Email is such a simple tool. Almost everybody uses it, even my technophobic but very adorable mother in Zimbabwe. Email is more personal than Facebook or YouTube, and it offers the ability to create a real tribe of loyal fans. People buy from people they trust, and email is one of the best ways to build that trust.
Email is also a platform that you have full control over. You have full control of the email addresses and when and how you use them. Having social media followers are important, but social media companies retain full control of the fans. What if one of those social media companies stops you from communicating with your clients, as Facebook did in Australia? Keep communicating with your social media fans AND encourage them to come over to your email list.
Email marketing is relatively cheap (I use Aweber, costs start at $19 a month), and you don’t have to ‘boost posts’; everyone who has given you their email address will get your email in real-time. Email is also measurable. You can measure how many people opened your email and how many people clicked your sales links. I have many clients who make all their sales only by email. One of them has a small email list of just over 800 email addresses on her list (which she emails to every day), and selling only to those 800 people makes over £200,000 a year in sales.
The biggest plus about email is that if you do it right, you can build a large audience of potential buyers by connecting with them on an authentic level. This audience will get to know you and what you or your business stand for, and when it is time to make a sale, you only need to ask, and you will have buyers queueing up.
I find that many solopreneurs, overlook or misuse their email list. It is such a waste to see solopreneurs spend money and time capturing email addresses, only to send just one or two emails. And those emails often are only pushing sales promotions, without providing any actual interest or value to their audience. This may work for big brands like Amazon, Nike or Next as these brands are recognisable. But if a potential client hands over her email address, and then doesn’t hear anything for a while, by the time an email does come through, will they even remember who you or your company are?
I hope you are not one of those small businesses that have collected my email address and never got in touch. If you are, I would love to hear from you. If you haven’t written for a while, just be honest and say you are sorry, and you will be in touch more often. You might find that I, and other potential customers like me, will be forgiving. But just this once. Tell me you will be in touch more often going forward, actually do keep in touch, and who knows, this could be the start of a long and successful relationship for both of us.
In my next post, I will talk about how to message your email subscribers, how often, and what to say. If you are very lucky, I may even write a post about how to increase your sales conversions by email and how to go about getting subscribers in the first place. But that depends on how many of you give me your email address 🙂