Building an ‘Email List’: Why it’s still a key marketing tool for businesses in 2021

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Building an ‘Email List’: Why it’s still a key marketing tool for businesses in 2021

Do you collect email addresses from leads, customers and website visitors?

Maybe you are thinking “but email is dated”, “no one reads them”, or, “no one wants another email in their inbox!”

While those objections may be valid for some customers and leads – you can’t please them all – the data doesn’t lie. Email is still the third most popular distribution channel, just behind social media and a business website or blog.

According to the data, 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention (Emarsys, 2018).

Email remains one of the most effective ways to nurture, convert and upsell in your customer sales journey – so if you aren’t building and marketing to your email list, you are missing out on a key sales and growth tool for your business!

Let’s start with the basics; What is an email list?

This is a list of names and email addresses of people who have given you permission to send them updates, offers, information and promotions from your business.

These might have come through networking, a sign up from your website or a purchase from a customer. They agreed to give you their information, and now you have permission to contact them. Now you can add this information to an email marketing platform, such as Mailchimp or Mailerlite, and strategically send them offers and updates to keep them engaged with your brand and stay on their radar – all with a goal of converting them into a loyal customer!

Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.

– Neil Patel: global web influencer and leading entrepreneur

Social Media vs Email Marketing

This is a big topic, but the key thing we want to point out here is that, with email, YOU OWN your email list. We’ve seen recently that we don’t have control over what happens on social media platforms, and they can change their algorithms, restrict access or increase prices at a moment’s notice. 

So, if you have all your eggs in the social media basket, your business’ direct access to its customers and leads is out of your control. With an email list, no matter what changes on social media or your email marketing platform, you can take your list of customer emails to any other provider or even send them emails manually through Gmail or Outlook!. 

Have you been collecting emails but haven’t done anything with them yet?

Your emails don’t have to be lengthy or sent out every week, even a monthly email keeps you on the radar, reminding your customers you are still there.

And, the good news is that ‘welcome emails’ have a high open rate – people are curious about who you are and what you will have to say. So, add ‘writing an email’ into your monthly marketing plan and don’t put off sending out your first email… you might be surprised how many people you can reach and customers you will convert!

So, now that ‘building and using my email list’ is in your marketing plan, here are our top tips to help you use email marketing in your business:

  1. Market through the lens of ‘Value’

Respect their inboxes and make sure that you are sending emails that are interesting, useful, and offer value. Don’t spam them multiple times a day or send content that isn’t aligned with your brand and what their expectations were when they signed up! 

  1. Keep it personal

The beauty of emails is that they are literally sent to, and read by, one person. Try to make your emails sound more personal, rather than a generic mass email. Use their name in the email header, write it as a conversation, or use headlines like ‘Hey, *name* – we miss you/what are your weekend plans/etc.’  

  1. Optimise for mobile

 According to Hubspot, around 46 percent of all emails are opened on mobile, so make sure that your email templates, images and content are mobile-friendly – and all links go to mobile-friendly pages as well!

  1. Email on Fri-yay! 

While you should always track your own analytics and see what your audience is doing, a good tip to start with is to send out your emails on a Friday. Campaign Monitor’s 2020 study to shape your 2021 marketing strategy, shows that Fridays have the best open, click through and click to open rates! 

  1. Let them leave

ALWAYS give your audience the option to unsubscribe. Under the Spam Act, ‘every commercial message must contain an ‘unsubscribe’ option that shows unsubscribe instructions clearly’. Outside of your legal obligations, you also want to make sure that the people on your email list are active and engaged so you get a result every time you send an email. And, from a customer’s perspective, there’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’ve been trapped by a brand and can’t stop their emails. That is not the relationship you want to build with your audience! 

Need some help with building and using your email list?

Receive 7 hours of mentorship for your business for only $44 with the Digital Solutions program!
Register your interest for our Digital Solutions program today. You’ll get to work with our expert advisors and access workshops and webinars to help you build your email list and grow your business!

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