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Are You Still Fighting With Yourself About Building an Email List?

Posted by: Chareen Goodman
Category: Business

You Can’t Afford to Ignore It Any Longer…

Despite the rumors you hear from Instagram, Facebook, and other social media experts, and regardless of what you read on the Internet or from individuals in Facebook groups, the fact remains that list-building and email marketing are the undisputed champs for businesses that want to make money…,

Email remains the #1 activity on the internet, as 94% of people who get online do so to check email (Marketo).

And, you’ve no doubt heard over and over again that building an email list is one of the best ways to grow your business – both online and offline business – whether you want to get more clients or you want to sell more products.

77% of people prefer email when it comes to receiving permission-based promotional messages from businesses (ExactTarget).

And it’s true!

98.4% of consumers check email at least once every day, with 60% of consumers checking email more than three times per day (Business Insider).

Wouldn’t it be great if your clients were checking their emails and clicking on your email to discover that you are offering a product or a service to a problem they are currently looking for a solution?

Of course you would.

And that’s why list-building is so critical to the growth and success of your business.

Grow your list. Grow your income.

Common Hesitations to List-Building

So what is it about list-building that keeps you fighting with yourself instead of taking the necessary steps to get the ball rolling?

Let’s consider some of this common roadblocks and hesitations that stops people from taking action towards building an email list and what you can do to break through.

>>> There are so many services out there, I don’t know which service to use.

Here’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind when they start thinking about building an email list:

“Which service should I use?”

You’ve probably wondered yourself, and maybe even spent a few hours (or days, or weeks, or months) researching your options.

Whoa, Nelly! Stop right there…

This is not the first question you want to be asking right now. It’s like putting the cart before the horse, and it’s exactly why so many people who own their own business get stuck when it comes to building their list. They get so caught up in the minutia of what it takes to start building their list that they never get around to doing it.

This is totally the wrong question to start with when it comes to your list-building efforts and it’s a wonder why you are still fighting with yourself about list-building.

The question of knowing which service to use is legit, but making the right decision is based on other factors, so let’s park this question for a moment.

>>> I’m not clear on who I want on my list and how I can best serve them.

This is often the biggest issue I see when working with clients. They don’t know who they serve or who they want to attract to their list so that they can give them great service — and get paid!

Can you see how this will definitely stall your efforts when it comes to building an email list of paying customers? You don’t know who they are!

When it comes to smart list-building, you have to nail down who you want to attract to your list and who you want to spend your time talking to about your business. It ain't every!

So whether you want to service business owners, college students, new moms, divorced moms, bloggers, or the youth pastors of local churches, you have to discover who they are and what you can specifically offer so that you can fulfill their need and get paid to do so.

And here’s the deal…, when you discover what that need is, you’ll have two valuable pieces of information to contribute to your list-building: 

  1. You’ll know what opt-in incentive will be a true no-brainer for your ideal client to give you their email address and subscribe to your list? 
  2. You will know how can you use your email list to provide the best value for those who join your list?   

Don’t start over-thinking these questions, though. Your opt-in incentive can be as simple as a resource guide or a short how-to video that answers a common question.

You don’t have to go overboard with dozens of downloads and a 100-page eBook.

Though this may seem counter-intuitive, often times rather than providing value, these massive downloads are more likely to overwhelm your readers than to encourage them to learn more.  

And when it comes to providing value to the people who have subscribed to your list, keep three things in mind: 

  1. Regular communication with good content is a must (an autoresponder series is your best friend with stuff like this, especially if you’re not good with scheduling email updates). 
  2. Marketing and promotion are second to providing useful information—too much selling will cause your opt-out rates to soar out of control.
  3. It’s your responsibility as a thought leader, expert and authority in your market to distill and provide the information, tools, and products your targeted audience needs. 
>>> I  don’t know what my goal is for list-building.

If this is your hesitation, then you’ve got to set a goal so you can move towards it and so you can track your progress.

So simply ask yourself, “How do I want to use the list that I build?”

Will you: 

  • Send a weekly or monthly newsletter?  
  • Create an autoresponder series that delivers content on a pre-determined schedule?  
  • Use affiliate links as an income generator?  
  • Promote your own services and products?
  • Build a community of like-minded folk and give helpful tips 

Bottom line, as a business owner… how do you want to use an email list to #MakeMyCashFlow?

Your answers to these questions will help you determine not only the right service for your list-building needs, but will also determine the path for your ongoing mailing list content, offers, promotions, and long-term growth strategy (not to mention building community with your peeps).

Now it’s time to put away the boxing gloves and let’s talk a few secrets to list-building.

