The Enduring Value of a Good Email List

Internet marketers preach the importance of having a list. I do too.

An email list of targeted people in your niche is invaluable to building a sustainable business online. Trust me on this: The bigger and better the list, the more success you’ll enjoy.

We launched iThemes with an email list of about 200-300 people. That initial list and the email launched propelled us to our next product launch and gave us the momentum to grow and grow. Our list has grown over time, but each and every time we send out an email … we have a great sales day. In fact, I can easily trace the days we send emails out with our sales reports.

New emails about products = new sales

In fact, our email list is likely our most valuable non-human asset in our business.

Customers won’t just come to you. They forget. They move on. Thus, you need to invite them to come back and buy by offering them value in your product or service. And email is still one of the best ways of doing that. 

Yes, Twitter, Facebook and blog feeds are good tools for relationship building (we use them) … but NOT NEARLY as effective as a really good, targeted email list.

Here are some thoughts about cultivating good email lists ….

  • MUST be permission-based … don’t spam. The good email solutions like Aweber (I use this) and MailChimp require it.
  • With every new brand or large project I start an email list for it … this helps with segmentation and marketing to the right people.
  • Cultivate prospective customers interested in your topic (who most likely need your niche product) into a good solid, well-maintained email list.
  • For initial launch, grow a big enough list to make an initial ripple and get people buying and talking about it.
  • To sustain and expand your business, you need a growing group of people to market your work to as you release new products and features – new product releases via email equal new sales nearly every single time.
  • Free content (i.e. blogs, webinars, ebooks, etc) are great opportunities to build and cultivate a great list. <===This is how you build a target list!
  • Do surveys with it. Ask them what they want and what problems they have. This is vital for building great products that they will actually buy. When someone signs up for our email newsletter, we ask them to fill out a survey. Now I have over two years of customer data to mine when thinking about new products or features to create. That’s gold.
  • Give incentives to sign up. I use free reports, downloads and special discounts to continually build our email lists for our brands.
  • I still use text only emails … with links to bigger posts and more polished sales pages. Give people a fast and easy way to just click through if they are interested.
  • I guard our email lists. I use it for our products only. I try very hard not to flood and abuse the people who have trusted us with their email address.
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2 thoughts on “The Enduring Value of a Good Email List

  1. Great post Cory. I agree with you totally. Long gone are the days of 70% open rates (I’ve only heard of these) but email is still very effective. I like to break it down logically for people..

    Get a list of a 1000, you may get 300 opens… Better than that if your providing value.. If you cant get sales from that many opens then your list is cursed…LOL

  2. We use previous clients emails to measure interest of new products but we always get between 25 and 30% opening rate. I’m curious about your stats if you can share. Just to make sure that it’s normal…

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