Here are some of the reason why your list is so important and how/why you should focus on growing it:
What is a list?
Your email list is the list of people who have signed up to receive, buy or follow your product. They have opted in on your website or in person and want to know what you are about. Usually they have had some sort of initial contact with you and/or your product and now they want to know more.
Who should have a list?
Everyone! No matter what kind of business you are in it is necessary to start collecting your fan's emails now. The reason it is so critical is because we live in a connection economy and there is so much information coming at us all the time. It can feel overwhelming to sift through all of it to find what we like and want. An email list makes it easy to communicate directly with the people who are interested in your stuff. There is a much greater impact in launching your product to your tribe of fans than to a bunch of people who aren't really listening.
Why is the list so important?
The list is important because it allows you to build relationships with your customers, affiliates and people who are interested in your product. People want to know who you are and they want the convenience of receiving your great work in their inbox. When people opt in to your information they are starting a relationship with you. Great relationships make a big difference in the success of your business. Full stop. If you have strong relationships and great rapport (and of course and excellent product), then you will gain trust and credibility quickly.
How do I start my own list?
Great question. First you will need to determine the platform you want to use to send out emails and updates. Popular list building platforms are Aweber and Mailchimp. Both of these platforms are really easy and simple to use and can accommodate large and small business set ups. You will be able to install an email capture box on your website, send email campaigns and customize it all to your liking.
How do I use my list effectively?
There is certain email list etiquette that is important to keep in mind when sending email updates to your list. Remember these tips when building and growing your list:
1. Be mindful of how many emails you send. Don't send out too much stuff but also don't send so little that you ignore the list (people might forget who you are or why they signed up).
2. Be clear about what people are opting into. It's very helpful to offer an incentive to sign up like a free ebook or video series for people to get an idea of who you are.
3. Don't ever put someone on the list if they didn't give you permission, even if it is your best friend. People will opt in and unsubscribe at their will and that is the point (don't take it personally).
4. Be authentic and find your own voice. Like I said before it's about building and growing relationships with people. So figure out what kind of messaging is most authentic to you and your product.
5. Respect people's privacy. This is super important and hopefully obvious. Don't share people's email with third parties and such.
Regardless of the kind of business you are building, it's important to start collecting your email list today. Even if it's just your cousin and grandmother who are the only ones on your list for now, that is a great start. The earlier you start the quicker your message will spread.
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