Your business needs an email list. If you were to poll a group of online business owners about what they would do differently going back and restarting their business, a typical answer would be “I wish I had started my email list earlier.” I’ve heard it again and again. It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger, podcaster, product seller, service business, or even a restaurant. Your email list is critical for long-term success. Let’s dive in and look at why an email list is not optional for your online or offline business.
Social media is one of the biggest things to happen to business marketing in the last decade or so, but there is one serious drawback to relying on social media as a source of traffic and revenue. Even if you have a strong following and lots of likes, fans, or followers, you may not reach your audience when posting new content. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social networks used to give you that for free, but these days you have to pay to reach your fans on social media platforms.
One day, Facebook could eliminate fan pages. It would be bad business for them, but probably even worse for you.
Email does not have the same drawback. If you send an email to an email subscriber, it should land in their inbox quickly if you have everything configured correctly. Ideally, you use a 3rd party email service to manage your list and maximize email delivery rates, but you often can’t directly reach your customers without some form of email list however you decide to maintain it.
Putting someone in between you and your customers is a bad idea overall. As we see in the example above, you used to be able to reach a large percentage of your audience with a Facebook post. Not the case any longer. Facebook organic reach is on a steady decline, and new changes to the news feed might make it even worse. You can’t count on Google search traffic, as many sites learned from the Panda and Penguin updates. You can only rely on messaging methods with direct reach to your audience.
The only thing standing in the way of your email list reaching your customers is lousy delivery (sending from a Gmail or personal email account is a quick way to the spam bin) or a customer merely ignoring your messages. As long as you have a good address and good email system in place, you can reach your customers with nearly 100% accuracy.
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Just like social media, you have other paid methods to reach your audience. Advertising on billboards, newspapers, TV, radio, and so on can be effective methods of building brand recognition, loyalty, and sales. But reaching your fans without spending a dollar on advertising is even better. And you know that when someone joins your email list as a past customer or prospective one, they are much more likely to buy than a random Google search or social media ad.
This means your email list gives you just about the best return on investment of any form of customer communication and advertising. A very low cost and a very highly targeted reach should provide your business the best results.
Email lists typically get around 25% open rates and 5% click-through rates when managed well. Even if just 1% of your list purchases an email, that could be very valuable to your business. This is where numbers come into the game, as an older, well seasoned, and high-trust email list can generate a lot of sales from one click of the send button.
There is almost no other marketing method that gives you that kind of results. Imagine if 25% of magazine readers responded to a print ad! But they don’t. However, you can get about 25% to open an email you send out. That is huge for sales and building brand trust.
With the right use of email, you can build customer loyalty that leads to millions of dollars in sales in the future. But you know you won’t get great email list results if you don’t have the email list in place. Get started now so you don’t regret ignoring email down the road.