4 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your List

Email-List-BuildingYour email list on the surface is a list of first names and email addresses. But at the core, your email list is made up of people. They've subscribed to your list, because you've offered them something valuable… something they want.  It's also about the experience you create.

There are many things to consider when you begin this relationship. And while there are many ways to build your list, there are some things to avoid if you don't want to create a mass exodus from your messages.

You also want to avoid any problems with the law and your internet service provider (ISP). There is legislation in place to protect the privacy of internet users and there are penalties for spamming and unwanted mails. Because of the low cost of electronic mail it has become a marketers favorite tool. It is also the most effective, but you don't want to enter someone's inbox uninvited. Notice how protective, even selective, you are about your email subscriptions.

Here are four things to avoid:

  1. Don't Be a Copycat. This might seem obvious, but sometimes it's the hardest thing to get. You have to be you. Don't copy, but do model when you see someone else's style or approach that resonates with your own. Pay attention to your lexicon – those words that are frequent flyers for you and your Tribe. Honor your style, if you're conversational and wordy “Go for it!”  If you're succinct, “Go for the less is more!” Be yourself and the ‘right people' will make their way to you.
  2. No Easy Unsubscribe. Don't make someone email you personally to unsubscribe. It's a downright ‘no no.' You should be using an autoresponder service, like Aweber or Constant Contact, so that an unsubscribe can be accomplished in one click. Non-compliance can land you in hot water with the ‘authorities,' namely your internet service provider. You will lose a lot of subscribers this way and many more in potential subscribers.
  3. Not managing your unsuccessful sends. These are the e-mails that bounce. Bounced emails, also known as undeliverable messages, are those messages that, for whatever reason, were not successfully received by the intended recipient.
    Manage your bounced emails so that you have accurate statistics and know how many are actually receiving your mail.  Emails bounce because…

    • the server was busy at that time but can still be delivered in another time
    • the inbox of the recipient is full at that time
    • they are simply undeliverable ever. The reason for this is that it may be an invalid email address, a misspelled email address, or an email address that was abandoned and erased already
    • the email address is misspelled. Typos are often the source of your bounced emails. Fingers are flying when you're hot to opt in to an offer that you really want
  4. Not proofreading and testing all links. Once you hit that send button, there's no way to retrieve that broadcast. Make sure to proofread and test all links. There's nothing worse than sending out an email and subscribers emailing you that the links don't work. Argh! It's happened to me more times than I'd care to confess.

Treat your ‘list members' as treasured guests and you're guaranteed to build your Tribe and connect with the folks that you're here to serve.

Interested in scheduling a session with Adela to explore your best list building strategy? Fill out the Listbuilding Strategy Session application.

About the Author

Adela Rubio writes and speaks on awakening your creative essence with the power of collaboration and community. She's hosted 20+ Women's Writing Circles, 30-Day Adventures, and Telesummits.

  • I have found that Viral list building programs are very effective in increasing subscribers to your list.

    Enjoyed your post and look forward to more.


    • Adela says:

      Thanks, Andrew. Glad you enjoyed the post. I don’t have any experience with viral list building programs. Since my marketing is all based on relationships that’s been my preferred perspective.

  • Great advice. My biggest frustration right now is learning how to effectively build my list. The second biggest is creating engaging content. I will be putting your tips to use right away.

    • Adela says:


      Glad you enjoyed the tips.

      The most important thing with listbuilding is to create a firm foundation (your message/offers) and then test in the real world and tweak. Then partner with others to expand your reach. Make sure to do this regularly. There’s no secret, just consistently sharing your message, testing and tweaking.

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