You MUST have an email list to be successful online.
In fact, I think you must have an email list to be Successful Offline as well.
I’d even go one further and say that in order to be successful offline, you need to be successful online and either way, an email list is ESSENTIAL.
That being said, should you run out and buy one right away? Well … no.
Oh there are people who would sell you one. I’m sure you’ve received emails yourself from those sorts of lists and you didn’t like it much. You called those emails spam and rightly so. No matter how “clean” the list is supposed to be, don’t let anyone scam you into buying an email list. That is not what we are talking about here at all.
An email list is a collection of email addresses that are either given by customers when they make a purchase; or by prospects that have filled out a form to receive messages or information.
People may have made a purchase online. Or they may have made a purchase in your brick-and-mortar or come to see your play or stayed at your hotel — whatever the purchase or transaction — they freely gave their email at the time.
They gave it when asked at the register because they like your store; or online because they like your website, your product or what you have to say. They trust you already.
Sometimes, people have not purchased yet but they fill out a form to get a free item, or information from you. They are interested in what you have to say and might buy something later but for now, they are just looking. But since they were interested enough to give you their email, they are expecting to hear from you.
These email addresses are collected into a database (autoresponder) that allows you to easily send out messages. These might be immediate or time-released. They might be automated to go to all of the addresses, or only to a specific group.
Just as you should never buy an email list, you should never sell one! This email list is literally your goose that lays the golden eggs. Never sell your list! Always guard your customers information, including emails.
This list is more than important or necessary. The list is essential! Let’s look at the main reasons why an email list is an essential part of your business success.
Most consumers are accustomed to giving their email address to a business entity. It is a common and acceptable way to communicate and contact customers. They expect to hear from you.
It is also a common and preferred way for customers to contact a you. People don’t want to hang on the the phone punching number options and waiting for a customer service rep. They would prefer to state their issue in an email and expect a timely response!
With smartphones keeping people constantly connected, you are literally always with your customers! You have the ability to send messages to your customers any time of the day. You can contact them 24/7 easily with just a click of a button.
Of course that’s not to say that you should contact them 24/7! But with your systems in place, if an interested looker from the other side of the globe requests information, they should be able to get it immediately and not have to wait for you to get up tomorrow morning!
Maybe you you are going to have a huge sale? O you have just gotten in a fresh stock of the absolute “bestest” of a product. You know your customer will love it! You can tell them over coffee tomorrow morning so that they won’t miss out! – all with the click of a button.
Email is intimate. That is your advantage and disadvantage! Always remember that! I like my morning coffee and if you are going to show up before I’ve had my coffee, you need to be careful! Make sure you are not taking advantage of the intimacy and by overdoing your welcome!
Make sure that what you are sending is relevant and timely and of interest to your subscribers. When done right, you give them a reason to open your emails. Give them a reason to look forward to them!
Make sure you are watching analytics. What are the open rates? When? Who? If you send every morning at 7 to be there for breakfast but no one is opening until noon, maybe you should rethink that? Which topics and subject lines are most popular? This information will tell you a lot about your subscribers and give you a lot of ideas on what you should be sending.
You can also use email to send out a survey to find out information about your audience. After all, knowing what they want, what is bothering them, and how you can help them is really your business in a nutshell, isn’t it? Use common sense. When I use a service regularly, I don’t want a survey each and every time! But I don’t mind answering a few questions now and then.
Since you have a better idea of what makes your customers and subscribers tick, of what is bothering them and what they are looking for, you have a great opportunity to educate them.
That’s right. You can send information that educates them about their problems and introduces them them solutions. And you can do all of that without feeling like you are browbeating, or pressuring anyone. Or without making any phone calls!
You could be the one to show up every morning as they sit down to have their coffee and they just know that you will have something of use for them because you always do. You are indispensable!
If you send only sales emails, people will quickly tire of them and you and will unsubscribe. But if you are sending some good, useful information, they will look forward to your messages. This will build more trust. People will be more likely to buy something from you and buy again from you because they trust what you have to say and they don’t feel like you always have a hand out looking for money.
And all this trust building is great for another reason — it keeps your subscribers informed but it also keep you on their minds!
For years people have been saying that email marketing is dead but the reality is far from it. It is still one of the most, if not THE most, effective forms of marketing that has ever existed. By using email to inform your prospects, teach them, about your business and offerings, you can increase conversions.
People seldom buy the first time they see or hear about a product. Even if it seems like THE solution, the very thing they have been looking for, they don’t buy the first time they see it. They believe it’s too good to be true.
By sending more information, in little bite-size pieces, they are learning more about it but you are also increasing the number of time they see/hear about it. That makes it more likely that they will buy and buy from you.
Finding new customers, building trust, knowing what to offer and when all takes times and effort and money. It’s not easy. Of course we always want to find new customers but your best bet for increasing sales is your past and current customers!
Always keep your customers happy!
Keep your customers happy enough that they become repeat customers. Repeat customers offer you the opportunity to increase your income exponentially.
With your email keeping them informed, and giving them good info and keeping you foremost in their minds, when you send an email recommending a great product, there is a good chance that they will purchase. You simply need to use the customer list to tell them about other offerings that they may be interested in.
These are the folks that are more likely to open your mail, return to your store, buy from you again, give you a good right up online and tell others about you!
So of course, we are always looking for new customers. But keeping those you already have is really important and email is a great help in doing that!
Email marketing software allows you to automate some parts of your email messages to your customers, leads and prospects. This means that messages that are educational, standard (like thank you messages), or sales offering and more will be created once and sent to each person when appropriate, based on how you set up your autoresponder software.
This is not only a huge time saver. It keeps you professional! You don’t want to send a message informing a customer of a great sale on an item they just purchased! They should get the thank you letter!
If people have come onto your list by shopping in your brick-and-mortar, they should get a different spin on information than those who are online shoppers. The software makes this possible and simple.
We all know that without sales there would be no business. But a bunch of random sales is not a business either. Having an email list of interested, motivated buyers – not there’s your business!
Your success lies in that list and how well you maintain it and care for the people behind the addresses on that list! Since it represents multiple sales, I think it’s even more important than sales to your business!
What are you doing to grow your list? Jump over and grab my list building guide and get a jump start on this new year!
Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!
Patt is the author of: Patt Blogs
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Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper - Patt loves the online world and love to share it!