Do You Dread Emailing Your List?

Tia asks: What do you do when you dread emailing your list?

Can one really not survive online without an email list??

Tia is not alone. I've heard from many of you over the last few weeks (during the Growing Your List challenge) about how difficult it is for you to really get involved with list building & email marketing.

You have some legitimate feelings, concerns and doubts...

Tia gave specific reasons why she dreads emailing her list, and more of you asked some great questions about email marketing, so I though we'd take a break from challenge and address your concerns and questions...

Me: Great question! Can you tell me why you dread sending an email?

Tia: Not feeling aligned with the message, changing messages, changing frequency of emailing from monthly to weekly and seeing higher unsubs, running out of things to say, not having a proper format, feels like work etc...

These are all very good points.

Being aligned with your message AND your market are both very important. I'm assuming if you feel this way it stems from one of two issues: either you're not enjoying your niche or topic, or you're simply not sure what your readers want and need - or what they'll respond to best.

The first issue deserves serious consideration if that's truly the case. But if you're simply discouraged with a lack of results, that can be easily fixed.

Getting aligned with your market, and getting your messages aligned with your readers, is an even easier fix...

Your Subscribers' Expectations

Let's start with your subscribers' expectations, both in terms of content and frequency. This is always the best place to start. Go back to where your subscribers joined your mailing list and consider what their expectations may have been when they chose to subscribe.

Did you promise a daily tip, a weekly update, a monthly newsletter? What expectations might they have in the way of content or topics from you?

It's important to "keep your promises" but it's also important to test different variables and do what it takes to best serve your market.

If you find that increasing the mailing frequency results in a high number of unsubscribes, or a decrease in frequency reduces your response rate, this is your market talking to you - and it pays to listen!

What to Say, and How to Say It, In Your Email Messages

If you're at a loss for what to send to your list, a great place to start your research & brainstorming is on social media channels. Specifically Facebook, Twitter and discussion forums in your niche.

Do a search on Twitter for some of your keywords. What are people talking about? Browse through your content stream on Facebook, or the walls of some of your readers (they're easy to find if you engage them on a Facebook Page). What are they posting about and responding to on Facebook?

Look through forums for the threads with the most replies, or the most views. All three of these super quick research methods will give you a quick look at what's trending in your market, and what your market is responding to.

Of course, don't forget your keyword research. You can come up with endless ideas researching long-tail keyword phrases your market is using in the major search engines! Also see:

Email Message Formatting Hassles

Tia mentioned not having a proper format for her email messages. Plain Text formatting is just fine. In fact, many email programs won't display images without the reader clicking a "display images" link or icon anyway - which can make graphic messages look a little wonky when they arrive.

That said, an HTML Template is great for branding. Aweber offers many templates to choose from which you can easily customize. You can also outsource this task very inexpensively - and mark that issue right off your list. 😉

"It's Too Much Work"

You have a couple of options to create a responsive email list, without having to sit down and write to your subscribers every week or month.

The easiest solution is an autoresponder series, which you write once and then it will go out on a schedule for you. Another option is the Blog Broadcast feature, where your email list is tied to your RSS feed and simply mails your readers new posts (or excerpts of posts) you publish on your blog.

Keep in mind too that Email Marketing has one of the highest response rates of any form of online marketing you can do. It is well worth the time and energy!

“Email is ten times more impactful and responsive than just about any form of media ever developed.” -Seth Godin, page viii LBB

I'll stop there for today, and publish a List Building Q&A (part two) tomorrow. You can see some of the questions posted here, and also add your own questions there as well. You're welcome to post them below as a comment too, of course...


p.s. Quick Reminder: The coupon code for the List Building for Bloggers guide expires on Monday. Feel free to wait and pay 150% more than everyone else when the code expires - or click here and get it today for only 9.95 😀

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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. This post is very good timing for me. I really struggle with a list (don't have one and can't seem to get one) so I am looking forward to gleaning some ideas from this topic.

    • Glad to hear it's proving useful for you, Jim! Question: what is your #1 struggle with building a list. You mentioned you don't have one and can't seem to get one...

  2. Peggy Baron says

    Good questions and answers, Lynn.

    When I first started I was really nervous about emailing my list. I was afraid I'd get unsubs, or I'd say the wrong thing, or people wouldn't like me. You do have to develop some thick skin and not take unsubs personally.

    I took some good advice to heart and it's made all the difference - write your email like you're talking to one person. Forget everyone else and write to that one person - preferably another marketer you're friends with.

    It does get easier, especially when you get to know some of the people on your list.

    Not every email you send is going to be an out-of-the-park homerun, but if you're aligned with your message and market, you get to the point where you're eager to send your emails because you know your info will help some of them.


    • Great points (and tips!) Peggy 😀

      I agree with the thick skin too. Unsubs don't bother me so much, it's the negative replies you can receive sometimes that feel like they came out of left field. I try to take all feedback objectively, and ignore the rest - just keep on truckin'...

  3. LindaYarbrough says

    Lynn, I'm glad you did this right now in your series. I'm sure there are a lot of us who are stalled on these issues. The many tips, suggestions and thought-provoking-ideas will help so much! As always, thanks for being candid, open and YOU!

  4. Thank you Lynn, really good, like always!! Isn't Email Marketing like everything else: mindset, intention (to help others), commitment, sticktoitiveness, etc?

  5. Steve Thomas says

    One of the problems I have is that I hate getting them, so I don't want to send them. There are very few emails rom marketers that I open. I have been systematically unsubscribing to many of them. I hate being sold to every time I turn around!

    I felt so strongly about this, that I dumped my Aweber account a while back. I just saw no need. I have recently come to the point where I know it is important, at least on my site that plan to do the most marketing from, but I still don't like the idea of sending out, "buy my stuff" emails. I don't do door to door either!

    • LindaYarbrough says

      I so agree and have been unsubscribing also. Wrote a blog post last week at Yarbys Corner on Email Marketing - Stop Overkill. BUT I have to say that we can all take some lessons on this topic from the top internet marketers who just do not over-do it. Lynn is a great example of best practices with her ClickNewz emails. I also like the way Anik Singal and Kim Garst handle their emails and always look forward to them. The key I think: They share down-to-earth helpful tips and don't include a laundry list of sales offers. Before I un-subscribe to a marketer, I note what I disliked so much about their email marketing approach - and vow not to do it!

  6. Elizabeth Tobin, Certified Resonance Repatterning Practitioner says

    I'd love to get the ebook, but it requires a coupon code that I don't have. What is the coupon code?

  7. I use Aweber and do 2 things:

    1. Monthly newsletter
    2. Automatically send last 5 blog posts - I usually post Tuesday and Thursdays

    My list continues to grow.

    Now I need to figure out how to market to my list.

    John (JetA iator7)

  8. You always have good tips but of course you have lots of experience and time in the market. Starting out is a time consuming task but getting traffic and sales to pay services can make or break you.
    I've learned from experience and Lynn ,diversifying your message and emails is a good way to test the waters. See what people respond to and try to keep their interest. Some marketers start off with a few good ideas then flood me with clickbank offers, free offers that have a price tag. My rule is not to promote anything I have not thoroughly researched, where possible, have used.
    The fact that Lynn responds to posts is one of the reasons I take the time to add to the conversation. Her content is always useful. I do all my own copy and research and enjoy helping others. I'm offering to help anyone in need of some assistance in this area. No charges or strings attached, just people helping people.

    • Thank you, John. I do have experience and time in, but I started out just like everyone else. At square one. 🙂 And even worse, I started out 15 years ago - before there were blogs, tutorials, ebooks, mentors, and forums. LOL.

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