Maybe you’ve heard that you should be building an email list. But why should you put in the extra time and effort? Maybe you aren’t sure where you should start – or even if you should start. Let’s look at why you should be building an email list – and also why you might not need to.
A list is an asset not controlled by anyone else
YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc are all great resources. They let you connect with readers and promote your content.
But there’s a problem: You don’t own them.
Any of these sites could shut down or terminate your accounts with or without notice for any reason.
Changes in algorithms can affect how frequently your content appears for your followers – or if it even appears at all. YouTube and Facebook are both making it harder to get attention from your followers without paying or catering to ridiculous whims.
YouTube has been known to terminate accounts for ridiculous reasons. Facebook has blocked users from posting content they don’t like.
But we don’t own these resources. Their respective owners are free to do whatever they wish with or without notice – even if it negatively impacts your business. Their houses. Their rules. We may not like it, but it’s fair.
Your email list is different. It’s yours to control. Changes to sorting algorithms and rules won’t prevent you from reaching your subscribers. Facebook can’t censor your messages. YouTube can’t stop your emails. Your list exists entirely separate.
Even your email service provider – be it GetResponse, Aweber, TrafficWave, or anyone else – can’t stop you from controlling your list.
If tomorrow GetResponse decides they don’t like you anymore, you can easily take your list elsewhere! If Aweber tries to interfere, then leave! You have options.
Marketing is about building relationships and staying connected
Staying connected is a crucial part of marketing. In my mind, there are few options that rival the level of interactivity and personal communication that email provides.
In every email you send, ask for input from your subscribers. Get feed back. Ask them to answer a question or fill out a quick survey.
I have also found email a fantastic medium for forging new relationships. It’s a fantastic tool for group or one on one conversation.
Subscribers become buyers
If you have something to sell, you will definitely be into this point. A subscriber is far more likely to become a buyer than a non-subscriber. Why is that?
Simple. People prefer to buy from those they know and trust. As your subscribers become more familiar and more comfortable with who you are and what you’re about, they will be far more likely to buy from you than someone with whom they have no prior relationship.
And let’s be honest. It can be difficult to build a relationship with someone if you aren’t consistently in touch. Blog posts and Facebook are great, but they aren’t enough.
Ok, but do I really need an email list?
If you don’t plan to ever sell anything – whether it’s a product, service, or your grandma’s TV guide – then no. You probably don’t have to have an email list.
But, if you do plan to, you should get started building yours right away. And keep in mind that an email list can be a useful tool for engaging your readers even if you don’t plan to sell anything. That alone, to me, is worth the effort.