Why You Need to Focus on Building Your Email List

email list versus social media by the numbers laura gatsos young

OK, I mean business with this post. As in actual dollars, sales, ROI, however you want to think about it because I’m going to talk about email marketing. And nothing leads to sales like the good old fashioned (but make it personal, innovative and smart) email. 

If you focus all your precious time, energy and resources on social media, I get it!

Social media is a necessary evil (and if you’ve watched or read anything about the effects of it on our psyche, you know what I’m talking about!) But by prioritizing the ever-changing social media platforms, you’re leaving your hard-won clients and potential dollars blowing in the wind.

This post will convince you that your email list deserves to be priority #1 because it will serve your customer base better and longer than any other marketing strategy.

Your Email List is The Only Thing You Own

Despite all the different places you battle to gain followers, your email list is the only customer database you own. The good news? Every single person who has signed up to receive emails from you is forever in your database unless they unsubscribe. And you have the power to keep them there by serving their needs with valuable information and selling less often than serving.

Your email list also gives you measurable data that will guide your future approach and allow you to course-correct. You can and should analyze your open rates, reply rates and general engagement. Chances are if they’re opening the email, they’re sticking around to read the content. It indicates that you’re nailing it with the subject line and the email’s copy –invaluable information for small business owners.

By owning a healthy email list, you have the power to foster two-way communication with your customer. You can solicit real feedback, almost like a digital focus group, and tailor your offerings based on their needs. Email allows for much more input than an Instagram Q&A or poll.

Most importantly, you control the experience of email. You are not subject to the algorithms or tech changes on the platforms. And what’s more, you can tailor your content to different segments of your list by selecting a comprehensive email service provider.

Think about how your subscribers landed in your inbox. They divulged their first name and email address somewhere in cyberspace because they were interested in what you were offering. The value you provided convinced them to grant you access.

In other words, they are a warm lead. They are interested in what you are selling and, therefore, more likely to buy. Please don’t leave them hanging!

Let’s face it: your emails and your website are the only places where you have complete control of the user experience … which brings me to the social media platforms.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Email List

OK, I’m going to repeat a stat that I learned from Jenna Kutcher about social media that might shock you. Less than 3.5% of your followers see what you post to social media due to the algorithms and various other factors. 

Did you know the healthy open rate for an email campaign hovers around 20 percent per industry?! Wouldn’t you rather 20% of your customer base see your content than 3%.

What’s more, according to Radicati Group, there are 3.6 billion email users worldwide, and approximately 91% check their email every day. That’s right! A whopping 91% of people open their email to read messages personally addressed to them – are you doing this? (If not, don’t panic! In this blog post series on email lists, I’m addressing how to set your email list up with personalization.)

There is also the oft-repeated line that you don’t own your followers; Facebook does. If the social media giants disappeared tomorrow, so would your followers, and then who would you sell to? How would you communicate with them? So harsh but true.

More truth serum? We don’t know who sees our content on social media if they don’t engage with it. Even if they do, we don’t know if they like the picture or are reading to the caption’s end. If you’re trying to sell with a caption, this is a nightmare!

email list versus social media by the numbers laura gatsos young

My point is this when it comes to IG, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter: we spend all this time on the content creation mill and have no idea if it’s landing with our ideal customers.

More than that, we don’t: 

– Own our followers

– Control the user experience

– Have any control over who sees our content

– Have the ability to tailor your messages and sales funnels to different segments of your list

With facts like that, need I say more? Do you need more? Check out the numbers in the infographic above!

You Have a Unique Opportunity to Connect

As a small business owner, I believe in investing in education for my business and personal growth. In the early days of as a solo/mompreneur, I was continually seeking out mentors for actionable advice about the next steps. 

I bought a few courses from a select group of marketing experts but only after:

  • spending time on their site
  • assessing the value of their content for my needs
  • paying attention to how they took care of me when I wasn’t on their site.

My customer journey looked like this:

graph showing customer journey from joining an email list to purchasing
My customer journey

Coming from a luxury goods background, I understand how important it is to take care of your customer, both in selling and non-selling periods.

You might be wondering how these brands took care of me beyond the selling period. The simple answer is through a sophisticated email sequence that spoke to my hopes, fear, needs and goals.

Have you heard of a nurture sequence? If not, a nurture sequence is a series of emails that a subscriber receives once they opt-in to your newsletter.

If done correctly, these emails are the most important emails you’ll ever send because they are the foundation for the “know, like, trust factor” that marketers endears you to your clients.

The series usually consists of five to seven emails sent every day after opt-in. The series aims to introduce yourself and illicit feedback from your subscribers to let them know you are not just here to sell, but to connect.

You have the opportunity to be a real person behind the subject line, and we all know people buy from people, not businesses.

The intro email sequence and subsequent emails turned me from a follower who enjoyed their free content to a purchaser of courses costing as much as $2000 USD. And I wasn’t buying off IG. I was reading long, well-written and compelling sales pages as part of a funnel that eventually got me to click “BUY.” 

I am proof that email works as a marketing tool.

Your Email List is Your Everything

Look, I am not suggesting you abandon social media, but I am pleading with you to prioritize your list. I know the frustration of spending so much time on your stellar content and receiving very few comments, never mind likes!

Your email list will open the doors for you to sell from a place of confidence and goodwill because you know you are providing a solution people need and want to buy. After all, they’ve told you so. 

This blog post is part of a series on email list building. Check back for more installments or join my email list to receive the full series sent directly to your inbox.

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