The REAL Reason You Need an Email Mailing List
One day, while talking to a friend over coffee, I was trying to explain the significance of having an email list. She was considering starting a side hustle and I wanted to get across the main systems needed to create one in today’s competitive (and seemingly oversaturated) online world.
So I explained the importance of creating an affordable intro product.
She got that concept right away.
Next, I talked about setting up a segue service that both provides value and a more dynamic pricing model.
Nailed that explanation (if I do say so myself).
I then began to discuss the importance of setting up an email list and how to build one using content upgrades and opt-in freebies.
Crickets. Blank stare. *Looks to side and inhales breath*
Then she began to ask...
“So...if I have a small email list, does that mean I won’t earn any income?”
“What if I don’t know what to say in my email newsletters? And, do I have to have a blog to have a mailing list?”
And, “Okay, but if you’re saying only 2% of my mailing list will potentially buy, why is email even worth the effort?
I found myself repeating things I heard online and got frustrated that I couldn’t get my point across (and let’s be honest, I was struggling to find the point).
In the end, I couldn’t come up with a simple and concise way to answer her questions. And that’s because I didn’t entirely understand the importance of having an email list for myself.
Which again, frustrated the mess outta me.
So I made it my mission to figure it out…
I first started an email list because every online business guru said it’s a must.
They said the “money is in the list”, and I found myself saying that same tired phrase to my friend, as I failed to explain its importance.
And I felt sleazy.
I felt like I was just regurgitating information that I didn’t fully understand.
So over the next few weeks I started to think for myself and figure out exactly why I needed an email list.
I started to take note of what having an email list meant for my business.
And I began to pay attention to how I was successfully growing my mailing list.
And here’s what I came up with…
The REAL Reason You Need an Email Mailing List
I want to be clear and state that this is about what an email list means to me. But I hope that sharing my thoughts will bring some clarity as to how it can be beneficial for the small business you’re also trying to build.
An email list is NOT building up a lot of subscribers just to sneakily funnel them into purchasing your products.
Yes, it’s great for building passive income, but it’s not it’s sole purpose.
An email list is NOT about adding one more obligation in order to “keep up with the joneses” of online business.
Yes, it’s a must for you business, but not because of any online trend.
An email list is NOT about writing the perfect piece of content every single week that requires as much time to prepare as a 1000+ word blog post.
No lie, sometimes it takes me a while to write my weekly newsletter. And I also have tons of typos and grammatical errors - but it’s authentic and it’s where I truly get to talk like me.
SO WHAT IS AN EMAIL LIST ALL ABOUT?
An email list is all about consistency.
CONSISTENCY IS THE GLUE THAT MAKES EVERY GREAT THING IN LIFE HAPPEN.
It pastes together our forward leaps and missed opportunities in a way that just works out. The only thing it asks for in return is our time and our patience.
Want to reach your goals? You have to consistently take the right actions, and consistently NEVER give up when you have the inevitable setbacks.
You’re thinking that this is easier said than done. And yes, you’re 100 PERCENT RIGHT.
KEEPING IT 100:
Consistency happens to be my greatest weakness as an aspiring entrepreneur. #workingonit
I’ll spare you the details for now, but let’s just say its #goals for this year.
I’m making it a point to use my email mailing list as a way to build consistency in my business, in my community, and even in my life. If I want to earn more through my side hustle, I have to make a consistent effort. And I have to go through a season of hustle and discipline to do so.
Not convinced yet? Allow me to state my case:
1. Use Your Email List to Consistently Build Relationships
You can use your email list to consistently connect with your audience. These are the people that willingly signed up for your mailing list (probably to get a free resource you created), so they’re most likely interested in what you have to say. But if you only hear that “the money is in the list”, you may not understand the importance of building this connection.
It can be lonely in this online digital world, but email can build a closer personal relationship than just sharing a post on instagram and getting a like with a “cute pic”. With email, you can start a real dialogue and encourage real engagement. In many of my weekly emails, I ask for my readers point of view on something, or ask them to reply back to a question that I have. And here’s the crazy thing… people actually respond!
