All successful internet marketers advocate an email list. From Neil Patel to Jim Harmer to Ricky Kessler, all these guys believe that an email list is a must-have in your digital marketing campaign.
Today, we will attempt to uncover the benefits of building an email list, and help you really understand why you should start working on one right now.
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Why do you need an email list for blog and e-commerce? The reasons are:
- You have full control on the list
- Your subscribers are your buyers
- You do not have to pay for ads
- You can get returning visitors
- You can market to specific people
Let us take a look at each one, and try to understand how an email list can help you make sales. But before that, what exactly is an email list?
What is an email list?
An email list is a list of email addresses. I remember when I was still working in the corporate world, we used Microsoft Outlook to send and receive an email. Most people today now use Gmail.
In Outlook, the company created distribution lists or directories. Each person like me could also create his own. For example, I created a distribution list called QT or Quality Team.
If I wanted to send a message to my team, I only had to type QT in the Send To field, and not their individual email addresses.
An email list is similar. It is a list of email addresses of people, not of companies. But unlike the office, you have to build this list on your own.
An email list is a list of email addresses where you can send notifications, campaign materials, news, and so much more.
If you are consistently receiving an email from, let us say, The New York Times, then you are in their email list.
You can build an email list manually, and store the list on notepad, Excel, or any word processing software or file. Or you can use software specifically designed to capture an email address.
Examples of these are:
The list goes on and one, but I personally recommend ClickFunnels and GetResponse.
We are not going to discuss how to build one; I will write a lengthy post about that topic. Subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the page if you want to get notified.
Now, why do you need an email list?
You have full control on the list
Today, there is a service called solo ads. In this service, you pay the solo ad provider, and in exchange, he will send your marketing material to thousands of email addresses.
The cost of this varies according to the number of recipients.
But if you do this, you are not in control. For one, you have no idea if these email addresses are still active. Second, you do not know if these people are even interested in your product.
After sending your campaign material, the solo ad provider is not going to give you that email list. It is his list, and you will never have it. You have to pay the solo ad provider another fee for a new campaign.
Does this mean solo ads do not work?
It depends. Solo ads are great for generic products, like food supplements, or juicers, but it is never a good idea for niche-based products, like dirt bike helmets, or ski boards.
Another aspect of control that you need to look into is segmentation. If you are selling multiple items, you can capture email addresses of people who are interested only in shoes, or jewelry, or anything specific.
If properly segmented, you can send your campaign material to that specific list, and have better engagement. Just like the Outlook distribution list I made, I can send an email only to my team, or I can send a company-wide email.
And because you can segment your list, you can also send newsletters and blog posts that mean something to your subscribers.
Your subscribers are your buyers
An email subscriber is much more difficult to build than an Instagram or YouTube following. An email address is personal. A person is not going to give you his email address unless you really have something valuable to offer.
However, an email subscriber has a much deeper interest in your products. If you were selling drones, and a person subscribed to your email list because he wanted to get updates, then it means he is interested in drones.
A person who subscribes on Instagram has nothing personal to lose. Tapping “like” or “follow” did not put this person at risk of being spammed.
But because the person subscribed to your email list, he has a better likelihood to listen to your offers and would consider buying it from you.
He subscribed not just because you offered something for free, like an eBook, but because he wants you to give him a notification for any interesting offer you have, like discounts or new products.
Remember: Fans and followers are not customers.
Email subscribers, on the other hand, want to get notified via their inbox! They want you to communicate with them, to reach out to them. And let them know what is new with your business!
You do not have to pay for ads
How much do you pay for Facebook ads? $5 per day?
In 30 days, you would have spent $150, and there is no guarantee that you would get positive results. The click-through rate of Facebook is dismal.
Industry-wide, the click-through rate of Facebook is 0.90%.
For every 1,000 people who saw your ad, only nine people will click your ad. And as if it is not painful enough, marketers know that they should be happy if 3% of the engaged users actually converted.
Now, 3% of nine people is what? It is 0.27. Not even one person would have bought your item from an ad impression of 1,000 people.
But with an email list, studies show that marketers can enjoy up to 760% increase in sales because of segmented email marketing campaigns. That is not a typo. It really is 760%.
And how much do you spend for an email list? Zilch.
Capturing email addresses is free. You can use free email capture tools like GetResponse or MailChimp, and not spend a dime on capturing emails. You also do not have to pay every time you send an email; it is free.
But there is an exception to the rule. The bigger your email list gets, and the more emails you send, the closer you get to being forced as a paying subscriber. But this should be paltry. You can easily pay the fee for your email subscription tool from a single sale.
Perhaps the only investment you have to pay for is your freebie, which could be an eBook. You can write the eBook yourself, hire a copywriter, or use tools like Scribble where you can create eBooks without actually writing.
You can get returning visitors
Your blog or store is not going to survive without traffic. While you should be thankful to Google and Pinterest for generating traffic, do not undermine the power of an email list.
A person subscribed to your newsletter because he wanted to get notified. If you send a blog post via email, and if it is interesting enough, your reader is going to click your post link and go straight to your website.
And the result? More traffic.
Can you imagine if you have an email list that has 100,000 subscribers? Studies show that email campaigns—not spam—have a read-through rate of 56%.
This means that 56,000 people will read your email. What if the conversion rate of that 56,000 is a mere 5%?
5% of 56,000 is 2,800, which means you just sold 2,800 units of your item — all with a single email!
Returning visitors are also measured by Google. For all we know, this can be one metric by which Google decides how to rank your website or web pages. We cannot be sure, as Google never really reveals the full algorithm of its search engine.
You can market to specific people
In the old days, you can only market on television, radio, and print. The problem with that strategy is that it is like fishing with a net, and you only capture whatever the net grips.
On social media, you can certainly target better through its demographics targeting features. But again, these people have never heard of you. They do not know you, and they may not be interested.
But with email?
Your marketing campaign is spot-on. If you are selling drones and people subscribed to your email list, you know that they like drones. So, if you have a new battery for sale or new models, send them an email.
You know that they are interested in drones and that they will read what you have to say. They may not buy now, but your brand will surely stick in their minds. This approach makes much more sense than randomly showing a drone ad on any other platform.
An email list is an important tool in a digital marketer’s arsenal. It is the marketing approach that has the highest ROI, and the least expensive to implement.
What’s more, you can use your email software tool as an auto-responder. If a person subscribes, he will automatically receive an email from you, or he will receive a free eBook. All you have to do is to program the tool to do it.
You need to start building your email list now, and the only way you can do that is by subscribing to a software tool built specifically for this purpose. The power of your email list is beyond what you can imagine.
An email list is a valued possession. This is why people can put up businesses like solo ads—they charge people for a chance to send an email marketing campaign to these lists.
Visit my Recommended Tools page to see several email list generation software that I recommend.