fan than if they just happen to come across you on social media, right? Like someone on social media is a dime, a dozen, a health practitioner on social media, please.

There are way too many out there. So it means nothing. But if you are in somebody's location, you are sharing space with them. You're sharing energy with them. That's an enormous opportunity. You can be doing this in a corporate setting. You can be doing this within your local community, something within your town. I mean, the opportunities are endless. Vanessa says my opt-in is my balanced life worksheet. It has worked fairly well. Ah, I love, first of all, I'm happy that you're saying it's worked fairly well. And when you say fairly well, or when we judge is my opt-in working, it's like, what does that mean? What does that mean? Does it mean that we're putting it out there and people are opting in for it and putting your names on our mailing list? That's good. You can also look at it. Am I adding people to my mailing list who are well positioned to then book a call with me?

Are they booking a call with me? Are they turning in to paying clients? Cause that's what we really want to happen. Right? So it's like, how do you know if your opt-in is doing well? Even if you're looking at your conversion rate again, how many people come to your page versus how many people sign up? Well, what's a good rate. What's a good freight. It varies tremendously. So if it's your first time doing this and you're a little unsure of yourself and maybe you've never used the tools before, and you have like a 10% conversion rate, Bravo like good for you, right? That there's no shame in starting like that because you've started. But as you go on, like if you had a 10% conversion rate, you're going to want to shoot for like a 20% conversion rate. Next time I like my conversion rates to be above 50%.

And I really like when there were about 70 or 80%, if they're not there, I'm usually working on something to make that conversion rate go up. So do pay attention to your conversions and then also pay attention to what happens to those people. Once they're on your list, are they just sitting there doing nothing? Are they engaging? Are they the right type of people? That eventually would be somebody that makes a good paying client? So I'll give you an example. I used to do years and years ago in my health coaching practice, I used to do a lot of recipe creation and I would put together these recipe books and offer them as freebies. And that can be great, but I would do it in such a way that I would get a bunch of people on my mailing list who really didn't have a problem, a health problem.

They really didn't have a need for a health coach. They just liked healthy recipes. They liked them because, well, they were already pretty healthy. They already liked to cook. And so if I was going to give them a bunch of free recipes, cool, can you see how I would then build a mailing list full of people that are not actually well positioned to become clients? They're just people who like to gather up my free stuff and not that that's wrong, or there's a huge harm in that except well, you know what, at a certain point you do start paying for your mailing list. If you got your first thousand, your first 2000, you're on a MailChimp account, you know, it's free, but as your list grows and grows, you start paying every month. So you want to make sure you have the right people on your mailing list from the get-go Sharon saying, oh, I'll have to catch the replay. I'm having connectivity problems. No problem. We have this podcast everywhere, right? I don't know if you're able to listen on apple podcasts, you can watch on YouTube. We're all over the place.

Vanessa said, my list grew from 28 to 2 96 in two years, but not much conversion. Okay. So in two years you added about whatever 250ish people to your mailing list with that freebie. I mean, that is definitely something, but you're right. The next thing to look at is what happens to them after they've joined your list, Hey, you already got them there. That that's good. I want to say great job Vanessa because that part is not nothing like that is hard. It's hard to figure out what kind of freebie to create, get in front of the right people put together the page, deliver the freebie to them. And then of course nurture your list once they're on it.

Oh my God. That is a whole other topic. What do we do with people once they're on the mailing list? Ah, but that's not what we're talking about today. Today is really about why the list may not be growing. And so what was I saying? I was saying it may not be growing because you're limiting yourself to social media and you're not getting out in the world. I would encourage you. Let's see we're going into the summer. So in the next six months of the year, could you book two or three local speaking engagements workshops, something that you're doing where you're actually meeting people face to face? I mean, I think I hope we are on the tail end of the pandemic, most things, and most states are opening backups. And this has become a for us again, that we can go out and do things to help market ourselves.

Do it run, don't walk. These are huge opportunities and they're just waiting for you. Okay? So last but not least another reason, the final reason that I want to share with you today that your list may not be growing. Okay? This is kind of funny, but you very well maybe adding names to your mailing list, you might have that. What was it, balanced life worksheet or eat your way to hormone health or whatever it is that you're offering. And people are opting in. You are getting your names on your list, but at the same time, you're losing names and that's normal. Like you, you're going to be adding new names all the time. Your list is growing, but at what pace, and can you outpace the attrition because there's always going to be people who get your emails and they're going to hit the unsubscribe button.

