What’s the one thing most experienced bloggers list as their number one regret?
Not starting their email list sooner.
Having an email list gives you a way to connect with your fans, instantly.
Having an email list gives you a means to launch your newest product to a warm audience and make sales from day one.
Having an email list means your business is buffered against the changes that happen all the time with social media and search engine algorithms.
Your email list gives you the best return on investment for the time you put into it.
But, how do you start your email list? What do you send your list? And how do you make money from having people on your list?
In this series on email marketing, we’re going to cover all these questions and everything you need to know to grow, nurture, and monetize your list.
So, let’s dive in and find out what makes email marketing so good in comparison to the other big traffic and lead generation strategies.
Email Marketing Beats Search Engine Optimization
Google’s monopoly on search engine traffic means that anyone wanting organic traffic needs to play by their rules. But, there’s one problem with that.
Google’s algorithm updates in the past have had a disastrous effect on some businesses and websites.
Changes to the algorithm have also added to the number of factors needed to SEO (search engine optimize) your site. There’s now over 200 factors thought to influence rankings. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through.
Which is why it’s a good thing that Google isn’t the only way to get traffic to a blog or website these days.
There are obviously some major differences between email marketing and search engine marketing:
- Your email subscribers have been exposed to your content before and liked it enough to sign up to your email list.
- Visitors from search engines are looking for an answer to a problem and may not have any previous exposure to your brand.
The ideal marketing strategy combines both search engine optimization, to get new and targeted visitors to your site, and email marketing, to get your visitors to subscribe to your list and future emails from you.
Email Marketing Beats Social Media Marketing
One of the biggest arguments for building an email list of your own is that you own your list. Social media followers are nice to have and everyone wants more of them, but ultimately it’s borrowed ground.
Social media marketing has its place and is still important, however, focussing on email marketing has a better return on investment. A 4000% ROI, or $44 for every $1 spent.
Here are three reasons why email marketing is an even better investment for your business than social media marketing:
1. Under Your Control
You have control over your email list.
Social media platforms can change the rules of engagement. It’s their platform after all.
If they decide your actions are suspicious they can freeze or even delete your account without warning or recourse.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all seem to change the algorithm regularly. Organic Facebook reach is dwindling and it’s been predicted to reach zero in the future. What this means is, unless you’re prepared to open your wallet, you won’t be able to reach the fans you’ve worked so hard to get.
Social media sites can even close down like Blab did in August 2016. There’s no guarantee that if a platform folds you’ll be able to stay in contact with your fans and followers on social media.
However, if your fans join your email list, you can get in touch with them whenever you want.
2. It’s Personal
Email marketing is personal. You’re in your subscriber’s inbox and you aren’t competing with all the other voices, videos, and cat memes on social media for attention.
For private conversations, especially business or transactional conversations, email is a winner.
You can also customize your emails to suit your audience. Most email service providers enable you to tag and segment your subscriber list in as many ways as you like. This ensures that you’re sending targeted emails. If you can get the right email, to the right person, at the right time, that’s when sales happen.
As a quick example of segmentation in action, if you had a lifestyle blog that also teaches blogging tips, you might segment your subscribers so that your readers who aren’t interested in blogging don’t receive your blogging emails and vice versa.
Now, you might be sceptical about the effectiveness of segmentation. Surely, it’s just a bit of a fun way to narrow your subscriber list? No, it has real return on investment. The Direct Marketing Association found that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
3. The Numbers Are Good
There are simply more people in the world with an email address than have social media accounts. There are roughly 4.3 billion people with email accounts, whereas there are only 1.94 billion active monthly Facebook users.
No matter how you target your social media campaigns, you will always miss some of your target audience if you aren’t on a channel that they’re on. But, when it comes to email, almost everyone has an email address and you can use it to speak to them directly through their inbox.
Email Marketing Beats Paid Advertising
Email marketing is free (apart from your email service provider fee – which varies depending on which company you’re with). The only thing it costs is the time investment to build a relationship with your email subscribers and nurture them.
There are many avenues for paid advertising. Social media ads, search engine ads, blog ad networks… the list goes on.
Unfortunately, ads that look like ads are losing their effectiveness. This phenomenon is called “banner blindness.” Our visitors’ brains are tuning out banner ads and sidebars – anything that looks like an ad.
Even if your ideal customer sees or clicks on one of your ads, if they are too busy to purchase right then there’s no guarantee they’ll remember you the next time they’re looking to buy what you offer.
Conversely, you can keep your business at the forefront of your subscribers’ thoughts by sending them regular emails about your products and services. When they decide to buy a product you offer, they’re more likely to purchase from you – the person they know and trust.
While you could run search engine ads, if your goal is getting conversions from your traffic, email subscribers are far superior.
Email subscribers already know you. They’ve sampled your content, you’ve nurtured the relationship and built trust with them through email sequences and weekly broadcasts. When it comes to making sales, email subscribers are your warm audience.
Email Marketing Beats Push Notifications
Push notifications are a new type of service you can enable on your website. Very similar to an email service provider, push notification providers enable you to collect the details of your visitors and send them push notifications.
But, push notification services aren’t as good as email. Yes, you can get in touch with subscribers instantly (they receive a push notification through their browser), but there’s minimal opportunity to form a connection with your readers and build trust.
Email Marketing Makes Money
There’s a rough rule that you should make around $1 per month per subscriber on your email list. However, this only applies if you’ve got a strategy for your email list and you’re making offers to them.
Here’re three ways to make money from your list:
1. Sell your products to them
If you want to launch a course or a paid product, an email list is an asset. You’ve already built a relationship with your subscribers and they’re obviously very interested in your content. Therefore, if you’re selling something that they’re interested in, it’s likely you’ll see the best results from your email list.
2. Invite them to affiliate webinars
If you’re in affiliate marketing, you need an email list. Using your email list, you can recommend products, services, and courses that you use. You can keep your email list up to date on any coupons or discounts or relaunches that are happening. You can also co-host webinars and invite your subscribers to sign up and attend.
3. Repeat Business
When you consider that it costs 500% more to acquire a new customer than to keep an old one, encouraging your customers to keep buying from you is smart business.
Repeat customers are valuable. More than half (61%) of small to medium businesses report that over half of their revenue is from repeat customers.
Wrapping It Up
Email marketing is an essential component in your overall marketing strategy. Nurturing your subscribers who’ve already engaged with your content is a more efficient use of time and will net you a better ROI than any other strategy.
Having a list of engaged, warm subscribers enables you to successfully launch your own products, collaborate with others, and encourage repeat business.
Over to you – is email marketing on your priority list this year?