3 Myths on Growing Your Email List as a New Business Owner

Growing your email list? Here's a few myths to avoid in business email marketing by Kayla Hollatz

So you’ve already heard from every business marketer out there how important building your email list is. And they’re right. 

Email marketing is arguably the most effective and sustainable marketing platform for increasing lead generation, connecting with your ideal clients and buyers, and raising your conversion rates. 

If we take out all the online marketing jargon in that sentence, it simply means that your email list is the best way to share content that is going to attract and entice your people to take an action. 

While it’s obvious we can’t (and shouldn’t want to) ignore email marketing, it can often feel like just one more piece of content to create. 

Because so many of us are creating weekly blog posts, regular podcast episodes, live and recorded YouTube videos, social media content, or all of the above, email marketing can often fall to the bottom of our overflowing to-do list when in reality, email marketing should be your first priority. 

Surprisingly enough, I didn’t like email marketing when I first started blogging. 

I know, kind of a weird thing to admit now as a copywriter and content creator, but it’s true. 

Email marketing and I had a love-hate relationship, and I was experiencing way more of the latter. 

So what changed? 

After about four months of trying six different newsletter formats and designs as I grew tired of everything I was experimenting with, I decided to go back to what really mattered: the words. 

I spent too much time worried about if my newsletter banner photo was going to look pretty on mobile devices or if I was creating the best roundup of links in my industry, but my audience didn’t care about any of those things. 

My early subscribers traded their email address for an inside look into my blog and business through storytelling.

The same is true today. 

I thought when I first started my email list that I had to emulate what other bloggers and small business owners were doing. 

Maybe you feel the same way starting your own email list as a budding entrepreneur. 

As you start to create your email marketing strategy, you’ll encounter countless myths about what it takes to truly grow your email list. Let’s bust those myths together, shall we?

Myth 01 // Your goal should be to get as many subscribers on your list as possible

This is wrong, so very wrong. The problem with the mentality is that not everyone who lands on your site is going to be a great fit for your product or service. 

If your email marketing strategy is to get every single person who comes in contact with your brand on your email list, it’s going to be very hard to sustain. 

This will become difficult once you grow your email list beyond 1,000 subscribers. Why? Because you’re going to have to start paying to send emails to each subscriber, even those that will never convert. 

While I love my extended family dearly, I don’t try to get them to sign up for my email list. 

They aren’t entrepreneurs who need help with content marketing and copywriting so they’ll never buy from me. This is totally fine, but it’s better for them to follow along with my journey on other free-to-view platforms like my blog or social media. 

When you first start your email list, I know getting to that "sexy" goal number of subscribers seems like the most important thing, but your future self will thank you for being specific and niching down.


Myth 02 // Your newsletter design is more important than your newsletter copy

I used to get SO caught up in design, which was dreadful because while I’m quite gifted at words (if I do say so myself!), my design skills are mostly based around aesthetic, not execution. *face palm*

Because I started in Mailchimp, I felt like I HAD to have a great design my subscribers would ooh and ahh over, but it never felt complete. 

When I made the switch to ConvertKit, my current email service provider and one of the loves of my (business) life, I gave myself permission to ditch the design and focus on my strong suit. 

Every email sequence, email course, and single newsletter I’ve created since then feels like a perfect fit. 

My subscribers didn’t care about the typography in my newsletter banner (although Comic Sans is always out of the question).

They just wanted to hear from me, so my newsletters had to reflect that.  

I now use what I like to call a naked email template. 

I know it sounds a little scandalous, but it just means that there are no design elements (aka text only). Just words and maybe a few links.

While this may not work for every business owner or for every industry (see Free People’s beautifully designed emails), you shouldn’t feel like you can’t get started on email marketing until you’ve created the “perfect design”. 

You have what you need to get started right now. The process begins when you put words on the page (or hiring a ghostwriter who can make it look like you did! *wink*)


Myth 03 // You need to have a new content upgrade / lead magnet with EVERY blog post

When I first started blogging in 2013, you were considered an overachiever if you created more than one 500 word blog post a week and had a regular article promotion schedule on social media.

Now it seems like everyone is told you need a blog post, audio recording of the blog post, unique content upgrade, multiple social media promotion images...

No wonder my friends entering the world of online business right now are overwhelmed! I would be too. 

One of the most common things I’m asked on content marketing is if you need to have a separate lead magnet for each blog post in order to increase your email list. 

My answer is a big “heck nah!” 

Don’t get me wrong, having fresh lead magnets like downloadable PDF checklists and mini ebooks is a great way to attract new subscribers, but too often I see this myth discourage business owners from creating content at all. 

Instead, when you're first starting out, create one lead magnet a month around a general theme that relates to your services or products. Then you can intentionally plan your blog content strategy around the content upgrade so it can naturally fit into multiple blog posts.

More bang for your buck!

I take this same approach with my content creation and ghostwriting clients so they are getting the most out of each lead magnet we collaborate on. 

start growing your email list today by understanding your brand voice

This will help you create *all* of your brand messaging, whether it’s through newsletters or any other marketing materials. 

Take the quick 5 question brand voice style quiz today and learn what copywriting personality you are! 

email, convertKayla Hollatz