When you’re first starting out in business, it can be difficult to know how to prioritize your time and money. You probably find yourself asking questions like, “How often do I need to be posting on social media? Where can I find more clients? What software should I be using?”
There are a lot of conflicting answers to these questions out there, but one thing that almost every established entrepreneur, business owner, and founder agrees on? The importance of having an email list.
If you’ve thought about using email marketing for your online business, but for whatever reason, you’ve questioned why you need an email list, you’ve put it off, or you’ve decided it’s something you’ll revisit in the future, this post is for you!
Side note – when I use the term “email list,” I’m referring to a list you’ll eventually build through marketing efforts, starting from zero. Never purchase a list of emails from a list broker. That’s a big no-no and a one-way ticket to spam folders.
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Top 4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Email List
Here’s the reality, my friend: If you don’t have an email list for your business, you’re leaving money and growth opportunities on the table. Get this – 81% of small- to medium-sized businesses rely on email as their primary way of acquiring new customers.
Did you hear that right? The #1 way most small businesses acquire new customers is through their email list. It’s no wonder everyone makes such a huge fuss about having one!
So, maybe you understand that having an email list is important for growing your business, but you’re still not quite ready to commit to starting one. If this is you, keep on reading. We’re going to address some common objections, and we’ll explain why it’s never the wrong time to start asking for your audience’s emails.
Objection 1: I don’t have time to create content & emails for my list.
Ah, the old “I don’t have time” argument.
I get it – as a new business owner or entrepreneur, you’re wearing all the hats, and it can often seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
We make time for the things that are most important to us. And, up until now, you haven’t considered an email list as being of high importance for the success of your business. That’s ok, but let’s challenge this thought and see if it holds up.
Your email list, unlike social media or wherever else you’re focusing your marketing efforts, is yours. You own it. There are no constantly-changing algorithms or AI bots to figure out. There’s just you and the people on your list – a direct line of communication with people who have opted in and said, “Yes! I’m interested in you and what you have to offer!” Pardon me while I go grab a silver platter to hold all your new leads.
If you’re still unconvinced that an email list is worth your time, go back and review all the marketing tasks you do every week for your business. Then, ask yourself one question: What return am I seeing on the time investment I’m putting into my marketing efforts?
Chances are, even if your results from other marketing channels are good, an email list can do even better.
The #1 reason why your business needs an email list? Because it’s yours.
Objection 2: I don’t know how to get people to sign up for my email list.
True, it will take some work to actually get people on your list. But for reasons mentioned previously, it’ll be more than worth it.
Similar to making a purchase from you, when someone signs up for your email list, they’re participating in an exchange of value. Their email address is a valuable piece of information to them, and they don’t just give it up to anyone.
People receive an average of 121 emails every single day, and most will be reluctant to add yet another source of clutter to their inbox. For this reason, there needs to be a real incentive for someone to hand over their contact information. In other words, it needs to be something your readers perceive as valuable.
Here are some ideas for incentives you can create:
- Templates or spreadsheets you use in your client workflow
- A checklist that simplifies a complicated process
- A fun quiz that tells users something about themselves (you can easily build a quiz using Interact quiz builder!)
- A live webinar or pre-recorded video training
- A coupon or discount code for your product
When thinking of a topic for your email incentive, try to come up with something your ideal clients want more general information or instruction about. This will help make sure the people who end up on your list are interested in what your business offers.
ConvertKit is our email marketing software of choice because it makes setting up these incentives, also known as lead magnets, extremely easy. Unlike some other popular email software choices, it also integrates with a variety of other tools you might use to create your lead magnets.
While the initial setup can take a lot of work, establishing a few high-converting lead magnets will make your email list grow on autopilot. Before you know it, you’ll have your own community of potential clients who are eager to hear from you.
Reason #2 why your business needs an email list? It gives you more opportunities to provide value to your audience.
Objection 3: It doesn’t seem like it’s worth the investment when I’m just getting started with my business.
When your business is in its early stages, you usually don’t have a ton of cash to blow. Every dollar you spend on your business needs to be intentional, and your spending should be geared toward tangibly moving the needle, i.e. growing your revenue and impact.
That’s why an email list is almost always an appropriate investment. It’s not just about being able to algorithm-proof your business – it’s about earning actual dollars. According to DMA, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return on investment of $42.
Email marketing is a vital part of online business. Yes, your website and the content you share are important, too. But your email list is what turns your website into a funnel – a system that converts browsers into buyers.
So, while it can require a monetary investment, your email list is worth investing in because it will continue to pay you back.
If you want to start collecting emails but don’t want to spend money, ConvertKit offers a great free plan. When you’ve got a solid start on your list and you’re ready to use more of the software’s features, it will be easy to upgrade and you won’t have to transfer your list from another, less sophisticated platform.
Reason #3 why your business needs an email list? It offers a massive return on investment.
Objection 4: I don’t even know what to send to my email list.
Eventually, your email list will be full of people who are interested in what your business can do for them. They’ll be hungry for more information about how to solve the problems your business addresses.
If you approach the content you write for your email list from a place of service, rather than a goal to sell, your audience will thank you by sticking around and continuing to have an interest in what you have to share.
Even if you don’t yet have something to sell, you can prime your list for your upcoming offer by sharing helpful tools, advice, and resources. The people on your email list are along for the journey you decide to take them on. Remember to keep it real, show your humanity, and focus on delivering value to people’s inboxes.
Then, when you have a paid offer to share with your audience, you will have already built a solid foundation of trust, and your list members will be much more likely to buy.
Reason #4 why your business needs an email list? It’s a great way to build trust with your audience.
An email list is essential for intentionally growing a business online! Still on the fence?
Start out with the free version of ConvertKit to see what an email list can do for your business.