AND I LOVE IT WHEN SOMEONE RESPONDS TO MY EMAILS. It means more to me than a quick scroll with an absent minded “like”. And it might not be the same day, but I always make a point to reply back and start a conversation. So if you’re reading this and you’re on my email list, please feel free to always reply back :)
2. Use Your Email List to Consistently Stay Relevant
Blogging consistently can lead to passive income. And it can also build that know, like (love) and trust we’re all after. I talk about this more in my free course, but essentially no one is going to know the great things you’re creating if you’re NOT continually showing them. And since you have access to their inbox, you can show up for them every week with the new content you’re producing.
But you don’t want to tire your audience by sharing the same thing every time. This is why you need to consistently create great new content to build your authority on the topic and to also show them you’re committed to what you’re doing.
I mean, who wants want to invest their money in someone who’s not serious about their business?
In today’s social media driven world, every business is vying to get attention. To be successful on YouTube you have to create (multiple) content weekly. To get your tweets read, you have to continually be “tweeting”. To get a viral pin on Pinterest, people have to see it and pin it hundreds of times.
So to stay relevant as an online business, you have to continually produce to stay relevant and not tire your email subscribers with the same thing every week. But, don’t get overwhelmed because I know you have MANY great ideas and that you’re business will evolve and grow with you overtime.
So, I also know you’ll always have something relevant to say :)
3. Use Your Email List to Consistently Deliver Great Content
Admittedly, this one can be a little tricky. I struggled with what to send my list and tried many different formats until I figured out what felt right.
But over time I realized you can use your email list to consistently deliver great content in two important ways:
Sharing the new content you just created (blog post, video, podcast, etc.)
Creating exclusive content just for your mailing list.
If you can, try doing a medley of the two. This way your reader is aware of everything you’re creating AND they’re also getting something from you they can’t get anywhere else but your mailing list.
What’s been working for me are my #InsideMyHustle Thursday emails. Because my business is teaching others how to side hustle, I share from both sides of my hustle life - the business and the everyday. Each week I follow a simple template I developed to guide each newsletter I write. If you’d like to see it in action, join the #InsideMyHustle Crew right here. #shamelessplug
This idea works for me because it’s related to my niche focus, so I recommend trying to find a topic that will allow you to do the same.
4. Use Your Email List to Consistently Stay Committed
Stay committed to your goal of creating a side hustle that means business.
So if you tell yourself, and your readers, that you’ll be emailing them every Monday - then that’s a date you can’t break. Use your email list as an opportunity to commit to your business AND the clients and customers that you’re doing this for.
And use your email list as a way to commit to yourself.
Build up your track record and show your commitment by simply investing your time and doing your best. Again, no one wants to invest their money in someone who is not serious about what they do.
But let’s be honest...
Will life happen and cause you to miss a week (or two)?
YASSS! Fo sho!
But, you’ll come back. You’ll be back at it again (and handle ya business) because you’re committed. So even if things don’t go to plan, you miss a few weeks, your content calendar goes out the window, and your dog ate your homework - all that matters is that you show back up, continually.
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How Being Consistent Can Help Your Business (and Income) Grow
If you think maintaining consistency takes too much work and effort (I was president of that club for a while), I assure you it’s worth it, and here’s why.
The free content I put out into the world makes others interested in the content I put a price on.
When you create free quality resources, people honestly want to see what your paid content is all about. They trust your thought process, they know that you know what you’re talking about, and they even grow to like and appreciate you too :)
For example, want to know how I consistently make sales for my InDesign templates that I NEVER launched? I created a few Pinterest graphics and consistently pin them on Pinterest. Those pins lead to a FREE 12+ video tutorial course on how to use InDesign to create digital products.
To sign up they have to enter their name and email address, and after they’re directed to a thank you page that features my templates. They also get a few emails that mention my templates as well. I made my free content the showcase, use email to remind them of the awesome product I created, and the templates I sell supplement the free resource that I made.
By showing up consistently to your community (and to yourself) you’re building a list that you can “launch” to when you have something valuable to offer them. They’ve been following along on your journey. They know what you’re about and trust you because you delivered quality valuable content for them, consistently.
So How Do You Grow Your Email Mailing List?
So I now understand the REAL reason behind having an email list. And I hope this has helped you understand it’s importance too.
If you wanna take the first step to growing an email list of your own, then sign up for my Free 5 Day Freebie to Funnel Challenge.
In it I guide you through choosing a topic, selecting a freebie type, and taking the steps needed to get your email opt-in out into the world consistently and on autopilot. Sound good? Join the challenge for free here.
I hope this different approach to email mailing lists helped you see the value it can provide for your audience, your business, and even for yourself.