Sneaky little list-building mistake

A few months back I was skyping with a client, “Jack,” he had me agitated.

Jack ran what most people would consider a successful blog. He’d invested 3-4 years building up his traffic and his audience, and over a million people a year visited his site.

Now Jack wanted to launch a product so he could start enjoying the rewards of all that hard work.

So what had me pacing around my basement with my headset in full-on Jerry Maguire mode?

Well, Jack wasn’t listening.

He had all this traffic to his site, but he wasn’t using it to grow his email list.

Jack had fallen prey to the #1 email list building mistake.

What mistake is that?

It has nothing to do with what “lead magnet” you use…

Or whether your site is “conversion-rate optimized.”

This mistake is a lot sneakier than those problems, because it’s in your mind.

See, Jack was telling himself:

“I don’t want to be a pest.”

“I don’t want to bother anyone.”

And I totally understand where he was coming from.

You’re a NICE person. You don’t want to be too pushy.

After all, you know you’re going to send marketing emails to your email list. You feel like you’re basically asking people to subject themselves to your sales pitches. And ultimately your goal is to make some money out of this deal.

Given all that, asking someone to sign up for your email list seems… selfish. And self-serving.

That mindset is completely natural.

But it will murder your email list growth.


It’s impossible to sell something that you don’t believe in wholeheartedly.

And when you let yourself fall into the “I don’t want to bother anyone” mindset, you’re admitting that you don’t believe in yourself.

This hesitation and lack of confidence undermines everything you do.

It seeps out through the pages of your site and it poisons your copy.

And it drives people away.

If that sounds familiar, try asking yourself this question:

“Would a person who visits my website today honestly be better off if he accepted my help?”

If you answer “No,” then you may need to find a different business to get into. Or else level up your skills until you can deliver on your promises.

But if you answered “Yes,” then here’s the deal.

You are NOT bothering anyone by inviting them to join your email list.

You’re doing them a HUGE favor.

They have a problem—and you have the solution.

They have a sucking chest wound and you have the life-saving compression bandage.

They NEED you.

This mindset takes the focus off of you and your discomfort with “promoting yourself,” and puts it back where it belongs, on your customer and their problems.

So hold your head up high.

Be confident.

And use every tool at your disposal to INVITE your readers to step into your world every chance you get.

MY favorite tool for this is SumoMe.

Install it for free here: