I get asked this question frequently, “do I really need an email list?” In fact, I was recently talking to my friend Lisa Sicard about this subject.
Many people swear by their email lists, but there are a few things you need to consider before embarking on creating one.
But as a small business owner, first, you need to know what your intent is. Be very sure of what you want to achieve because email campaigns are hard work.
Email lists are mainly for two distinct reasons, one, building a community, and two, selling a product or service. And each email campaign will be and should be different due to those reasons.
Community building campaigns work best when you offer your readers a lot of value in each email. Classic value-based content is when you send out your full blog posts via email. Full blog posts, as opposed to excerpts, tell your subscribers that you want to help them, not just get a click through to your site. They build trust.
This type of campaign tends to be harder to track because you don’t have an accurate CTR. But that’s okay because you’re building your community and want to offer them the best content you can, not get them to click a link and buy something.
Then you have campaigns primarily created to sell something. These types of emails tend to be shorter and full of links to products and services for sale. The primary goal is to include content that will entice the reader to click and buy.
Then there’s clever people like Belinda Weaver. Belinda has set up a system where she is going back to the beginning of her blog posts and updating them. While doing this update, she takes parts of these posts and creates two to seven emails to send out. This way, she is offering good value to her readers and has content to send out daily.
Two things to keep in mind though are that many people hate daily emails and also, you will probably see a drop in subscribers anytime you change up your regular email campaign.
I’m from the Mark Schaefer School of Marketing, so I always recommend creating the most helpful content and sharing it openly and transparently, including in your emails.
Think as your reader would. What would they prefer?
In other words, don’t aggravate or piss your subscribers off by jamming their inboxes with useless messages and sales pitches.
Perhaps at least use segmentation to send out your emails to specifically interested people.
But ultimately it’s still up to you, of course, and I’m sure your decision will depend on how much time you have to commit to your email campaign.
Keep in mind one thing. When you’re building your business’ digital profile, spend your time on things that make you money and directly drive your business! Outsource or put the rest on a back burner. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING that others are doing.