So let's talk about unsubscribes for a second. Unsubscribes are kind of awesome. If somebody doesn't want to hear from you for free, what are the chances that that person wants to pay you and become a client? Very, very small, right? So, if it's somebody who doesn't even want to be on your list and they're going to unsubscribe, bye-bye have a nice day, like, see you. Love that. You know that about yourself. You know, I'm here for the people that want to hear from me. I'm here to serve them. So a lot of times it's health coaches. We can get really, really bummed out when somebody unsubscribes from our list, but don't be, they know what's right for them. And we're going to trust them that this was not a good fit, great focus, your energy on the people you have. But if you're losing people faster than you're gaining, this is another reason why your mailing list is just going to come to like a plateau.

Like how come I can't get over this number. That means that it's time to step up So, your list, building game, whatever you've been doing so far, whatever pace has been adding to your growth. It's just not keeping up with the drop-off. So you want to step up your email game so that you're adding more people to your list. And the other way to think about this would be, how could you maybe not lose as many subscribers? Again, we're always going to lose people. However, we will lose more people when we're not consistent. Are you emailing your list on a regular basis or is the list kind of sitting there for six months? And then you come out of left field with an email and half the people on your list are like, who the heck is this delete unsubscribe, right? When you're consistent and you really nurture the relationship.

Well, you're nurturing the relationship. So they're less likely to unsubscribe. They know who you are. You've been in their inbox. Week-in week-out, whatever it is, send on a consistent schedule and you will have fewer unsubscribes. The other thing contributing to losing subscribers would of course be, are you producing content that your list wants to read? This is impossible to do. If you have a mishmash of people on your list. When I had a mailing list that was full of people who just liked recipes and were already healthy, and then maybe I offered some other freebie that was for new moms. So I had a bunch of new moms in my list. And then I offered some other freebie that was around some other topic. I just had this assortment of people on my mailing list and it made it impossible to send a single email that resonated with everybody.

So of course, I'm going to get unsubscribes because suddenly if I start talking about new mom's stuff and this person's on my mailing list and they don't have kids at all, they're like this isn't for me. I'm outta here. This all goes back to knowing who you're talking to, creating a freebie. That's very specific to that type of person filling your list. That so that your list is more or less homogenous, same type of person, same type of problem this way. When you email them, it's very likely that it's going to strike a nerve and everyone on that list is going to go, yup. I need this. Yep, I'm glad I'm here and they're not going to unsubscribe. So those are just some tips for keeping the subscribers that you actually have.

Now Sharon had a question earlier. She said my list, isn't growing because I'm not putting, not putting the opportunity to get it out there, which brings me to my questions. How many free offers should we have? And, if more than one, do we rotate them? So what I have found to be very useful is to create a freebie around the top issues that my target market has, the questions they most commonly ask the problems that they most commonly are talking about during our consultations, things like that. And then yes, I could just rotate them. But typically I have one that is my main freebie, my best performing freebie. That's the one that you might see like on my Instagram profile or just the one that's always there unless I have an event coming up and then I have other freebies that I keep for the situations where they're relevant. So if someone on Facebook or wherever saying, gosh, I really need help with X, Y, Z. I can say, you know, I have a free resource about that. Would you be interested? And then they say, yes, and then I send it to them.

Or as you guys know, I do inside of our health coach power community, Facebook group, I say, hey, what do you need help with? And then when you tell me what you need help with, because I've been doing this a long time, I probably have a resource for you. Sometimes it's a downloadable freebie. Sometimes it's a podcast episode, whatever. But when the, what I'm trying to say is that when the topic comes up, I have the resource to match. So that's how I think about having multiple freebies. When there is a question I'm answering again and again, and again, that's a great topic for a freebie because the next time that question gets answered, instead, it gets asked instead of just answering it, I can say here, I have this for you. And the mailing list grows once again. I hope you all join me for multiply your mailing list. It starting in just a couple of weeks and you can sign up for free. now at healthcoachpower.com/multiply. I'll be back next week until then take care. I'll see you inside the Facebook group.