Thinking about building an email list but don’t know if it’s worth your time? Here are 5 key benefits of building an email list for your business.
The money is in the list.A quote I heard a thousand times
You probably heard that the “big money” is in the email list or someone has suggested you to start collecting leads and build an email list for your business.
Still, you are skeptical because y
What path should you take?
- Should you focus your attention on building an email list, or getting more followers on the social networks?
- Is email marketing dying in 2019?
- Are people still using email?
These are only several questions I’m going to answer to in this article.
What is email marketing?
The definition of email marketing on Wikipedia is:
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.
In short, I would say that email marketing is a channel for businesses to sell products and services via email.
It’s also a communication channel, a mean of building relationships and trust with the potential customers and for strengthening the bonds with the existing clients.
If done right, email marketing can be one of the most valuable
Is email marketing dead?
You might’ve heard that the email is dying because of the rise in popularity of the social networks.
Personally, I believe that’s complete nonsense.
I think that’s only a popular sales pitch used by the so-called “social media experts” to sell their services.
In case you haven’t noticed, the social networks are getting full of profiles of individuals that claim to be “social media experts.”
When did email appear?
According to Computing History, the first email was sent in 1971 by a computer engineer called Ray Tomlinson.
During these years, many social networks emerged and disappeared (do you remember of Hi5, MySpace, Google Buzz, etc.?).
Recently, Google also announced that they will close Google+ for consumers due to a security vulnerability that exposed the private data of about 500.000 users and because of the low network usage and engagement.
As you can see, even the most popular social networks come and go, but email is still here after almost 50 years and will probably never die.
What do you need to register on most websites?
In about 99% of the cases, you will need a valid email address.
When you make a purchase online, where do you receive the receipt?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never received a receipt on Facebook.
Ironically, even Facebook sends the receipts for its ad platform via email.
Besides that, Facebook sends email notifications for anything.
According to a report of the Radicati Group:
Surprise! This number is expected to grow to over 333 billion by the end of 2022.
Direct Marketing Association claims that an impressive percentage of 99% of the individuals that have an email address check their personal email every day.
Another interesting fact is that during the day, DMA states that consumers check their email about 20 times per day.
These statistics can only confirm the fact that email is far from dying.
Email is still one of the most convenient communication channels for businesses and consumers.
Even if now know that email is not going anywhere, you might still be wondering whether it would be better to focus your attention on building your email list or getting more followers for your social profiles.
And the winner is again … EMAIL LIST.
The first argument of focusing on growing your email list instead of your social media presence is you have the full control over your email list.
1. An email list is an asset you own
Let’s take the example of Facebook Pages.
Everyone can create a Facebook page for his or her business. It’s free.
You can share all your updates, blog posts, upcoming product launches, etc. on your Facebook page and your customers will always be up-to-date with all the big news.
Sounds great so far, right?
However, did you know that Facebook only shows your posts to only about 2% of your page fans? That’s what Facebook calls “organic post reach.”
You might have paid a small fortune to get all the page likes and Facebook asks you now to buy more paid ads to show your updates to a larger part of your hard-earned audience.
According to HubSpot, this decline in the organic reach of the Facebook pages started in 2012.
Basically, the organic reach declined from showing all your updates to your page followers (or something like that), to showing them to only about 16% of your page fans at first.
Since 2012, this value has dropped significantly, and in 2019, many agree that Facebook shows your posts to about 2% of your page followers.
That means that for a page with 100.000 fans, only about 2.000 would see your content in their feed every time you write an update.
The decline of the Facebook organic post reach over the years:
- 2007-2012 – Updates were visible to most page followers
- February 2012 – 16%
- September 2013 – 12.60%
- November 2013 – 10.15%
- December 2013 – 7.83%
- March 2014 – 6.51%
- March 2015 – 2.6-2.27%
- In 2019, many say that the organic reach is between 1% and 2%
What I’ve noticed is that the text and image posts receive a greater organic reach than the updates that contain an external link. Also, videos seem to have a better organic reach.
If you want to send your fans to your website, your updates will be visible to a smaller page audience because these include an external link.
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO and founder, has also announced that the paid content will be shown fewer times in the Facebook users feed.
You can read below the original announcement and the reasons behind these changes.
That can only mean that the competition between the advertisers has increased and probably the prices of the paid ads as well.
In conclusion, even if you’ve spent your time and money to build a big follower base for your Facebook page, you still have to use paid ads to show the updates to your audience.
That’s because you don’t own Facebook, or any other social networks.
Any changes these companies decide to implement can drag your business to ruin if your whole business relies on them.
Now, what about if you’d change your focus to building a big email list instead of growing the number of social network followers.
The most important difference between these approaches is that unlike some accounts on social networks, an email list is something you own and have the full control over.
The worst thing that can happen to your email list is the company that manages your email subscribers to suddenly go out of business and take your email list with it.
Yet, you can avoid this worst-case scenario:
- Choose a reliable company (I recommend Constant Contact, which has been in the industry for more than 20 years).
- Make periodic backups of your email subscribers.
2. Email traffic converts
Another advantage of email is the fact that email traffic is the traffic with the highest conversion rates.
McKinsey & Company say that:
One of the main reasons for the hight conversion rates is because the traffic generated from sending an email to your subscribers is considered “warm traffic.”
At the opposite, the “cold traffic” is when you send people to a page from an ad.
Most of the people on your email list already know you and your brand. Therefore, are more likely to buy something from you than from an ad they see for the first time.
Building an email list also enables you to use your website’s traffic more efficiently.
About 98% of your website visitors leave your website without taking any action and the vast majority never comes back.
