No one opens emails, right? So, do you need an email list? Yes, you do. Emails get opened more than you might think, and email lists are a great way to reach your audience. When used correctly, an email list gets you into a direct conversation with your audience that can influence them in a variety of ways. If you aren’t taking advantage of that, you need to be.
Every business should have an email list, even if they aren’t using it from the start. There is tremendous value in having direct contact information for your audience. You can use email lists for a variety of messaging, and they’re especially great for retargeting campaigns. However, beyond that, they can also be used for keeping your business in the mind of your audience.
Remember: if someone gives you their email, it’s because they’re at least a little bit interested in your business. You need to be taking advantage of that. Where there is interest in your business, your business needs to be there. This is one of the basic truths of marketing.
Of course, there are nuances to email lists. You need to approach them from the correct place with a holistic understanding to use them to the greatest effect. That’s why I’m writing this article: to prime you to be able to take advantage of and create an email list.
Are Mailing Lists Effective for My SMMA?
If you’re still asking, “Do I need an email list?” let me tell you about how effective they are. When you’re using an email list to its fullest extent, you can expect at least – at least – a third of your audience to open the email when it hits their inbox. Great copy can raise this significantly. Similarly, I would look for a minimum of a 10% click-through rate on a decently written and targeted email, and much better results as the emails improve.
Beyond the copy, there are a few keys to making sure that your email list is effective. First and foremost, you need to grow your email list naturally. Remember that the thing that makes your email list effective is that it allows you direct contact to your targeted, interested audience.
Many people have been spurned by purchased email lists, which is an absolute never. A purchased list holds no value except in very rare cases because you’re going to come across as spam. In the best case, you can expect a small percentage of the emails you’ve purchased to go to a real, active person. Purchased email lists are ineffective, spammy advertising.
Simply opening the door to email can be effective for opening up to your audience. Adding another point of contact gives you another chance to speak to your audience, and your customers another chance to speak to you. Any time that you’re in contact with your audience, you’re increasing your chances of making a sale.
Finally, email lists allow you to create better customized, personalized messages while still sending them at scale. By segmenting your audience in email management platforms, you’re able to deliver a message with more precision. The more you segment, the more you can speak directly to a customer’s needs, station in life, or prior behavior.
As an example of how to use segmentation effectively, consider your ability to sort people just by two broad categories: have bought, and haven’t bought. That would allow you to send easy remarketing messages to the people that have bought, and to get things that you might want from them like feedback or testimonials. On the other side, you can attempt to deepen the connection with the portion of your audience that hasn’t bought, get to know them a bit more, and repeat your message to get them into the other category.
What Are the Benefits of an Email List for my SMMA?
There are so many benefits to having an email list for your SMMA that it would be impossible to count, but I want to reiterate some of the most important ones. First and foremost, it puts you in direct contact with your target audience. I might sound a bit repetitive with this, but it’s because you can’t afford to underestimate this.
Imagine being able to go to a convention full of potential clients every day. How would your business be doing if you were handing out a business card to everyone that you’ve ever said hello to? Then, imagine how much more helpful it would be if everyone that ever considered doing business with you was someone that you said hello to. That’s what having an email list does for your business.
Secondly, email lists help you to further get to know and define your target audience. Having an open line of communication with your audience is a great way to learn what they respond to, and even to lead interaction. When you have an email list, you can also use to get a person to talk to you. You don’t need to just blast emails all of the time. You can use it to pose questions, to share things, and to foster discussion.
As you use your email list over time, you will gain valuable, real-time insight into what your audience likes and what they don’t. You can safely A/B test in emails without causing too much potential damage, and the insight that you gain will translate from your email list to your other marketing efforts. You can use these insights to guide you further down the line and to iterate on your messaging quickly.
Finally, email lists add a little extra potential to your pipeline. Instead of not checking out or not getting to a meeting, you can collect a potential customer’s contact information and get back on their minds. This means that the softer “no”s will become a “yes” if you play your cards right. It’s hard to maintain persistent contact online, and email lists change that.
When to Start Building an Email List
The best time to start growing your email list is the day that your website goes live. From day one, you should be using email to get in contact with people and using it as a tool to start growing. If you can’t do that, then you need to start growing your email list right now. The earlier you start, the more valuable your email list will be.
To get started, you should be building out lead magnets for every niche that you’re doing business in. Make something that will entice people to give you their email. Try creating a downloadable PDF that gives some valuable insight, or a video going through a piece of information they need. This will give people a reason to join, and it should be enough to get going.
Then, optimize your opt-in pages so that traffic is drawn to them. Make sure that they’re optimized for SEO so that Google is sending traffic to them, and that your website is sending people to them as well. When you have a well-optimized opt-in page with a great lead magnet, you’re off to a great start with your email list.
How to Grow an Email List
Once you’ve gotten off to a strong start, it’s time to start growing your email list. The first step here is the same as with getting started: create content. The best way to build an email list is to create a funnel where you bring people to you with good content, and then get them to sign up with enticing and complementary content. Make sure that your content is relevant to your clientele, and that you’re providing value with it.
You can also grow your email list through paid traffic, by advertising your lead magnet. Creating Facebook Ads that lead to a downloadable PDF is a great way to make your brand known to your target audience, and to develop trust. Then, you can leverage that by getting their email, and getting to know them. Businesses can survive on just this tactic alone.
Make sure that your opt-ins are peppered throughout your web presence, as well. Include them at the end of content or in the descriptions of video. Include one on your contact page, as often people are going to be looking for an email there anyway. If you’re growing your general presence, having an email opt-in nearby will help.
Best Practices for Emailing Your Email List
The number one to-do when it comes to email marketing is to be personable. People use emails as a personal form of communication, and you need to fit in with that. Try not to be overly salesy. Instead, use this as a way to speak to your audience like it’s a casual conversation. Be genuine.
Be emotional, as well. You want to create emails that are worth opening, and that engage the audience. You don’t need to send your audience a 10,000-word story. However, you can take your time to sell a narrative. When people have given you the okay to talk, take advantage of it. Tell stories, tell jokes, let your hair down. You can breathe a bit.
Finally, have a plan for what your campaign will look like. Every email that you’re sending needs to be mapped out. Plan to remarket and to split funnels when you need to. Mapping out your campaign is a great way to stay guided and to keep your emails working towards a streamlined goal.
In addition to that, monitor your campaign and its efficiency daily. You need to be making frequent adjustments to your copy and your map to keep your email list effective. Look for trends in your responses. What kind of content is creating the most click-throughs? Which subject lines are getting opened the most?
Email lists are communication at scale. So, yes, your SMMA does need one. You can use email campaigns to meet any consumer-based goal that your business might have. If you haven’t been using one already, you need to start using one now. For SMMAs, email lists are a great tool to have around.