Email Lists: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

I’m sure if you’ve been around the internet marketing community at all, you’ve heard the phrase “it’s all in the list”. While this site isn’t aimed at that market precisely, we’ll take lessons that work, from wherever they appear.

Stay In Touch With Clients

Those of us who run “real” businesses and have face-to-face interactions with our clients also need a list. Partly because the lines are blurring. “Real” businesses can often benefit from adding web-based products to their offerings, for example.

It’s Not Enough To Tell Them To Sign Up

As always, it’s not enough to tell them to give you their email. You need to tell them why – WIIFM – What’s In It For Them. You need a bonus, sometimes called a “freemium” or “ethical bribe”, to entice your reader to part with their email. You need to sell the benefits of giving you their email address, so they act right now.

Make It Worth THEIR While

But what often gets missed about list creation is that it’s not enough to build it – you have to keep them, and keep them attentive. That means building value and “engagement”, one of those marketing buzz words that means they’ve figured out why this is good stuff for them (and their friends!).

Provide valuable emailSo we have three goals once they’re on our mailing list:

1) Provide value so they don’t unsubscribe

2) Provide value so they keep eagerly reading every message

3) Provide value so they tell their friends

I was thinking about this today, and I realized that while my list was growing, I wasn’t taking good enough care of the people on it. They deserve more than the casual site visitor, for their willingness to share their email. And I would be a smart businessperson if I improved the value of my communications, to ensure they’re read and even passed on.

Add Some Value That’s Only For Subscribers

So I’m taking some content out of a (paid) product I’m building for clients that have a new website, on how to build buyer traffic, and I’m sending some of those lessons to my email subscribers. I don’t want to deluge them, but I’m going to send one to two lessons per month – clear, step-by-step, repeatable lessons on how to do something that’s good for your website traffic, right now, in the next hour.

Only my email subscribers will get the free lessons. They won’t appear on this website.

Make Sure You TELL Them

I also needed to do a better job of communicating what I’m already giving them for subscribing, so I added a new page about that, which you’ve seen if you check out the links above.

Go Improve Your Email List Building

Your challenge is to go look at your site. If there’s no list building, or you have a lame “subscribe to my newsletter” signup box, it’s time to step up your game. What can you offer that provides compelling value for signing up, staying signed up, and continuing to read every communication you send? I know this is hard work, but it’s the right kind of hard work – the kind that pays off by building your business.

If you need some help with it, get in touch.

About the author


I'm a big fan of entrepreneurship. Most of my learning, teaching and business is focused on effectively creating "freedom businesses" that allow you to focus on your strengths, and bring what you're really good at to the world - profitably. My clients are looking for more of the right customers - and I show them how to make that happen. I help them develop their web presence through their website, SEO, social media and other marketing tactics.

Posted on by Karilee in Small Business Marketing

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