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Should I start building an email list?

Well, it depends if you want a private line to some warm leads? Hell yes?! Go set yourself up on some email marketing software and invite all your ideal clients to come and join you on your journey.

Here’s how we invite people on to ours. It’s a simple, clear and warm invitation to hear more from us if they want to.

Best case scenario: They sign up, get heaps of juicy value, fall head of heels in love with us, buy a gorge new website, and we live alongside them and their business always there to support them forever more.

Worst case scenario: They hate what we have to say and simply unsubscribe.

But does anyone even read emails anymore?

Short answer: yes. Regardless of how you may personally feel about the spam you get after you buy so much as a pair of socks from New Look, email marketing is currently working very hard for pretty much every business that is smart enough to use it well. Hubspot share that the ROI for email marketing is an impressive $36 for every $1 spent.

In a world drowning in social media and workplaces built around team communication tools like Slack, project management tools like Asana and productivity tools such as Trello and Clickup it would be easy to think there’s no longer a place for email. The demise of email has long been predicted but in reality, it’s stronger than ever with the number of email users across the world still growing year-on-year.

Email marketing is huuuuge.

Let me share a few reasons why email marketing should be an important part of your strategy – possibly even at the core of it. 🍏

Let me make one key thing clear before we start though: Email newsletters are dead… or at least limp and on their last legs. There’s a big difference between engaging and effective email marketing and a crusty, boring ol’ newsletter. Sorry, but literally nobody wants to read about your new office assistant Carly, or what your team did on their away-day to the Norfolk Broads. It’s just not important to anyone but you. If you’re using email marketing you must be providing enormous value or entertainment to keep your subscribers engaged.

But back to the real point of this blog – should you start building an email list? Here are our top reasons why the answer is a ”HELL FRICKING YES”.

You own your list

“An email list is critical because you can’t build your content on rented land.” – Joe Pulizzi – Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

Having a massive social media following is great for the ego and we all get a buzz when someone hits the like button, but what happens if that following disappears? Or the platform goes? We’re often reading horror stories about Instagram and Facebook deleting entire accounts after, sometimes, minor infringements or account hacks. You could lose your loyal audience of thousands in a matter of minutes and have to start from zero. Sadly, it does happen.

With an email list this won’t happen. You can even export your email list and move it to another email marketing provider. On social media you don’t own your list. You don’t have access to your followers’ email addresses so you can’t export them and take them elsewhere.

Email is personal and targeted

Facebook, Instagram and TikTok may or may not show your posts to your followers – depending entirely on what the algorithm feels like doing that day. Even if it does, your post may not be relevant to the people that actually do see it. Of course, you could run paid targeted ads to focus your efforts on but with your own email list you’ve got plenty of options for personalisation.

Segmentation is a fab way of splitting up your audience – using a tool like ConvertKit you can tag subscribers that do certain things, e.g. clicking on a particular link in an email, subscribing via a certain form or buying a product. This means you know more interesting information about that subscriber so you can send them more targeted emails. For example, if they keep visiting a particular landing page from one of your emails then it might be time to hit them with a special offer to persuade them to convert
Other ways of making emails more personalised is that you can (assuming you collected this information) include the subscribers name in the email subject, or body, email them on their birthday (or perhaps a signup anniversary!) or send them “You might also like…” emails based on their purchases or views.

Email is one-on-one

Your email is in the privacy of your subscribers inbox. This means that they are more likely to read it and also more likely to reply to ask questions than they might be on a public Facebook post. It can also feel more intimate if you do it right.

People are obsessed with their email inboxes (OK, maybe that’s just me!)

A lot of people check their email ALL THE TIME! It’s definitely one of my first online activities in the morning and probably the last at the end of the day too. Email inboxes are, on average, checked more often than social media accounts. Popping up in people’s inboxes on a regular basis is an easy way to stay in their minds.

It’s free

Once you’ve gone past the free subscriber limit on your chosen Email Marketing tool then you’ll have to start paying – but before then there is no cost to sending regular email marketing messages. Considering that your social media reach will be close to zero without paid ads this is one of the few free forms of marketing left!

Get subscribers returning to your website

If you regularly post awesome content onto your website then your emails can let your subscribers know when you’ve posted something new – and increase visitors to your website.

Social media detoxes can’t ruin your campaigns

More and more people are getting clued up about the negative side effects of constant social media use – have you seen The Social Dilemma? Many people are taking extended breaks from social media, or quitting all together, but you’ll still be able to stay in touch via email. One warning though – you need your subscribers to be looking forward to your next email by making sure it’s extremely valuable – otherwise you’ll end up being a victim of their next inbox subscription cull!

Protection from Google changes

You might be ranking well on Google at the moment. But what happens when you get wiped out by another one of those algorithm changes? If you’ve built an email list then you’ve still got a way of getting heard.

Higher conversion rates

“Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.” – Neil Patel, SEO legend.

It makes sense as subscribers have already engaged with you by signing up for your list. So there’s a much higher chance of them reading, clicking and purchasing via your emails.

An email subscriber is further down your marketing funnel than a social media follower. Someone that subscribes to your list is showing a real interest in what you do.

Sound good, but not sure where to start?

  • Step 1: Why not sign up to our emails here? Even just to have a lil’ nosey at how we’ve approached it. (And by the way, it’s working!). No need to sweat, we honestly don’t hold grudges if you join and later unsubscribe.
  • Step 2: Amy’s friend Helen Perry runs brilliant courses to help normal small businesses (i.e. those where the founder is also the head of finance, marketing and every other bloody department going!) get going with their email marketing. Check out Helen’s email marketing courses here.
  • Step 3: Start telling people about it!

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