One of the best things you can do in building your platform, regardless of the business you are in, is to build your list. And by that I mean an email database of those people who are interested in your product, service, ideas or offerings.
It’s like the holy grail of marketing and despite what you may have been lead to believe, email marketing is not dead. It’s alive and well. And for those who are doing it right, I believe it’s often more effective than Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social media outlet available today.
Why? Here are 8 Reasons…
- Because when you build a list, you own it and you have 100% access to it. If Twitter or Facebook collapsed or instituted a change tomorrow in their privacy or user settings, your ability to communicate could be hampered instantly. You don’t want 100% of your access to be controlled by someone else who you have no control over.
- It’s a permission based asset, meaning that those who sign up have given you permission to share and communicate with them. This gives you authority.
- It’s proactive and enables you to communicate when you need to with a qualified audience who is likely to pay more attention (since they opted in to your list).
- Despite the popularity of Twitter and Facebook, etc. not everyone is on them but almost everyone has email.
- Even if you have a blog, many of your readers still have no idea what an RSS is or how to use it. An email newsletter or email blog subscription makes it simple for those who are less tech savvy.
- Most people read or at least glance at their emails as they slide through their inboxes. On the other hand, when someone is following thousands on Twitter or Facebook it’s harder to get your message seen because they may only be “actively” following a much smaller group.
- Email can be used to drive engagement on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- It’s low cost and it helps you capture the impact from any promotional efforts you do (example… if someone links to your site and sends traffic there but you aren’t offering any clear way for them to signup then you lose out on the impact of that traffic).
Now, I’m not saying it’s and either or situation here. As if you need to pick email over social media. I’m saying that it’s a both and scenario but your list is the gold that you should be focusing more attention on.
Sure, there are cons to email marketing too but everything has pros and cons and that’s why you use multiple methods but don’t discount the continued impact and effectiveness of building your email list.
Let me share an example… I have several clients who we’ve worked with over the years and made growing their lists a priority, a priority that pays off again and again. One author has over 50,000 qualified subscribers to his email newsletter now and when he comes out with a new book he’s almost guaranteed to sell several thousand copies with simply the push of a button, hitting send on an email.
And then there’s a church I work with who we’ve grown their list to 12,000 subscribers. It’s a makeup of regular attendees, members, guests, prospects and people from all over the country who are interested in sermon messages and more. Having that list helps them to be proactive and send updates when needed to those who want to hear.
It doesn’t matter what type of business or nonprofit work you are in or how big or small you are. You need to build your list. But simply putting a newsletter sign-up form on your site isn’t the most effective thing you can do.
It’s also about how you place it on your site, what tactics you use to drive subscribers and it’s a LOT about content… what you share and how you communicate with your list so that you provide them value.
I’ll expand on this more with specifics in a post called 14 Ways to Increase Your Blog and Newsletter Subscriber Rate.