Biggest Reason Your Email List Isn’t Growing (and You’re Probably Not Aware of It)

There are a lot of reasons why your email list isn’t growing. But from observing over 20 email marketing accounts, the biggest reason your email list isn’t growing is inconsistency with your message and your offer.

Here are a few examples where a lot of marketers fail at this:

  • They offer a newsletter subscription but only sends out sales messages. A newsletter subscriber expects content, not promos and discounts.
  • They offer a PDF for free download but requires you do 20 more steps or make a subscription before you get the download. Then you get enrolled in a never ending sales pitch message.

The promise doesn’t match with the delivery. It’s inconsistent. And it just adds frustration to your viewers.

But wait a minute. You might be telling yourself, “aren’t newsletters supposed to contain my products and services?”

We’ll get to that later on. For now, let’s explore the concept of message match.

Message Match Principle

Unbounce calls the matching of promise-delivery message match. Here’s what they say in their website:

A measure of how well your landing page copy matches the phrasing of the ad or link that brought the visitor there. For PPC marketers, this means matching your ad copy to your landing page headline. Strong message match increases conversions because it reassures people they’ve come to the right place.

While they were talking primarily about PPC and advertising, the principle remains the same — your call-to-action must be consistent with what the user sees after performing an action.

Make sure you remove as much friction as possible. This makes it easy for people to convert.

Message Match in Action

Let’s go back to the question I posted earlier about newsletters containing promotional messages about your organization’s products and services.

If you haven’t guessed already, the answer is no.


Masking your promotional messages as as a newsletter is one of the most ineffective email marketing tactics so prevalent in the Philippines.

In fact, because there are no regulating bodies about spam in the country, email marketing remains one of the most primitive aspect of digital marketing.

On the other hand, it is an area where you can make a huge difference by making small changes. Below are some of them:

  1. Don’t send that “newsletter” you’re working in right now
  2. Create content that is helpful
  3. Segment your list and send the content you made to each of these segments

Your email marketing activities should not be focused on sending promotional messages alone. If you look at the vast majority of emails you can send, that’s only 1/12 of the entire repertoire.

It’s like playing basketball. You don’t score only by using layups. There are jump shots, free throws, and 3-pointers. No team ever won a game using only 1 way to score.

Ariel Lim

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.

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