building my email list

3 Big Mistakes I Made While Building My Email List to 60k

Email marketing is about connecting through storytelling, sharing lessons... and what your reader's future could be.

Email marketing is about connecting through storytelling, sharing lessons… and what your reader’s future could be. Today I’m going to share some mistakes I made while building my email list.

We all make mistakes with email marketing.

And I’ve made a few big ones along the way, so I’m going to be completely transparent and tell you all about what I did and what I wish I had done differently.

I started building my email list for back in February 2017. I put out my first initial course called “100+ Ways to Re-Purpose Your Content”. It really took off, and I grew my email list substantially to 40k+ just by being present on Pinterest with my course. Since then, my email list has grown another 20k or so with a combination of both authors and bloggers being my target market.

(Updated 2/10/20 – email list is now at 100+k and growing.)

Now, you’re probably saying, “60k. That’s a big list, Kerrie. Doesn’t really sound like you actually did anything wrong.” Oh, but I did. Let’s examine for a moment what I did wrong so you can do it right – from the start!

Building an Email List: The 3 Mistakes

1. When people signed up for my list in the beginning, I wasn’t segmenting while building my email list. This tends to happen when you first start out, and then expand your topic base. I have an audience of both bloggers as well as authors, and I wish I had allowed my audience to separate themselves into either an Author or Blogger category.

What I did right, though, was add tracking features so I knew where my signups were coming from; just not what classification of person they were. At least I did something good when I set out to build my email list, right?

So going forward, this is going to be something I’ll focus on asking my signups as they come in. Lesson learned: I don’t care how “small” you think you are – something you write or offer could really take off like it did for me and you could have a ton of data that is mixed together. It’s not the end of the world, it just could have been done better. 

2. I didn’t use something like Flodesk right away. I wish Flodesk had been available a long time ago. If you haven’t heard about Flodesk, just know that THIS is the email platform you want to be on in 2020 going forward.

Not only is it affordable, but segmenting lists just got a whole lot easier without the added costs that email subscription services such as MailChimp tends to nickel and dime. I’m giving all my friends and readers 50% off your Flodesk subscription, and for a limited time, it’s $19 per month. (Be sure to get grandfathered in on pricing while you can!)

3. I didn’t have a sales funnel at the beginning. I had email signups, but I didn’t stay “current” in my email subscribers’ inboxes. Why? Honestly, I had become bombarded with emails from other marketers that just seemed… well, scammy. Endless emails – like sometimes 2-3 per day if they were hosting an event.

I’m just not that “into” email, so I hesitated with streaming emails into the inboxes of my users. I wanted to find that happy mix of promotion as well as adding value to their lives. I sure as heck didn’t want to annoy them.

So I created a rule. Either my subscribers were going to get something out of me or something valuable, or there wasn’t going to be an email. And it took a while to really put together some amazing content while adding value. It didn’t happen overnight. Lesson learned: find a happy balance – don’t overwhelm your readers, but don’t be so shy to not set up an email funnel. You’re potentially missing out on some big sales.

Questions for Building Your Email List

How Do I Build My Email List?

Have a quality, in-depth lead magnet that converts readers to customers from the top of the sales funnel process. You can download my free comprehensive guide called “Create Your Lead Magnet here. It’s full of ideas.

Use Pinterest to grow your email list. I offer a Pinterest course that will teach you everything from the basics of growing your email list from a pin to more intermediate functions of Pinterest like starting a shop catalog.

Pick up my book or take my course on Email Marketing Magic, which will help you write better headlines, subject lines, and content for your emails. You’ll even learn how to set up a sales funnel!

How Do I Build My Email List Fast?

Fast is a subjective term. What do you define as fast? 5 new subscribers a day? Or would you rather have 3 subscribers a day with 1 buyer in that addition to your email list?

It’s really not a question of building your email list fast, but rather growing a list of an audience comprised of buyers, and being able to convert those readers into buyers.

To do that, you’ll need to niche your offer, help your reader solve a challenge, and market it like crazy wildfire on Pinterest. It’s the easiest, most cost-effective approach I’ve ever found for marketing and growing an email list.


So those were my three biggest mistakes as I was building my email list. You can learn from my own mistakes so you don’t repeat them yourself. It’s not necessarily costly mistakes that I’ve made; it’s lost opportunity, which to me is costly from a time to earnings perspective.

I encourage you to look into some of these things and evaluate your own setup. If you’re missing 1, 2 or even 3 of these things (segmentation, software, sales funnel), come talk to me and see how I can help. Or, you can try to DIY it, too. As long as it all gets done and is done well (high quality, value-add), that’s all that matters, really.

Take care, my friends, and start working on growing your email list!

pst! – I do not accept money for my editorial content or posts. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by third parties. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. This helps keep the blog running!

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