Why Build an Email List? 11 Reasons Why Building a List Should Be Your #1 Priority

Why should you spend time building an email list? Because email marketing is still the revenue engine of most Internet businesses, whether they’re Internet marketing gurus, SAAS businesses, ecommerce sites or anything else.

As the saying goes, “The money is in the list.” Here are eleven reasons why building an email list should be your #1 priority:

#1 You could rebuild your entire business with just your email list.

If you lost everything (your website, your blog, your social media accounts) you could still run your business with just an email list.

As author Michael Hyatt writes, “my email list is still my number one business priority — and asset. I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it.”

That’s the author of a best-selling book, a man who gets paid thousands of dollars to speak, saying he gets most of his income from his email list.

#2 You own your email list. No one can ever take it away from you.

You don’t own your search engine rankings, or your social media sites. They can be taken away from you at a moment’s notice, completely in accord with the terms of service you signed when you created your account.

#3 An email list is the cheapest way to communicate with your audience.

Let’s use AWeber’s pricing as an example. For $30 a month they’ll let you send unlimited messages to a list of up to 5,000 people. Say you send one email a week to your list. That’s 20,000 messages for $30 – a cost of $0.0015 per message.

Show me a paid traffic source that cheap. Please.

#4 People prefer email as a communication channel for commercial messages. People buy from emails.

There are plenty of statistics to back this up. Consider:

  • 74% of online adults prefer email for commercial communication according to customer relationship marketing agency Merkle.
  • According to ExactTarget, “email still tops both text and social as the preferred channel for personal communications—45% for email to text’s 36% and social’s 13%.” And email is vastly preferred for commercial messages: “A staggering 77% of consumers told us that they prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.”
  • According to the Nielsen Norman Group, when asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, Only 10% chose Facebook.

#5 Sending email updates is easy, fast and affordable.

Email service providers have made it extremely easy to send an attractive, functional message in less than 90 minutes. You’ll have hundreds of pre-designed templates to choose from. Just drop your text and images in, hook up the links, and you’re done. Email is so simple most six-year-olds can do it. You can create an email message in minutes.

Even if you hire a hot-stuff copywriter and get it designed by a genius, it’ll still barely cost you $1,000, and that’s the Bentley version of an email. Compare that to $50,000 (or $4 million) dollar television advertisements, or multimillion dollar postal mailings.

#6 Sending regular email updates is the best way to build trust.

Trust is everything. Without it, even the most tempting offer fizzles.

Because email messages can be personalized and segmented so narrowly, they can be written almost as if it was you talking directly to the person you’re sending the email to… as if you had sat down to write them a personal note. Over the course of five or ten emails, your subscribers will come to know you and trust you. As you deliver highly-targeted, valuable content, your subscribers will trust you more and more and more. Never, ever abuse this trust.

#7 Email marketing can be tracked down to each user’s click.

Email messages can be tested, segmented, optimized and personalized. You can know exactly what works and what doesn’t – and you can recreate what worked over and over again.

#8 Your list can generate massive amounts of revenue within hours.

If you treat your subscribers right, every so often, if you really need cash fast, you can pitch them your product or someone else’s product. And they will buy within hours. Don’t do this too often, but it’s nice to have that financial safety net.

#9 Email has the highest return on investment of any marketing technique.

Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% according to the DMA 2013 Statistical Fact Book.

McKinsey & Company published a survey showing how email is 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter. According to the report “That’s because 91 percent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily, and the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher.”

Why build an email list? Because email gets 40x the results of social media, as shown by this chart from the McKinsey survey on customer acquisition channels

Notice the data is from 2 years ago. Consider this: Facebook was still losing to email by a factor of 1 to 40 even before Facebook slashed reach. Email probably beats it even harder now.

#10 Gives you a way to drive traffic to any page you want

As your list grows, you’ll find a significant chunk of your website traffic comes from your email messages. At a certain point, you’ll actually be able to run your business without search engine traffic, or any other outside traffic. Your list and referrals will be enough to sustain your business.

#11 Your list is an asset that can be sold

Know how direct marketing and Internet companies get valued for sale? Even if they have warehouses, inventory, and a great website, none of that is what the financial people focus on.

The value of the company comes from the list. That’s because the money’s in the list. It’s where the phrase comes from. Without a list, if you sold your business, you wouldn’t get very much for it. But with a list, well, tack some zeros on to the sale price.

So why build an email list? Because you want something to show for all the work you do. You want results.

Find out how to get results for your site. Get your free, customized 30-day list building plan now.