In the eight years I've been working online, I can confidently say that the majority of my income has come from my email list. But I regret not starting my list from day one! If you still haven't started yours, then hopefully these reasons will convince you.
1) Build Your Business Outside of Google
When I first started online in 2008, SEO was the big thing and everyone wanted to get to the top of Google. SEO and Google still matter, but many people learned the hard way that you cannot rely on SEO alone. Why? The Google Panda update, and others since, caused havoc back in 2011 when mine and my peers' websites were hit by algorithm changes. Sites that were earning thousands thanks to their top ranking search results suddenly went down to nothing. If you build your list, you don't need to worry so much about Google changes. Your email list is an asset that you have more control over.
2) Build Your Business Outside of Social Media
Social networks, like Google, change their search algorithms regularly. And when it happens? Suddenly that pin that was sending you thousands of visitors a day disappears. Or Facebook suddenly stops showing your links to any of your fans. Email is a far more direct way to reach your readers and customers and, again, it is something you have more control over.
3) Keep People Coming Back To You
The truth is that a visitor to your blog is probably also browsing a lot of other sites at the same time. They might like what they see and plan to come back, but it's easy to get distracted – no matter how good your content! But, if you have an enticing freebie in place and get them onto your mailing list, they're way more likely to keep coming back to you and your brand. They're more likely to click through to future posts and buy what you're selling (or they may never visit your website again, but they'll still receive your content via email and they won't forget you!)
4) Build A Deeper Connection
Following on from the point above, when people hear from you and read your content more often, you'll build better relationships with your readers. You can even invite people to respond to your list messages (I do this) to get that deeper connection. I also feel that email is somehow more personal than a blog. There are things I'll write in email (little things about my day to day life) that I'd just never include in a blog post. And, instead of clicking through to your site, your content goes straight to people's inboxes, tablets, smartphones. That's powerful!
5) Sell More Products With Email Funnels
If you've got a product or service to sell, then it usually takes a while to persuade someone to buy it. Adding customers to an email funnel where you educate them on the topic builds trust and connection with your subscribers, and makes it much easier to make a sale. People are far less likely to buy after reading a blog post (although blog posts are vital for building trust, too!) Plus, once you get your first customers, adding them to a customer-only mailing list is a great way to ensure future sales (statistics show that past customers are far more likely to buy from you again)
6) Don't Have a Product? Your Email List Will Ensure Success When You Do!
You may be putting off building your list until you have something to sell, but I honestly think that's a mistake. If you have a product in mind for future, then starting now will put you in a much better position to make sales straight away. Yes, it's an investment for your business – but you can make that back with affiliate sales (see below), or just start out with a free MailChimp account!
7) Make More Affiliate Sales
One of my big sources of income through the years has been promoting other people's products as an affiliate. This works better for some niches than others, but it's a great way to monetize your list if you don't yet have, or aren't planning on creating, your own product. You'll need to check with the terms of your email list and affiliate provider to ensure you can put affiliate links directly in your emails (Amazon, for example, doesn't allow this), but even if you don't, you'll still be able to build up that relationship and send more people back to your website to buy through your affiliate links.
8) It WILL Pay off in Future
You may think you don't need a mailing list because you can't afford it, you don't have anything to sell, or you get great traffic from Google and social media. But I can tell you I wish I had started building my mailing list from day one. My email list took my business to six figures, and every minute that I spent building my list in the early days continues to pay off years later. There's a reason why everyone recommends you build an email list, and that's because it works.
How to Start Building Your Email List
These are just some of the reasons why you need that mailing list. Honestly, building a list is one of the best things you can do for your business! So, here's how to get started…
- Read my blog post all about starting your email list from scratch.
- And this one about starting your email list for free.
If you haven't yet got any list: Start by signing up to ConvertKit* or, if you can't afford it, MailChimp's* free plan. I have used both and they are great options – don't let overwhelm make it hard to choose and sign up for a provider, just do it!
If you have got a list: Start growing it and emailing consistently! Make sure you have content upgrades visible on your website. If you're struggling, I have some freebie ideas to help you get started. Don't get overwhelmed – you only need one freebie to get started, and you can write your emails as you go if you don't yet have time to create automated sequences. Remember, even 1-2 subscribers a day adds up over time!
*Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.