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Email marketing has huge ROI, but you can’t do email marketing unless there are subscribers to market to. It’s amazing how many high traffic sites are pulling in abysmal numbers of email subscribers. Understanding why people aren’t subscribing is half the battle, the half that we’re working on today. It’s important to understand that there’s not just one reason visitors aren’t signing up for updates, almost always there are a variety of factors decreasing conversion rates to subscription. Here are a few of the most common issues that prevent readers from signing up for updates.

  • The Call to Action is wrong: It’s not enough to have a text box next to a ‘Subscribe’ button if you really want to grow your email list. You’ve got to be innovative and clever with wording to prevent the boredom of a normal signup form. Check out hubspot’s guide for clever signup forms. Here


upworthy email signup


The call to action is fun and highlights the benefits of being a subscriber.


 bad email signup form

The call to action is generic and doesn’t talk about what being a subscriber gets you.

  • Your Signup Forms are in the Wrong Place: Not having call to action forms in the eyesight of visitors can reduce subscriptions drastically. The simple truth is that you need forms in certain places to maximize signups. For the seven places to make sure you have forms, check out this article.


  • Traffic is coming from the Wrong Places: The simple truth is that paid traffic converts at a much lower rate than organic. If you’ve tried every trick in the book to increase subscriptions but nothing is working, perhaps it’s time for a gut-check on where visitors are originating. For best results, there should be a mix of referral, organic, and paid traffic.

“Organic website traffic was cited by 54% of respondents as the best tactic for acquisition; 50% believe transactions are the best tactic. Social media remains in third place, reported by 23% of respondents. - DMA ”National Client Email Report” (2013)”

  • There’s Not Enough Incentive: The most powerful methods for getting email subscribers involve some sort of give and take. Whether it’s an appropriate E-book or a piece of valuable information that lies behind a subscription, having something to give your subscribers that goes above and beyond the regular content on your site is key to conversion rates.

free ebook


  • Your Content Is Not Engaging: Trying to optimize for conversions when the content isn’t there to support it is like trying to wax an ancient, beat up junk car to make it shine. If the foundation isn’t there, people just won’t want to subscribe. A good way to gauge whether or not your content is engaging is to run a survey asking people how disappointed they would be if your site was to suddenly disappear. If more than 50% report that they’d be ‘Very Disappointed’ you’ve got nothing to worry about. Otherwise, spend more time working on the articles and less time trying to coerce people into signing up.

Make sure your website isn’t losing leads that could turn into valuable customers. You can’t execute a proper email marketing strategy without a strong flow of new subscribers. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting subscription boxes in new places, and other times it involves a brand new content strategy. Find out why visitors aren’t subscribing and fix it today, the ROI of a list is too high to wait.

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