[This is part 3 of the series "Debunking the Myths of E-Mail Marketing."]
In E-Mail marketing your list is everything. Everything.
However, a big list, just like a large number of Likers for your Facebook Business Page, won’t do you any good if you didn’t acquire the subscribers the right way. And by the "right" way I mean organically and relevantly.
In this case bigger is not better. Better is better.
A good-quality list is one that is mostly made up of people who are likely to buy from you. If you only get people on your list who join because they’re your friends and they wanted to be nice and help you out, you’ll never get any conversions. Therefore you have to constantly work to find people who want what you offer and motivate them to join.
A high quality list could potentially get you a 15% – 20% response rate on your newsletter. If that list has 1,000 readers, that’s 200 people clicking on your links and reading your messages. Isn’t that much better than a 2% response rate from a poor quality list with 5,000 readers. (I’ll do the math for you, that’s only 100 clicks.) And on top of that you are risking annoying a whole lot of people who aren’t really interested in your message.
I will give you one very strong word of advice — don’t buy an email list. Purchased lists don’t work, plus they’re a huge risk. Many of those people won’t recognize your brand when they suddenly start receiving your e-mails, and they will mark it as SPAM. Many e-mail providers automatically report the sender of e-mail that gets marked as SPAM, and if you get enough of them you could potentially be investigated. To say nothing of the damage to your brand because those people now have acquired a negative attitude toward it as their first impression. That can be hard to recover from.
So, you ask "if I don’t have a list, and I can’t buy one, where do I get one?"
You build it. This takes time so start now (well, as soon as you’re done reading this). I have a whole segment in my workshop on how to build your list, but here are some tips for you on how to do this:
Just remember, as long as your offerings are both valuable and relevant to your subscribers, it’s relatively easy to build a quality list. There are lots of ways to build the list, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
But it’s very much worth it in the end.
For more info, read my two-part article series on “Every Business’s Goldmine.“
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Check out my new eBook, “The 3 Secrets of Online Marketing Success” which you can download for free at FreeWebMarketingEbook.com.
A colleague of mine recently wrote an article for her newsletter on the topic of list size. Many business owners who rely on email marketing for sales leads constantly stress over the challenge of growing our lists.
I had to chuckle when I saw her article because 6 months ago she was lamenting to me that her list wasn’t nearly as big as those of other, well-known people in her field. At the time I said to her, “It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. The size of your list is not as important as the number of people who see real value in what you provide.” Clearly she got the message. Whether it was from me, or if I just planted a seed and she took it from there, I was happy to see she changed her mind and doesn’t worry so much about comparative list sizes any more. By the way, her list is way bigger than mine .
Many of the “big names” in the industry have tens of thousands of people on their list. While this sounds great, you have to wonder what percentage of those people actually pay any attention to the messages that get sent to them from the provider. How many mailing lists are YOU on? How many of those messages do you actually read? Maybe it’s time to start unsubscribing… liberally.
The size issue is the same deal with Twitter followers and Facebook Business Page Likers. You can use a site like fiverr.com to hire someone cheaply to get followers or likers for you, but are these followers really paying any attention to your messages? I think it’s more about ego and bragging rights than about really connecting with your audience.
If you are one of these people who think more is automatically better… my advice to you is “get over yourself.” Provide real value to people and they will join your list. It’s that simple.
My friend who wrote the article made the suggestion to me that the bigger your list, the more your quality degrades. I’m not sure I agree with that completely, but it gave me something to think about. I had not ever considered that point, and plan on doing some research to find out what others think about it. If you have any thoughts about this I’d love to hear them, please comment below.
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