This is the first of a special two-part blog about why your money is in your mailing list and how you can grow your mailing list to grow your business.
Do you currently have a mechanism for capturing contact details for your website visitors and adding them to a mailing list? Many businesses don’t and yet it’s one of the most tried and tested ways to attract more sales.
Website traffic is all very well, but if visitors navigate away from your site without you knowing who they are or without them converting into a customer then their visit has little value.
A mailing list is a list of contact details for people who have expressed an interest in your business and have given you permission to contact them in the future. We call these people ‘warm leads’. It’s far easier to sell to a warm lead – someone who wants to hear more from you – than clinching a sale with someone who has never heard of your business before.
Why it isn’t enough to build a following on social media
Many businesses concentrate on growing their number of followers on social media. While this is an important strategy for most organisations, I always recommend that my clients devote time to building their own mailing list too.
As Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute, says, “You can’t build your content on rented land”.
Also, you may be able to see a list of names and click through to the profiles of your followers but, thanks to newsfeed algorithms on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you can’t guarantee that all of your followers will see your content. Platforms such as Facebook may squeeze your organic reach so that you’ll pay for advertising instead; with a mailing list, there are no such concerns.
Protection from Google’s algorithms
Without an active mailing list, you may also be dependent on high rankings on Google to attract potential customers to your website. But Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms and businesses sometimes face penalties that they hadn’t expected, which can lead to a big drop in visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Having a mailing list gives you protection from Google’s algorithm changes, an avenue to generate new and repeat business while you work to get back into the search engine’s good graces.
The power of a mailing list
With a mailing list, once a person has signed up, you have permission to contact them, although you must always make it easy for them to unsubscribe from your list at any time.
You could lose your presence on every social media platform, your website could go down, you could run out of money for advertising or marketing in the worse-case scenario, but you would still have the names and email addresses on your mailing list, if nothing else. And as we’ve seen, these are people who are likely to buy from you.
Mailing lists have other advantages too:
- Email marketing typically outperforms every other marketing channel, according to experts such as Neil Patel, Co-founder of KISSmetrics.
- You can promote multiple products and services to warm leads.
- According Unbounce’s marketing manager, Corey Dilley, email marketing drives 80-90% of landing page traffic for new campaigns.
- When you email someone on your mailing list, you have a guaranteed place in their inbox. You’re also only likely to be competing for attention with a hundred or so other emails sent on the same day. You’re not just a status update – one of thousands – that will disappear from the newsfeed with a matter of hours at most. Instead, you have a tangible presence that your audience can refer back to time and again. The key is to then show them that your content is worth their time and attention.
- People on your mailing list have not only given you permission to contact them but may also become ambassadors for your brand, passing on email offers to their contacts.
- You have permission to stay in touch on a regular basis and build an on-going relationship with your customers. Through your mailing list, you can create targeted, personalised content that speaks directly to your customers’ needs and pain points.
Segmenting your mailing list
Put simply, this means that you can pick and choose who different email marketing campaigns go to, selecting individuals who you know are most likely to be interested in a particular campaign. This kind of targeting means that your conversion rates – i.e. the number of people who complete a specific action, such as making a purchase – should be much higher than with a non-segmented campaign.
Your email marketing software will also give you the ability to split test the emails you send out. This means that you can send out different versions of the same campaign to portions of your list to measure which subject lines, designs, calls to action, etc. get the best response rates.
This data will enable you to build a clear picture of what your audience likes over time. This can help you to pinpoint the best days and times to contact your list, the right tone of voice, the best offers, and much more.
Marketing experts everywhere agree that a mailing list is a vital part of any successful marketing strategy. Across the board, studies show that email marketing crushes social media marketing in terms of response and conversion rates.
Building your mailing list puts you:
- In greater control of your business
- In front of people who already view your company favourably
- Directly into customers’ inboxes
- In charge of your own marketing reach
The great news is that you can begin growing your mailing list straight away. In our next blog, we’ll be looking at how, including creating lead magnets and where to put your opt-in forms for the best sign-up rates.
To make out you don’t miss out on the actionable advice about growing your mailing list in part two of this blog, sign up to receive the next Grafixbiz newsletter using the opt-in box at the top of the page or down below.
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