Generally, people fall into one of two camps when it comes to email lists. Either they know they need a list but haven’t started yet because they can’t figure out what to send (generally business owners). Or they hear they need a list over and over but ignore it because they don’t see the point (generally bloggers).
Well, today I’ve got a whole bunch of reasons for both sides, because if you’re putting time into building an audience online (whatever your end goal – monetary or not), you DO need to collect all your fans and followers into one list.
Here’s why . . .
If you sell products or services . . .
1 | Email sales funnels work
Plain and simple. Sending multiple emails leading subscribers toward a product makes them more likely to make a purchase than if they were to just find your product on your website. It allows for the slow infusion of information as you build trust and allows you to share your experience and details that could be the tipping point to close the sale. And yes, you can publish all that same information as blog posts, but it doesn’t mean readers will read them all or read them in the exact order you want.
2 | Email converts higher
Statistics show that email converts higher than social media, blog posts, and static online shops. One email to 5k subscribers will be seen by more people than one tweet to 5k followers. For example: when I host a webinar I send tweets and emails to get people to sign up. Every time I send an email, I get a HUGE boost (like hundreds more) in registrations. Twitter (or Facebook or Pinterest or whatever) is good, but Twitter + email is so much better.
3 | People need to hear things multiple times to take action
Advertising rules say that people need to hear about a product seven times before they’ll make a purchase. Why? Because we’re not always fully engaged every time. This means you need to combine multiple marketing platforms to make the sale happen. A blog post + a handful of emails + a few social media posts make sales happen faster. Just relying on blog posts or tweets could turn into MONTHS before people would hear about a product enough to make a purchase.
4 | An email address is a yes
If people are willing to hand over their email address, they WANT to hear more from you. Getting someone’s email address is like the first base of marketing – they’re into you and they want to know more. I often hear people say they’re worried about sending too much email. Unless you’re sending crap (which I’m assuming you’re not), readers joining your list is them giving you PERMISSION to show up in their inbox.
5 | You can target specific subscribers
This is one of the reasons I moved my list over to ConvertKit at the beginning of the year. Instead of sending every email to all my 18k+ subscribers, I can send promo and launch emails to those subscribers who have watched a webinar, downloaded a freebie, or entered a giveaway related to a specific product topic. (It literally takes like two seconds AND…I can do it automatically.) This means people stay on my list longer because they’re getting email they actually want to read.
And if you don’t sell anything . . .
6 | People won’t always see your blog + social media posts
I’d like to think that you’re stopping by my blog 10 times/day and seeing every single tweet and Instagram I share, but I know that’s just not happening. My guess is you’re seeing maybe two or three of every 40 posts I publish every day. Showing up in your inbox is a weekly guarantee that you’ll connect with me, and by building an email list, you can make this happen with your audience too.
7 | Email is more intimate than a blog post
Because I’m using ConvertKit my emails look like an email I would write to a friend. This is great for making sure they don’t end up in a spam or promotions folder, but also for making my emails more relatable. Subscribers are more likely to feel like you’re talking only to them and they’re more likely to respond (as opposed to commenting on a blog post) even if you don’t prompt them.
8 | You can encourage conversation and get feedback
When you send an email that looks like it’s coming from a friend and ask for feedback, you’re more likely to get an answer – sometimes a very honest and helpful one. People are more willing to hit reply on an email than they are to leave a comment on a blog post because it’s less intimidating and not out in the open. Creating that one-on-one connection helps to build the trust you need to create a loyal and active audience.
9 | YOU own your list
Social media algorithms change, Google could tank your website traffic, and you have no control over if and when that might happen. The internet rules change daily, so gathering all your readers and followers into one list means you aren’t putting all your eggs into someone else’s basket. Case in point: I created an event for my Facebook group that has over 500 members and Facebook decided it was not going to let me invite them. Literally – I cannot invite a single person. But I’m not panicking because they all received an email with the same info this morning. If I didn’t have them all on an email list, I would have been screwed.
So yes, it’s amazing if you have 10k likes on your Facebook page, but FACEBOOK is in control of who sees your content, not you. I want to know that if I send something to my entire audience, they’re going to get it. Email makes that happen.
10 | You never know when you might need it
When I started the blog that would eventually turn into XOSarah.com, I was creating lifestyle content with zero intention to start a business or sell anything. And (truth) I didn’t even start growing a list once I was blogging for business. #oops
So when I launched my first ebook (…and my second), I was only promoting through my blog and social media, which means I didn’t sell as many copies as I could have. It also took me two YEARS to get booked out with freelance clients. Without an email list I was leaving money on the table. LOTS of money.
If I had started building my list from the beginning, my audience would have been all warmed up and ready to pounce on my services and products because they would have gotten so much value through my email list (combined with my blog and social media) and the trust and connection would be at a level to create sales.
If nothing else, email is a good barometer for how your blog/biz is doing. People who are really interested in you and what you’re doing will stick around and people who aren’t will unsubscribe. Social media followers are far more fickle and will ignore or mute you instead of unfollowing. With an email list you can track real growth whether you’re blogging to blog or building an audience to boost your business.
If you’re ready to get started, I can’t recommend ConvertKit enough. And if you’re still clueless about what to send your subscribers, I’ve got more content to help coming up soon :)