Building an email list is a must for any business.
Here are the top 3 benefits of email marketing for your small business.
On 4 October 2021, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and What’s App went offline for a few hours — and everyone lost their minds. It was particularly detrimental for small business owners who rely on social media to connect with their customers and build their brand. This was not the first time Facebook and Instagram went “offline”. A similar incident occurred in 2019 where Facebook was out of action for a whole 24 hours.
If there’s anything we can learn from this fiasco, it’s that we have a massive dependency on social media to conduct our businesses. One business reportedly saw their sales plummet by 25% just from a few hours of outage!
This just goes to show that just like in investing, the mantra “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is just as true when it comes to business.
Another thing to consider is that the Facebook and Instagram algorithms are constantly changing, which means that what your customers will see on their newsfeeds today, will not necessarily show on their newsfeed tomorrow. This is an endless source of frustration for business owners as they have to constantly keep on top of the changes and ensure their ads and their content outsmart the algorithm changes. But when you’re already busy enough as it is, who has the time to do that?
That’s why it makes sense to investigate other methods of keeping in touch with your customers.
Let’s face it, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are third party providers, meaning that any content you put on them does not belong to you, but to them. If one day they go bust (hard to imagine now, but remember My Space? Vine?) then that means that whatever following you’ve built up on those platforms will disappear too.
Which is why email is a smart, cheap and easy way to build your customer base and keep in touch with them.
So why should you care about building your email list?
For one simple reason – the people in your list are your tribe. Your fam. Your amigos. Your posse. You get the drift.
Everyone has an email address. In some cases, people have multiple email addresses for different purposes (work and personal, for example).
Before social media, people used email. And as we’ve seen with the social media outage, email is not going anywhere.
When you have an email list, you have access to prospects who you have an opportunity to turn into valued, returning customers.
And as a small business, you absolutely need to build your loyal following of customers who will vouch for your business, and who will return again and again because they know they can get quality products and services from you, and not from your competitor.
Here are the benefits of building an email list.
1. Email is more personal
But isn’t social media more personal? You might ask.
Yes, social media can be personal (think – all those people who post what they had for breakfast yesterday). But it’s posted for everyone else to see, and comment on.
Email is much more personal. It’s a one-on-one conversation with someone in their inbox. It’s like knocking on someone’s door, coming into their house and having a conversation with them.
It’s why door-to-door salesmen from the old school days were so successful. It was personal one-on-one marketing.
When it comes to social media marketing, think of it as you standing at the train station handing out pamphlets, while email is you knocking on someone’s door to hand out your pamphlets. The difference is that when you knock on someone’s door, and the person opens up to you, it’s like a personal invitation to introduce yourself and what you do, and presenting your amazing product or service that will change their lives.
Email is a private space where you can connect with your audience directly to understand their needs, and answer any questions they might have.
2. Email has higher conversion rates
That means that you have a higher chance of making a sale through email marketing than through social media. Customers actually prefer to buy from businesses through email rather than through social media. For example, a study has found that 60% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email they received, while only 12.5% of those same consumers will consider buying from social media. What’s more, the engagement rate on social media is a measly 0.58% (not even a full number!) while email reaches 85% of the people you send it to.
Email can also be targeted to specific users and specific customers – that is, you can segment your email list according to demographics, customer journey, interests, purchase history etc and deliver targeted email campaigns that meets a customer’s specific needs. In fact, targeted email campaigns can increase your revenue by a whopping 760%!
3. You own your email list and email content
As stated above, you can lose access to your customers (and your amazingly curated content!) if you ever lose access to your social media.
Ultimately, everything you post on social media is not yours. Your followers are not yours either.
With your own email list, you control your interaction with your subscribers (no more annoying algorithm changes), and you own the content you share.
What’s more, your content, as well as your email list, are business assets – you can sell these if one day you decide to move on and sell your business to someone else. You cannot sell your social media followers, because they don’t belong to you.
The key take-away
Email is not going away any time soon. In fact, there are 4.1 billion people who use email, versus 2.8 billion Facebook users. It makes good business sense to make use of email as a tool in your marketing strategy toolbox.
If you would like to make use of email marketing for your business, please contact me.