Are you making use of your most valuable marketing asset?

Email lists are important

Do you know what that asset is?

The asset can make you lots of money, increase your relationships with your clients and highlight new products to the audience who are most likely to buy from you.

I’m not going to start talking to you about that magical bullet that is going to take your business to the next level, or any get rich quick schemes.

This asset has been around for quite some time now, but it is seriously underutilised by many businesses.

Here’s a clue for you – This asset has been pronounced dead multiple times before now, but it’s still going strong.

Maybe even stronger than ever before!

OK I will put you out of your misery – that asset is your email list!

In this article, I’m going to explain to you why your email list is so important, and what you can do to grow it.

Why is an email list so important?

Email lists have been around for quite some time now.

Originally, larger companies would build lists of email addresses and sell it to the highest bidder to make huge profits.

This was because it was hard to build your own list, and marketing to people’s inboxes was a great way to promote new products.

Today, even though there are still quite a number of businesses selling lists of email addresses, it is much easier to build your own targeted list.

The people on your list will hold more value than any list you can buy.

That is because they have allowed you to send them emails.

Your customers allowing you to send them email is a very important part of this process. That is because they are saying yes to you sending them new information – sounds obvious but without that “yes”, you are just sending them spam that they don’t want.

That information could be a roundup of your latest blog posts, or it could be information on a webinar you are about to hold or that product you have just launched.

You might be thinking that you can get all this from social networks.

You can promote new blog posts and products and drive traffic back to your website.

And you wouldn’t be wrong.

But the main difference here is that your social media posts will not reach all of your audience.

You would be lucky if 10% of your Facebook fans see your posts, the same can be said for Twitter and LinkedIn.

Secondly, you don’t own your social network followers – you can be kicked and blocked, or the network could shut down.

You do own your email list.

Finally, emails are an interruptive technology.

That means that people will stop whatever task they are in the middle of to check their inbox.

Most people will also receive emails on the go.

So they can read it on the office computer, or have a browse while sitting on the train to their next meeting.

It will also be sent to every single one of your subscribers. Whether that’s 10 or 10,000, all of them will see it.

What to do if you are just starting out

If you currently don’t send out emails to your clients, then you probably don’t have a subscribers list.

That’s fine as you’re going to start to build one today.

Unless you are just forming your business, you probably have a list of clients and their contact details.

This might be held in a CRM system, or within the contacts section of your email provider.

I want you to grab all of these emails and put them into a spread sheet.

All you need is the email address, the name is completely optional.

If you are using some form of CRM system, then you might be able to export the contact information and save yourself a little bit of time.

Next, you need to pick the system you would like to use to send your email campaigns.

I would suggest using MailChimp if your client numbers are in the tens or hundreds as it is free for up to 2000 emails per month.

Otherwise, take a look at MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or Aweber. All three are very good choices.

Within your email system you need to create a new list. I would suggest calling it something like ‘Existing clients’.

Upload your existing contacts email addresses to this list.

The next step is to send out an email to that list saying that you are about to start creating regular emails.

Explain the type of content you will be giving, how often they can expect emails and why they will find it useful, make sure you provide them with the option to unsubscribe from the list– some of them will, don’t be offended.

But the ones that will stay will be expecting your content and won’t be marking it as spam.

The next step is to create a list called ‘Website sign-ups’ and add an opt-in form to your website.

Take a look at this post to find out exactly how to add an email sign-up form to your WordPress website.

How to build your email list

Create great content

Building your list further is simple as long as you are providing content that people want.

That content might be products that are amazing or blog posts with useful information.

As long as you are creating great content, people will build trust in you and want to hear more about what you have to say or offer.

Make it easy for your visitors

Putting the content creation to one side, you have to make it easy for people to sign up.

Take a look at this screen shot:

Email signup locations on StuffedWeb

As you can see, I have created as many opportunities as possible for people to sign up.

If you don’t make life easy for people, then they won’t do it. It’s the same with social sharing.

Give away something of value

Another common approach to building your email list is to give away something of value.

That might be an e-book, or a sample of your product.

To gain these, you have to enter your email information and it’s all yours.

HubSpot do this all the time and they don’t appear to be struggling with their business at the moment – here’s an example.

Here’s what I want you to do

If you haven’t already, get started sending out regular emails to your clients.

That might be once a week, or once a month.

It doesn’t matter just make sure it’s as regular as you can make it.

You might need to refine the day you send your email, and what the contents of the email are as every audience is different.

But the more you send, the more data you will have on what’s working.

So go on and create your sign-up forms, create your email template and start sending!

If your list consists of one person, then you have enough people to get going!

So what are you waiting for? Jump in and start sending emails!