We hear lots about the benefits of list building but what does an effective email look like for your business and how long should it be?
…….is an email list suitable for everyone?
Before we address what makes an effective email list and how long it should be, let’s first dive in and explore whether it is suitable for very business.
Many small business owners starting their entrepreneurial journey or those already in business transitioning to online products and services often ask questions like………..
As most of my clients are on Facebook / Linkedin etc, should I just focus my efforts there, rather than develop an email list?
Is this something that I need to do right away…or can it wait?
What does an email list get used for, besides blog notifications?
Do I have to have lots of funds to build a list?
Well, the answer to these questions depends on why you wish to create an email list in the first place.
If it is to create a reliable and consistent means of connecting with those who are interested in you and your business offerings, then the short answer is YES!
Social Media versus Email Lists
Whilst many of your clients and prospects might be really active on social media, unfortunately, you just don’t have any control over those platforms – changes to the platform ‘rules’ can happen without any warning and you could effectively lose all or many of your contacts.
I am not advocating that you stop interacting on the social media platforms but it is worth bearing in mind that email lists will always rank higher than your social media platforms in terms of potential and Return On Investment.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to ensure that your time, effort and energy corresponds the return on investment.
So, if your aim is to create a reliable and consistent means of connecting with existing and potential clients, then a good strategy would be to start building your email list as early as possible.
There are of course, various uses for your email list, besides blog notifications.
The most effective way of utilising your email list is for email marketing, which continues to be very effective as it’s highly customisable. You can create an email campaign on any subject and add any information that you need to get to your clients / prospects in order to get the job done.
It’s also relatively inexpensive to set up (free to upwards of $900 per month – depending on number of contacts on your list etc), given the cost of traditional marketing.
Adding Real Value Through Your E-mail Communications
Imagine yourself in a patisserie……… as you walk into the shop (opt-ins in to your email) you are enticed by an array of delights!
Building an effective email list is very much along the same lines as you have the opportunity to win them over to become regulars by tempting them with real value content (daily / weekly treats) with every email communication from you.
Given that 96% of the individuals who initially visit your website are unlikely to purchase anything from you until they have got to know, like and trust you, the email communications allow you to stay at the forefront of their minds and remind them that you have a potential solution that maybe looking for.
Does Size Matter?
With regard to the size of the list, there is no such thing as an ideal number as this will depend on a number of factors, not least the industry and niche you are targeting.
That said, given the average opt-in conversion rates whether:
- directly on websites (percentage of site visitors who subscribe to your email list generally in exchange for a free resource);
- through squeeze pages (dedicated email capture landing pages) or
- on webinar registrations, it makes sense to have a strategy for continually building the critical mass of your email list.
Average opt-in conversions on a website can be anything from around 1% to 5%
Opt-in rates on a squeeze page can be as high as 25% or more on average
Webinar registration pages conversion rates average around 30%
A couple of caveats ……….
- Just building a large email list is not the answer. The strategy should be to build a really targeted list of your ideal clients / prospects so that you can drive precise messages that will resonate with them.
- CONSISTENCY is key – your email list should come to expect you as a regular part of their routine… and if you stick to a day-of-the-week schedule, they’ll even start to look forward to your email communications.