Think you don’t really need an email newsletter as an online business owner? I was right there with you for a long time. An email newsletter just felt like one more thing in a very long line of must-do’s on my online business task list.
I didn’t see the importance of sending out an email newsletter and my excuse was kind of lame: It would take time and I wanted to spend that time writing blog posts and focusing on building my Facebook engagement (which was at an all time high then).
That plan worked really well… until Facebook changed their algorithms and stopped showing my posts to hundreds of thousands of people.
Guess what that meant? Since I hadn’t taken the time to focus on building an email newsletter, I had no way to contact all of those people and connect with them outside of social media.
I went from my posts being shown to hundreds of thousands of people, to them only being shown to a few thousand people. And because I hadn’t set up an email list and was relying on social media instead, my business and traffic took a big hit.
As a result of this, I learned a big lesson the hard way: Don’t trust your business growth to a site that you don’t own (i.e. Facebook).
Ever since this happened, I’ve not only worked hard to build my own strong email lists, but I’ve become a big advocate for building an email list and sending a regular email newsletter. I’m sure you’re not surprised!
Here are four reasons why I think you need to invest the time to build, grow, and nurture an email list:
1. An email newsletter gives you access to prime real estate — people’s inboxes.
Getting into people’s inbox is prime real estate. When marketing my own products, I know that the #1 most effective tool for selling them is through emails. We’ve tested this time and again, and social media and blog posts just don’t hold a candle to email.
I’m a fan of social media and think we should use it wisely and strategically. We still invest a lot of time into Facebook and we still manage to see pretty decent click-throughs and conversions from Facebook. But we never, ever see the kind of engagement from Facebook that we see when we send out an email newsletter.
2. An email newsletter gives you the ability to contact people directly — whenever you want to.
When I decide I want to send out an email newsletter, I don’t have to try to bypass and trick the elaborate algorithms into getting my email to land in someone’s inbox. I just write the email and send it.
While there are some spam blockers that will block it and not every single email will always land into every single person’s main inbox, a much higher percentage of people are always going to see my emails than will ever see something I post on Facebook. Plus, I never have to worry about whether a social media platform is going to be around or remain free of charge for the long haul.
3. An email newsletter allows you to build a personal and long-lasting relationship with people.
Not only will people typically pay much more attention to email in their inbox than they will to something that will possibly show up in their feed on Facebook, but when you get someone’s email address, you have the ability to choose what you send to them — and what they’ll actually see.
You don’t have to wait for them to check your blog or log into social media. You don’t have to hope that what you posted will maybe end up showing up in their feed.
Instead, you’ll know that there’s a good chance they’ll actually get your email — which gives you the opportunity to build a personal relationship with someone through the emails you send.
If people know that what you send them is going to bring value to their life, they are going to be more apt to open up and read your emails. And there’s a good chance that they are going to begin to trust you and your recommendations.
And when people trust you, you have one of the most valuable assets you can ever obtain as a business owner.
4. An email newsletter gives you the ability to tailor emails to best serve each individual person on your list.
Many email programs now offer really advanced options — including the ability to tailor emails to serve each individual person on your email list.
For instance, if you sign up for the Your Blogging Mentor email list, I’ll send you a welcome email and also ask you to let me know where you are in your blogging journey (i.e. are you a beginning blogger, an advanced blogger, or someone who is just considering blogging?)
Depending upon which option you click, we will “tag” your email address in a way that lets us know how we can serve you best. And then we tailor the emails we send to you based upon this.
If we know that you are an advanced blogger, we’re not going to send you emails about getting started as a blogger, because those will just clog up your inbox and do nothing to help you. Instead, we want to send you posts and emails and articles that will help you grow as an advanced blogger.
There’s so much you can do when it comes to getting all sophisticated with email lists. It’s pretty amazing! (However, if this sort of talk sounds overwhelming and intimidating, don’t worry! You can also choose to keep it very simple.)
If you are a blogger or an online business owner and you don’t have an email list set up yet, here are some of the companies I recommend checking out:
Constant Contact recently emailed us and asked if they could offer a special offer for you all. They are offering you the opportunity to try out their service for 60 days for free. Best of all, there is NO credit card required if you are in the US or Canada!
This is a great way to get started and get an email list set up — without spending any money out of pocket! All you have to do is go to their site, type in your email address, and you can get started setting up your email list!
Constant Contact offers US-based phone and chat support, segmentation of your list, and all the features that any blogger or small business owner would need o run a successful email marketing campaign!
My favorite part about their service is that they have beautiful email templates you can use to customize your newsletter that make it look professional — even if you know nothing about designing email templates!