Marketing Advice

Why You Need to Start Building an Email List Now

By Ryan Gilmore on November, 5 2015

 

Email

If you own and operate an online business, then building an email list needs to be at the forefront of your marketing strategy. Even if you're just thinking about starting an online business, building an email list needs to be included in your business plan. 

It may not be the flashiest or most fulfilling aspect of running an online business, but there's no way to ignore the undeniable benefits an email list will bring to your company as you work to grow revenue.

With that in mind, let's take a look at a few of the most important reasons why we believe you, as an online store owner, should make building an email list a priority. 

Grow awareness

Email is a powerful tool for educating potential customers about your brand and the products and services you offer.

For starters, email marketing is a great way to make subscribers aware of your brand, its mission and the products and services you offer. Naturally, this is particularly important for smaller firms with less sizable marketing budgets. Email marketing is particularly cost effective and offers smaller businesses a way to compete against brands with large advertising budgets.

A subscriber to your newsletter or blog distribution list is going to become very familiar with your business, even if he or she has never made a purchase before and isn't actively thinking about becoming a customer in the near future. What matters for you is that people now can and will think of your company and its offerings the next time they need to make a purchase in your space.

Gain fans

Email is a very personal channel that can be used to build strong, lasting relationships with customers. 

You're probably well aware of the need to gain fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks. But email is just as important, if not more so, in this area. By making your emails engaging, charming and informative, you can not only make sure that consumers are aware of your brand - you can make them fans of it as well. 

Consider this: A Forrester Research survey from last year found that consumers' attitudes toward marketing emails are actually improving. Whereas 49 percent of U.S. respondents said they received too many email offers and promotions in 2010, only 39 percent felt this way in last year's study, Business Insider reported. Similarly, in 2010, 59 percent of survey participants said they deleted marketing emails without even glancing at them. In 2014, only 42 percent of respondents were so dismissive of company emails, and 19 percent of respondents said they read every single email newsletter they received. 

All of this means that high-quality email campaigns offer more potential today than they did just a few years ago. To take advantage of that potential, though, you need to have a robust, high-quality email list to work with.  

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Drive Sales

Email is one of the most cost effective and highest performing channels online store owners have at their disposal.

Obviously, this is the end goal of any marketing effort, and emails can have a huge impact here. A well-developed email marketing campaign, combined with an extensive and targeted list, will almost certainly lead directly to a major sales boost.

A McKinsey consumer survey from 2014 put this situation into perspective. The study found that email was almost 40 times more effective at gaining new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. That same study determined that emails prompt purchases at about three times the frequency as social media channels, and that the average value of these email-initiated purchases is 17 percent higher on average. Additionally, as reported by the Direct Marketing Association, on average email delivers an unparalleled ROI of $38 for every $1 spent.  

This doesn't mean that eCommerce firms should send out as many emails as possible, of course. But it does go to show just how valuable email marketing can be for online retailers. Yet this is only the case when you have a strong email list that is comprised of consumers who are interested in your products and are likely to become paying customers. 

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Identify targets 

Email offers a level of targeting and segementation not available through any other marketing channel. 

One final but critical reason to focus on building your email list sooner than later is because of the value that targeted email campaigns have to offer. While the studies highlighted above demonstrate the fact that consumers are more interested in companies' promotional messages than in years past, a business will lose its audience quickly if its emails don't seem relevant to the recipients. 

The best way to make sure that email messages are relevant is to tailor campaigns to fit the needs, goals and interests of different demographics within your ideal audience. In order to do that, you need to have a reasonably diverse list of email subscribers, so that you can break it down into distinct segments. The sooner you start building your list, the more options you'll have to choose from when developing these targeted campaigns. 

Zoey works with a number of marketing platforms that can put the power of email into your hands. If you'd like to learn more about these email marketing tools, contact us today

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