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10 Reasons Why Every Business Needs A Mailing List

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 Reasons Why Every Business Needs A Mailing List

Many of my blog readers and Twitter/Facebook followers are trying to build a business. Whether it's from making items to sell on Etsy or sharing knowledge on a blog and charging for advertising on that blog, in one way or another, many are doing what they do to make money. However, as I surf around from blog to blog, even though I see lots of following and social marketing going on, I don't see many blogs where I can sign-up for the owner's mailing list.

In a former life (seems like eons ago) I was trying to make a living as an internet marketer. I made a little money but nowhere near enough to make a comfortable contribution to my family's expenses, so I gave it up and went back to work. But during that time I learned a lot about marketing on the internet and having a mailing list was rule number one. The bigger your mailing list, the bigger your influence, the more money you made -- at least in the internet marketing world.

Well, my world is no longer internet marketing but instead sewing, handmade crafts, and selling on Etsy (in addition to my day job!). But the basics still apply. Having a mailing list where you can talk to your customers, readers, and followers, one-on-one in their email box is still the best way to interact with them. The people on your list are the ones who believe in you, the ones that want to know what you're up to and they are the first to buy from you. This gives the business owner with a list great advantages over the one without.

Why does the business owner with a mailing list have an advantage? Here are a few things to consider:
  1. Let's say you have a business that sells something and you've worked hard to build your Google rankings and show up on page 1 for the most common search terms for your product. You depend heavily on Google to bring you traffic that you convert to sales. Now, what happens if Google decides to change their algorithm and all of a sudden your site is on page 50? Your sales go away.  And even if your income is dependent on your advertising, do your advertisers want to hang around if you aren't sending traffic their way because you no longer have website visitors? If you had a list, you could still market to your customers and others who are on your mailing list.
  2. So, you don't depend on Google and you have a lot of RSS followers that keep your traffic flowing? Well, having a list makes it easy for you to introduce new products, offer discounts, get feedback, and show your customers and followers that they are special. Most people are like me, they follow tons of blogs and there is no way on earth that they can read each and every one everyday. I know I can't, and wouldn't want to. Most days I don't even look at my feedreader -- but I do read my email. So putting out an email with those things that are special, like introducing a new product, giving a special discount, or other things in your world that are special is the best way for your readers to know about it.
  3. And what about your customers? Customers like to know who they are doing business with and email allows you to build credibility with the customer. If a customer has a question after receiving one of your emails, it's easy to reply back in a one-on-one fashion. After talking directly with you it makes them feel more comfortable to enter their credit card number because you have shown that you are credible. The relationship that is built helps that customer feel comfortable coming back to you for future purchases as well.
  4. You can test different copy and headlines and your mail service provider can supply stats to let you know if your messages are getting read. This is great information so you can tailor not only your emails but what you write on your blog to what your readers want to see.
  5. You can target specific segments of your list with different information based on their history and activity with you or their demographics.
  6. Email is accessible to everyone. So many people don't have a clue what RSS and feed readers are. If you don't offer a way for them to subscribe by email, you lose them as a follower.
  7. You can brand your emails with your logo to help reinforce your image and brand.
  8. You know who your subscribers are and many list services can even tell you where they are located. This information can help you with your marketing and you can personalize your emails to address your readers by name.
  9. You can offer incentives for new subscribers - like I'm doing with the Molly Handbag Pattern. If you haven't already, get your free pattern by signing up in the right-hand column. <shameless plug huh?>
  10. Mailing lists are a powerful tool for a business simply because it allows direct access to people who are super interested in what you have to offer. And how do you know that? Because they gave you their email address. People don't give up their email addresses quickly, only if they really wanted to hear from you would they ever do that. Email marketing costs next to nothing and it only goes out to those who want to hear your message. Advertising doesn't get better than that.

Regular emails to subscribers keeps your business fresh in their mind and helps them identify your brand. Having that relationship with you and your products helps them think of you when they need to make a purchase.

Don't underestimate to power of a mailing list. Don't wait any longer getting one set-up on your blog or website.

Lastly, I can't close this post without recommending a mail list service provider. The one I use is AWeber. Below is my affiliate link, if you're looking to set-up your own mailing list, AWeber is a great choice I would love for you to use my link.


Until later ~

Reba

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2 Comments:

At September 6, 2011 at 3:46 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

I have thought about this over the past year and here's the thing I keep coming up against (besides time, which is another huge one for me) that is stopping me. It seems like twitter, facebook and my blog are all pretty much in sync with each other, so how do I come up with more to write so that I don't bore my followers? Or, do I just do the major announcements on the newsletter? I would love to hear your thoughts on this one... Thanks!

 
At September 6, 2011 at 6:29 PM , Blogger Reba said...

Kristin, I understand what you're saying. Writing more content just feels impossible. What I've done is set-up so that readers can follow by RSS and/or sign-up. That way, those who don't know what RSS is, have a way of following me. And I've told them up front that they will be getting a digest of the week's posts every Tuesday in their email inbox. That keeps them in the habit of seeing my email.

I'm always going to post on my blog, that's a given, but those who go to the trouble of a double opt-in process and trust me with their email address, well... they will always get special treatment. They will be notified of special things I'm doing before the blog readers, they may get special discount codes that no one else gets, they are my special people and will treated as such.

At the moment I don't know exactly what I have planned for them, I just know whatever it is, it will be a bit more special than those who just read the RSS feed. It's a matter of reciprocity, they gave me their email, I owe them something a little better than my casual reader.

You have a nice blog and I can see that you have a good start with your list of followers. If you decide to do a mailing list, I'm sure you will figure out something to write. Just remember, you will be writing for you biggest fans. Also, remember to keep it regular, the emails don't have to be numerous, they just have to be regular. If you wait too long between mailings, your subscribers forget about you and when an email finally shows up, they hit the spam button or unsubscribe.

Good luck Kristin!

 

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