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Have you ever heard the phrase “the money is in the list”? Chances are if you have been building a blog or online business, you have heard it quite a few time. I am here to tell you that, as cliché as it sounds, it is true. Let’s spend some time today talking about why it is important that bloggers have mailing lists, how it can be used, and a few practical tips for how you can grow your mailing list.
What are Mailing Lists?
First, let’s talk about what a mailing list actually is. A mailing list (also known as an email list) is a list of email addresses for people who are interested in receiving correspondences from you about your blog, business, or brand. Mailing lists can be very broad (such as everyone who reads your blog or has shown interest in your business) or it can be segmented (for example, one list for people who are interested in a particular topic on your blog or one list for customers who have made a purchase within the past year).
Why Is Your Mailing List Important?
If you will allow me the use of another cliché, “you can’t build a house on rented land.” In other words, if you don’t own something, you don’t have the power to use it however you see fit. The same principle applies to building you following. Many of us focus on generating a following on social media. We celebrate when we hit certain milestones, like getting 5,000 fans on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. However, you don’t really “own” that following.
If you have been on social media over the past 5 years, you have likely seen that social media platforms like Facebook often change their algorithm. Many small business owners and bloggers have felt the effects of such changes. For example, many of us have experienced a drastic drop in engagement as the algorithm changes impact how many of our followers even see our content. A drop in engagement can mean a drop in blog traffic and sales. When you depend on social media to build your following, you put the fate of your business largely in their hands rather than in yours. If they make any changes (i.e. changing the algorithm, require you to pay to reach your audience, go out of business, etc), that can directly impact your ability to get your message in front of your audience. However, if you have a mailing list, you are always able to reach your audience directly via email.
How Can You Use Your Mailing List?
There are a variety of ways that you can use your mailing list. Below are just a few ideas:
- Send them updates about your blog or business.
- Send them regular newsletters.
- Alert them to new products, sales, services, etc.
- Share valuable information that will establish you as an expert in your niche.
- Ask questions that will help you get to know your audience and their needs.
- Gain valuable feedback on your blog or business.
- Alert them to events that you are hosting or attending.
How Can You Grow Your Mailing List?
This could definitely be a post all of its own, but I want to share with you a few simple tips for growing your mailing list.
- Ask people to join it. Yep, it could be that easy. Giving people a specific call-to-action is the simplest way to get them to take action. So from now on, whenever you put out new content- whether it is a blog post, a status update, a video, etc – make sure you let people know that they can join your mailing list for more.
- Make people want to be on your mailing list. In other words, tell them exactly why they should be on your list. Perhaps they don’t want to miss out on your updates. As I mentioned earlier, just because someone follows you on social media or reads your blog doesn’t mean that they always see when you put out new content. By signing up for your mailing list, they can receive updates in their inbox. Perhaps you offer email subscribers exclusive content, such as freebies, sneak peeks, and special discounts. Whatever it is, make sure it is something that will make people say “shut up and take my email address”.
- Give them a VALUABLE freebie. People love valuable tips, tools, and resources. You know what they love even more? FREE valuable tips, tools, and resources. Entice them to give you their email address by giving them something they want. Resist the urge to just slap something together. That will only lead them to believe that all of the rest of your content will be just as shoddy. Spend some time creating something that they will love. Something that will make them eager to check out whatever you have to offer. Remember: under-promise and over-deliver.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into how important it is to build your mailing lists. Having a mailing list filled with your ideal clients is the best way for you to achieve success with your blog and/or business.
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