Do you sometimes feel like all the effort you’re putting into your list building is in vain?

Are you frustrated by the low number of sales that are trickling in from your email marketing efforts?

We see this a lot when we undertake digital marketing audits for new clients. You get people opting in for your “free thing”, but then very few of them go on to buy your “paid thing”.

“The money is in the list” they say.

So where are all your piles of cash hiding?

We have compiled the top four reasons your list building efforts might not be converting, where you could be going wrong, and how to take your list building to the next level.

1. Not creating a lead magnet that offers quick wins

Creating the right lead magnet is key to building your email list with qualified leads. But it’s not all about building your list and getting your audience into an email nurture sales sequence.

The problem with most lead magnets we see online is they offer a lot of knowledge around a specific pain point but they don’t offer any quick wins/solution, something that can actually be implemented right away and get your new lead some sort of result.

Creating something that is at least partially immediately actionable is key to building trust fast, and to get your new leads into a “momentum mindset”.

I bet you’re thinking – momentum mindset, huh?! It basically just means it gets them in the mood to purchase.

So what could constitute as a lead magnet with a quick win? Here’s an example:

Company products: All natural and preservative free food and home products.

The opt-in: A cheatsheet that tells you the numbers associated with preservatives and food dyes that you need to be aware of when shopping in the supermarket.

How is it actionable: Armed with the numbers listed in the cheatsheet any parent can go to the supermarket, pick up an item of packaged food and cross reference the number.

How does it lead to a sale: The end product the client is selling is all natural and preservative free food and home products. The type of people who would buy these products want to know what’s in their food.

Company products: Productivity, systems and mindset course for teachers

The opt-in: A checklist of kid-friendly tasks for deconstructing classrooms. 

How is it actionable: By following the checklist they could deconstruct the classroom right away and know what tasks to delegate to their students, which will save them time.

How does it lead to a sale: The core product is a productivity, systems and mindset course for teachers. Many of the resources in the paid course are quick win strategies just like this so it gives them a taster of the types of actionable resources they can expect.

Want some help creating one? Check out this article for more guidance.

2. Not spending enough on ads

These days the reality is that if you are looking to build your list, then you need to invest in ad spend. Sure, you hear stories about well-known influencers and brands doing well organically without spending anything, but it’s usually the exception rather than the norm. And unless you have loads of time to spend personally nurturing one-on-one relationships with your audience online organically, it’s just not going to happen.

When you’re budgeting your ad spend, keep in mind that you usually need to build your list by hundreds just to get just a few sales. It’s a bit depressing, but it’s the reality and your budget needs to be firmly rooted in reality.

So, if your average cost per opt-in for a cheat sheet is $3-$6 and you are looking to build your list by 100 subscribers, then you are going to have to spend $300-600 to do so. Similarly, if your average cost for a webinar registration is $10-$15 and you want 100 people to register, then it is going to cost you $1000-$1500 to achieve this goal.

If you are investing in building your list, then you had better make sure that you are nurturing that list over time to get a return on investment (more on that in a bit).

Another key factor in regards to ad spend is to not ‘set and forget’. You need to watch your online campaigns closely and tweak them accordingly. If one ad is totally bombing, don’t just keep funneling money into it. Divert those funds to an ad that IS doing well to bring your opt-in costs down. 

Optimising your campaigns is a skill though, and often something you need to outsource, but it’s so important in the pursuit of maximising your ROI.

3. The follow up sequence isn’t compelling enough

It’s all well and good if you have a kick-ass lead magnet, and some stellar ads around the campaign, but if your follow up sequence is not compelling, then you have just wasted your cash.

When planning a follow up sequence, remember you must include value-add content. Don’t just go straight to the hard sell. If you go in hard, you will alienate your audience and their “momentum mindset” will fast become an “unsubscribe mindset”. Start by building rapport – tell them your story, demonstrate your authority and give value.

Next, build your credibility by providing testimonials. This provides the audience with something they can relate to and allows them to better understand more about the experience of your product or service. But, a word of warning – choose your testimonials wisely. Keep them short, relevant and to the point. Don’t regurgitate every positive review you’ve ever received in full. Pick out the most relevant parts and run with them. The best testimonials contain a pain point, the product that helped and the happily ever after.

The final factor of the follow up sequence is scarcity. Most people need a deadline to encourage them to take action. An open-ended campaign will allow people to languish within in it and never provide the urgency factor which entices the conversion. In short, give people a deadline and they are more likely to purchase.

4. Your sales page is not optimised for conversions

Your email campaigns will at some point drive traffic to your sales page, with the aim of getting them to convert on your offer. If the sales page falls flat, then so too will your conversion rates. It’s something we encounter regularly when we undertake digital marketing audits for new clients, and it’s usually our first piece of advice to a client looking to improve their ROI from any campaign. Your entire online strategy can unravel with a sales page that is poorly designed or contains ineffective content.

One of the common mistakes we see is sales pages that contain vague and ambiguous statements about the product. Be direct, be descriptive and don’t leave the customer wanting for more. They need to know at this stage exactly what they are purchasing or signing up for. If they are left with unanswered questions, they’re more likely to abandon the cart.

Another issue we see a lot of is illogical copy and a poor design flow. Do some research around well-known brands websites, check out their sales pages and see how they use design and flow to optimise conversion.

Another vital aspect of your sales page are Call to Action (CTA) buttons. Place these strategically throughout your sale page and watch your ROI soar. So many sales pages contain acres of text, forcing the user to scroll, scroll and scroll some more before finally finding a CTA button right down the bottom. Many people will bounce off your page well before they get anywhere near the bottom, so you need to give them plenty of opportunities to purchase prior to this.

Take action!

Here’s a bonus tip: Take action!

Some of these tips might not be new to you, but have you done anything about it?

Pick one and take action.

Do the thing. Make the change. Measure the results.

Then if there is something else from this list that will help your results as well, do that next. It can sometimes be overwhelming to fix all the things at once. The important thing is that you keep improving and over time those small incremental changes will add up to big results.