9 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST
So many small business owners shy away from building an email list. I get it. You don’t want to be spammy. You also might find all the tech setup completely overwhelming. But the truth is if you are not using this crucial marketing tool for your business – you are missing out big time! In this post, I’m sharing 9 reasons why you need to build an email list for your small business.
reason #1 : your content (& offers) get seen
Is there anything more frustrating than writing an amazing social media post that just doesn’t get seen? You spend ages finding the perfect image, craft the perfect caption and post it at what seems to be the perfect time. But then nothing… a like here or there but mostly crickets. Even worse is when you spend ages creating posts, get great engagement but then when you ask people to actually buy something from you – nothing. Even having the most engaged social media audience doesn’t guarantee that your content will get seen. One study found that only 2.6% of your business page followers will see your posts! And that was back in 2015. Since then, Hubspot has reported that in early 2016 reach dropped a further 52%! Doing the maths that drops reach to just 1.25%. And that was before the changes announced earlier this year. Yes, this is an average figure and can be dramatically improved using the right strategies. But it’s an uphill battle. With email – you can expect an average deliverabilty rate of 80% internationally. And an average of 90% in Australia. (Source: ReturnPath 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report) That’s 64 times the reach! Even if all the recipients don’t open the email at least it is up to your audience to decide what they do and don’t want to read. It’s not up to some algorithm.
reason # 2 : your message is delivered instantly
Another big thing with the Facebook and Instagram algorithms is that they are no longer chronological. Instead, you will get presented with a selection of posts they think you are most interested in. While I think this is ultimately a good thing, it does mean that if we have a message to get to our audience that has a deadline – it might get presented too late. Your audience is more likely to have notifications switched on on their phones for when emails come in. We wouldn’t do this for anytime anyone we follow posts something to social media! Ultimately by sending an email you increase the chances of your message getting into your audiences hands when they need to know about it – not when they happen to jump onto Instagram later that night.
reason # 3 : you own your list
Have you ever heard horror stories of people being locked out of their Facebook or Instagram accounts? Sometimes getting deleted completely. What if that happened to you? Do you have an alternative way of getting in touch? You don’t own Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn or Twitter. It is rented land. Your email list, however, is yours! You own that and as long as you back it up regularly no one can take that away from you. Risk averted.
reason # 4 : You are working with warm leads
Someone giving you their email address is a pretty big deal these days. It’s a much bigger step than hitting like or follow. Therefore anyone who signs up for your list is a higher quality lead. Which means they are far more likely to buy from you as a result.
reason # 5 : you can nurture those leads
With social media you are posting a variety of content to try to appeal to followers in a variety of situations and familiarity with your brand. With email you can have much stronger control of the narrative. When someone first joins your email list you can contact them with an automated series of emails. This welcomes them to your community and lets them know the most important information about your business and how you can help them. This is even more important for service providers or businesses where you require a high level of motivation or education for someone to purchase. You can use this welcome sequence to take them on a journey from where they are now (their challenge or frustration) to being excited buyers – breaking down barriers to purchase along the way. All this when they are most interested in what you have to offer. That is pretty powerful.
reason # 6 : email captures the “maybe later” crowd
How many times have you visited a website, been really interested in what they have to offer but not be ready to buy yet? Maybe you think you’ll remember that for when it’s your mum’s birthday or when you have more time or more money. Then that time comes and they have totally slipped your mind. What if instead when you visited that website you were given an opportunity to sign up to their email list with some form of opt-in incentive? That’s something you can do today! Then from there you get regular reminders they exist and that business stays top of mind when that birthday comes around. I’ve had people take up my services after being on my email list for over 2 years! If I didn’t use email those sales would definitely not have come.
reason # 7 : you can control who sees what
With modern email marketing features like segmenting and tagging, we can personalise the email experience far more than ever. If you are worried about being “spammy”, this is for you! What if instead of emailing absolutely everyone on your list every time you had an offer – you could just email those who have shown interest in a particular product, service or topic? Or you can create segmented wait lists or VIP lists. Or you can create custom opt-out links from particular promotions so they don’t see all those launch emails but still give your subscriber the option to still receive your newsletters. There are so many possibilities here.
reason #8 : email is a great research tool
Because your email list is full of warm leads AND your messages get seen, it provides the perfect platform for market research. Not only can you ask your subscribers questions and involve them in the creation of new products and services but you can also easily validate ideas. Instead of going and creating a full webpage and marketing campaign for that new idea you have, you can just send an email and ask opinions. Or even better you can do a beta- or VIP presale that only they know about. They get a better deal and you get validation that your idea is a good one – before you commit to spending all that time and money promoting it. Win- win.
reason #9 : email has the highest conversion rates
The result of all of the above boils down to one thing – conversions! Warm leads + actually seeing your offers = sales. The stats prove it. Email is 40 x more effective than Facebook & Twitter combined at acquiring customers. (Source: McKinsey) For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in Return on Investment – outperforming all the other marketing methods. (Source: Campaign Monitor) Website traffic to e-commerce stores convert to sales at an average rate of 4.29% . This is compared to “Search” at 3.04%, “Direct” at 2.93% and “Social” at 1.81%. (Source: SmartInsights)
so where do you begin?
Hopefully, I have you convinced that email is worth pursuing for your business. It doesn’t mean that you don’t invest in social media or other marketing methods. Every marketing method has its benefits. But email is unique in that it provides that opportunity to nurture those leads – taking on the role of sales teams. It is the bridge between interest and sales. If you want to learn more about how to begin email marketing check out The Ultimate Guide to Email List Building (Blog Post) and sign up for 7 Email Marketing Superpowers
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