Secret #1: Build a Responsive List of Your Ideal Customers

So now that you know what you need to do to get over your fear and hesitation about email list-building, let’s talk real secrets about list-building so that you don’t fall prey to delusions and so that you don’t end up wasting your time.

The biggest secret, when it comes to list-building for growth and profit, isn’t that you need a huge number of fake people and bots on your email list, the big deal here is that you want a better conversion rate of turning the people who subscribe to your list into paying customers who buy your products and services. Totally make sense, doesn’t it?

And all this means is that you must build a list of your ideal clients. But this also means that you want to be smart about your list-building.

So what should you be thinking about and planning out?

When you are building your email list, you don't just want to build an any old Joe-Schmo list, you want to build a responsive list full of your ideal customers.

One of the biggest issues preventing business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and any other service-based professional from making more money is that they don’t effectively define, understand and target their ideal customers when they list-build.

They just cast a large net and hope for the best in who they catch, or they use the same bait trying to hook an exclusive type of fish.

The funny thing about business owners is that they know they need to build an email list, but rather than thinking through who they are trying to attract, they simply put things out that aren’t well suited for the people who have the potential of becoming their clients and so they end up becoming frustrated rather than profitable with their list-building.

This is why taking the time to determine who the people are you are going to serve is a major game-changing decision that you must make in order to grow your list – and your income.

Secret #2: Your List of Subscribers Trumps Your Social Media Followers

(First off, this secret is not about #Trump even though it is about your online real estate.)

Here it is…

Stop trying to build your greatest business asset on other people’s property.

Think about this for a moment.

If you were looking to build your ideal dream house, would you seriously look to put your money down on a plot of land that someone else was the sole owner of? Uh…, “NO!”

Well, that’s the same scenario you want to keep in mind when it comes to building a large social media following versus building a large list of your ideal clients. (Pause, and cause for reaction.)

Yet still, even today so many entrepreneurs focus too much of their time and effort on building up their social media following and rely heavily on these platforms to sell their products and services.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Insta-G (my affectionate name for Instagram) and Facebook, but my focus is really on building my email list with people who have expressed an interest in what I offer and how I can help them.

Social media apps will come and go – think MySpace.

They will also change their algorithms and do funky things that will simply frustrate the heck out of you – think about the recent changes that both Facebook and Instagram have made.

Don’t get it twisted. Build your list. You will own access to the email addresses you acquire, unlike your followers on your social media.

So here’s the bottom line…, social media should be a part of your marketing strategy, but building your email list trumps social media followers.

>>> Here’s are a Few Bonus Tidbits.

Your chance of having your message seen by the people on your email list is so much higher than your social media feed.

You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet (Campaign Monitor).

The moments on social media are fleeting. I believe the shelf life of a post is about 24 hours.


According to GetResponse, email is often seen as a cheap channel that
delivers excellent return on investment with minimal effort.

When it comes to being a savvy business owner, you want to leverage, and list-building is leverage.

Research also shows that building an email list will no doubt increase your income potential.

According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent.

So the secret is to invest the time into building your email list. Even with a large social media following, your goal should be to get them to become a subscriber on your email list.

Your most important and most profitable click is not the Like or Follow you get from social media. It is the click, name, and email address you get from the person who has opted-in to your email list.

Secret #3: Be Ready, Willing and A.B.L.E.

Business owners who are looking to build their business and grow their income must make building their email list their most important business goal – hands down.

I call this top priority – A.B.L.E. – Always. Be. List-Building. Er’day. 

Here are two good reasons:

#1. Your email list is an asset to your business. And assets are a good thing to have in your business.

#2. In order to make money from your email list, you’ve got to grow a responsive list of ideal clients. The larger the list, the greater the opportunity to make more money.

It’s all in the numbers. Translation – PROFITS!

Granted, as you engage in consistent, quality, and smart list building, people will inevitably subscribe and unsubscribe. Nevertheless, as you become willing and A.B.L.E. you’ll withstand the fluctuations and the numbers will go up, especially as you stay focused on your ideal customers.

As you move forward in building your email list, keep this important finding in mind as well…, You own the relationship with your subscribers.

Unlike reaching clients and consumers of your products and services through social media, email allows you to personally own the relationship and email gives you a direct line of communication with your subscriber.

Nowadays, consumers are savvy and know what they like, and they have made it clear that they like email.

Email has evolved because consumers use email, rely upon it, and expect it.

90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed (Forrester Research).

Furthermore, unlike a Facebook post or a paid ad, it is simple for your audience to save your email until they are ready to buy from you and until they delete it, they are always carrying you along with them wherever they go.

So make list-building one of the top priorities in your business because email has more permanence.