One of the most important steps you can take when you’re trying to start or grow your business is to build out your email list. In fact, so many successful entrepreneurs state the one thing they wish they had done sooner was focus on building their email list.
Why is having an email list so critical?
In short, it’s because you own your subscribers. You’re in control of what you share with them and when. And email is a low-cost way to bring in revenue.
Think about the other ways you interact with people virtually: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google…
You are at the mercy of each of these platforms when you work with them. They can be incredible resources for reaching potential clients, but the algorithms are in control of who is shown what.
So, even if you’ve managed to grow your Facebook followers pretty steadily with the right people, you never really know how many of them will see any given post you share.
It’s frustrating and a little sad! I know you, I see you, and I’m sharing the information you need right now! But you have like a 6% chance of seeing that awesome new tip I just put out there.
It’s risky to rely too heavily on social media platforms to reach your audience. You have much more control when it comes to an email list.
You never know when an algorithm may change. I’m sure you’ve chatted with other business owners who’ve shared those tales of traffic being impacted severely by a change in an algorithm. We never know when they’re coming and we never know how they will impact us.
And the reality is any of these platforms could shut down without warning. You wake up one day and Twitter is gone. Sounds impossible and I’m sure it’s not happening anytime soon, but you certainly don’t want to live through the panic of losing complete access to all of those people with no reliable way of contacting them in the future.
So, we need to find other ways to reach our people. And that’s why having a solid email list so important!
Handle Your Email Subscribers with Care
These days an email address is a pretty coveted piece of contact info because it’s personal. You have to be invited into an email inbox (unless you’re sending spam… don’t do that). People are careful about who they share their email address with.
What does that mean? It means that if you’re lucky enough to be let into someone’s inbox it’s probably because they hope you’ll provide value. If they keep allowing you in, it’s probably because you’ve already provided value and they’re betting you’ll do it again. You’ve earned their trust.
Research shows that for every contact on your email list, you’ll make $1/month. So, if you build up a list of 1000 people, and you’re doing everything right, you can expect to make about $12,000 in a year. And that’s just through your email list.
Research shows that for every contact on your email list, you’ll make $1/month. If you grow your list smartly.
Of course, this is assuming you have a list of 1000 ideal clients. If you’re just watching your list grow with a bunch of random people, what you’ll have is a vanity list. It might look really good on paper, but it won’t likely lead to that $12,000 a year in revenue.
So, How do I Grow This List Already?
So, how do we grow our list with our ideal clients? We have to offer an incentive to sign up. And not just any incentive, but something of value that speaks to your ideal client, that solves a problem for them, that brings them to a place they want to be.
A common incentive you’ll see businesses use to obtain email addresses is a lead magnet.
“A lead what?”
A lead magnet! It’s really a fancy term for a freebie, an opt-in… whatever you want to call it. It’s that bonus you receive when you subscribe to an email list, fill out a survey, or take some other action for a business. You’ve probably traded your email address for a lead magnet in the past. I know I personally looooove a good lead magnet. I’m a bit of a collector.
A “lead magnet” is a fancy term for a freebie, an opt-in… whatever you want to call it. It’s used to attract contacts to take action, like subscribe to your email list.
Some examples of lead magnets include:
- Email challenge
- Workshop or webinar
- Coupon or discount
- Facebook group membership
- Swipe file
- Whitepaper or research report
I could go on. There are soooo many creative ways to offer something of value in exchange for an email address.
One of the best things about a well-designed lead magnet is that you’ll be attracting your ideal client. So, as opposed to a massive Instagram following that barely engages and has never spent a dime on your products or services, you’re going to be adding contacts that are interested in what you offer.
The key is to have your lead magnet hit a few of the following categories:
- Actionable: the recipient should be able to see a clear set of steps they can take to get from point A to point B
- Solves a problem: identify a clear pain point and provide a specific solution
- Instantly available: don’t make them wait; the should receive it immediately as a download on a landing page or via an automated email (clearly state how they can get their freebie so they’re not left wondering!)
- Provides real value: yes, it doesn’t cost any money, but remember what you’re receiving in exchange – the coveted email address; in a world of terrible, useless lead magnets, be the business that is known for going above and beyond
- Showcases your expertise: make it relevant to your products or services so your audience gets a hint of what they would receive if they were to upgrade to a paid version
- Leaves them wanting more: the goal is to eventually convert your email subscribers into paying clients or customers
Nurture Your Existing List with Your Newest Lead Magnets
Lead magnets can also help you nurture your existing list. For example, when you create something new, you can go ahead and share it directly with your current list as a thank you for continuing to invite you into their inbox.
Over 306 billion emails are sent each day, and office workers are said to receive an average of 120 emails daily – just to their work inbox.
Over 306 billion emails are sent each day, and office workers are said to receive an average of 120 emails daily – just to their work inbox. Think about your own inbox. There’s a good chance you get at least 100 new emails everyday.
You want to ensure that when you send an email to your list, your recipients are excited – or at least curious! Keep your list happy and engaged so when the time comes for you to pitch your offer, you get the highest ROI possible.
And never forget that while you technically own your list, your contacts can unsubscribe at any time. Without warning. Make sure to continuously show them how much you value their inbox invitation!
Get Ready to Grow Your List
If you are in need of some great templates to make your next lead magnet stand out, head over to The Template Shop! Want something a little more custom? I can do that, too! Just drop me a line through the Contact page and I’ll be in touch.
So, are YOU ready to grow YOUR email list? My newest easy-to-customize seven-page Canva workbook template makes for the perfect lead magnet! And it’s yours free as a thank you for becoming an Insider. Just pop in your content and go!
Show me your new lead magnet creations! Tag me on Instagram @lauramcdowell.creative using the hashtag #lmcinsider so I can share them with my audience.
I’d love to know what you think – leave a comment below! Better yet, share what you create with me: tag me (@lauramcdowell.creative) on Instagram, using the hashtag #lmcinsider so I can share it with my audience.
Nothing like a little inspiration to help other solopreneurs create something incredible!