When you collect the email addresses of the people who visit your website and build an email list, you can send them back to your website every time you have something to share.
An email list also enables you to have repeated contacts with your prospects and increases the chances for someone to buy a product you recommend.
Most marketers agree that most persons won’t make a purchase the first time they see a product.
Mike Schultz, the president of RAIN Group, revealed in one of the posts published on
Of course, this number may vary from one industry to another, depending on the price of the product or service you want to sell, and many other factors.
The average between across different industries is between 7 and 14 contacts.
3. Traffic on demand
An email list is also a source of traffic on demand.
Instead of spending money on ads every time you promote something, you can just send an email broadcast to your list and you can expect traffic and sales immediately.
The best part is that you won’t pay a dime for that traffic and for the eventual sales that come with it.
Even if you might spend some money to build your email list initially, once you have a good number of subscribers, you can send them an email and get them back to your website whenever you want.
Still, do not make the list size your most important goal when it’s coming to
Many times, a small but highly-engaged email list can make you more money than a bigger email list with unresponsive subscribers.
Another great benefit of the email traffic is that it’s very targeted, especially if you segment and tag your
All the modern email autoresponder and list managing software should give you a way to segment your list and tag the subscribers based on specific interests.
If your current provider doesn’t have these features, you should look for a more up-to-date service (Constant Contact includes both of these options).
For example, if someone subscribes to your list after downloading a guide about SEO, you can set a rule that automatically assigns him a “SEO” tag.
When someone becomes a subscriber after downloading an ebook about “email marketing,” you can assign him a tag called “email marketing.”
This way you’ll know exactly what each of your subscribers wants.
The next time you send an email related to SEO, you can opt to only send it to the leads that have the “SEO” tag assigned. That’s way more
Sending emails to very targeted segments of your list is a good way of keeping your subscribers super engaged, get higher open rates, more clicks, and a low unsubscription rate.
4. Improve customer value
Let’s say John has become a subscriber after has purchased a simple $7 ebook that teaches him how to start his own blog.
At this point, John worths $7 for your business because you have earned $7 from his purchases.
After a week, you send John an email with a case study that shows how you were able to double your blog’s income with an email list.
In this case study, you also mention the service you use for managing your email list and leave your affiliate link.
John reads the email, realize the potential of building an email list and joins the service you recommend.
Since it’s a service based on a monthly subscription, you now receive an affiliate commission month after month.
Another day, you send an email where you teach your subscribers how to make more money with their blogs and a sales funnel. Again, you recommend the service you regularly use to build sales funnels.
John reads your email and buys your recommended product again since it’s something that can help his business grow.
After a year, a person that has only initially purchased a cheap product has brought you several hundred dollars.
And that’s only from one subscriber and only after one year since he subscribed to your email list.
Now, imagine your earnings if all you would have done was selling that $7 product without adding John to your email list.
You would have only earned that initial $7.
Knowing how much one of your email subscribers is worth for your business is probably the most important metric when it comes to list building.
Many marketers say that each email subscriber is worth for them approximately $1 per month.
For example, if someone has an email list of 10.000 subscribers, he might estimate that he can earn $10.000 from his email list the next month.
Again, this value may vary greatly from one industry to another, how good is your email follow-up, how often you send emails to your list, and so on.
$1 per subscriber is more of an average between different industries.
5. Build relationships with customers
The relationship you have with your subscribers is more important than the size of your email list.
If you want to have a responsive list that generates you an income for years, you have to build and maintain a close relationship with your subscribers.
Even though some marketers use to say that “the money is in the list,” there are also others saying that actually “the money is in the relationship with your list.”
Litmus claims that not the email subjects have the biggest impact on whether a subscriber opens an email or not, but the sender’s name.
That means that the more the subscriber knows you, the more likely he is to open the emails from you.
Even so, do not neglect the subject lines of the emails you send. This is another extremely important factor that determines someone to open an email.
The email click-through rates vary based on many factors and only once you have an email list you’ll be able to predict how much traffic you can receive from sending one email.
A critical mistake many business owners make is to try to sell with every email they write.
Even though it might be tempting to fill your wallet with every email you send, if you go that route, your email list will eventually die.
If you only sell-sell-sell, your subscribers will become unresponsive, you will have a high unsubscription rate, spam complaints, and fewer people will open your emails.
In order to maintain a good relationship with the subscribers of your list, you need to find the balance between promotional emails and the emails packed with value.
Best service for email marketing?
There are many services you can use for building your email list, but the one I recommend is Constant Contact.
Constant Contact has been a leader in the email marketing industry for over 20 years. Therefore, you don’t have to worry that this company will go bankrupt the next day.
Another reason why I recommend this platform is because Constant Contact has one of the best email delivery rates in the industry (97%).
This is a very important aspect when it comes to choosing a company for managing your email list. Otherwise, your emails will rot in the Spam folder of your subscribers.
Who’s checking the Spam folder, anyway?
If you are serious about building an email list for your business, this is definitely not the area where you should think about making compromises.
Believe me, I learned this the hard way.
When I first built an email list, I started with an email autoresponder service that promised a fixed monthly fee for an unlimited number of subscribers and emails.
That sounds like a great deal, isn’t it?
My intention was to save some money, but later it turned out to be a VERY BAD decision.
I was able to build an email list of several hundred subscribers, but my emails had a very poor open rate.
After looking deeper into the problem, I found out that all my emails were only reaching the Spam folder even with a low spam score.
I had no other option than to switch to a reliable company that can deliver my emails to the Inbox folder.
In conclusion, never make compromises when it comes to email marketing.
Constant Contact currently offers a 30-day free trial, so if you are looking for a reliable list managing service and autoresponder, you should definitely check it out.