I have regular conversations with business owners around the topic of email marketing, quite often it’s misunderstood or something that’s on the end of a very lengthy to-do list. On other occasions people have a list but struggle to fill it with content so it’s under-used with just an occasional special offer or an update on their business being shared.

However, whatever size your business is and whatever your list size there is a place for email and in this post we’re going to look at why you should look at email marketing now whether your list is 10 or 10,000!

No one opens up their brand new email management system and sees thousands of prospects from day one. We all start with a single subscriber, and we grow our list from there. What you do while your list is growing though will be a big part of the future success of your list and ultimately your business.

It’s never too early to start promoting

This is the number one mistake those with a small email list make. They believe—wrongly so, it turns out—that there’s no point in promoting to a small email list. People have signed up to your list for a reason, that may have been a giveaway you offered, a form on your website or a link on your social media but ultimately something about your business has got their attention so it’s up to you to keep it.

Holding off from using your list because you think it needs to be a certain size first or you believe it’s too soon to try and sell is a mistake and we’ve got a couple of reasons to share with you.

First of all, you’re building a relationship and your subscriber has shown an interest so it’s your turn now to show them why they should stick around. However, you should start as you mean to go on. If all you send your list is information, and you never include an offer or try to make a sale, you’re training them that there will never be an offer to do business. Then the first time you send out an email promoting a product or service, they’ll react with indignation. How dare you try to sell them something?!?

The second issue with not promoting is that you’re creating a (bad) habit in yourself. Yes, it’s important that you provide value to your subscribers – or you risk losing them! It’s equally important that your mailing list does not turn out to be an expensive drain on your time that doesn’t deliver an action for your business. The most effective way to make your list work for you is to to combine both helpful information with an offer, you are after all in business?

It’s possible to promote too much. though…

Every one of us has seen an email that’s nothing but a list of special offers, one that’s encouraged us more to hit the unsubscribe option than a link to buy? It’s therefore important that as you get involved in email marketing that you study what’s working or not and adjust your plan accordingly. This is where the correct email software comes into its own.

Ideally you’re aiming to set up a system that allows you build a relationship with your subscribers who are on your list because they’re interested in your products or servces. It’s your job to teach them why they should open your emails by striving to always include information they want and need. You might share your stories with them, tell them what you’ve learned or what’s happening right now in your business, include links to articles that might be of interest from your own blog or from others if you feel it’s right. Ultimately your aim is to Interact with them. Promotions are a necessary part of every business, but they’re not the only way to connect with your list.

Make good use of segmentation

Not everyone on your mailing list will benefit from the same information or promotions, in sharing everything with everybody every time you actually run the risk of losing people along the way. Some of your subscribers may be at the beginning of their journey and just learning about the topics you cover. Others will be more advanced and in need of different advice, this is where getting to know your list helps because you can tailor your emails more accurately when you know who you’re talking to.

By creating segments in your mailing list software, you can provide your subscribers with exactly what they need when they need it. This targeted approach will foster a stronger subscriber base and you will see the benefits in your business too. Most email systems will evaluate your subscribers over time so that in turn enables you to generate segments such as those who don’t open (do they need an incentive?) or those who open every email but don’t ever click a link (you need to learn why not!).

Whether your list is 10 or 10,000, these strategies will help keep your list profitable, active, and responsive. And a responsive list is one of the most valuable assets any business can have. Take good care of it, and it will take care of you as your business grows.

And, if you’re sure on why you should email at all here’s a post we did a few weeks back on why every business should use email marketing; Embrace Email Marketing In Your Business

And with that, now would be a good time to mention that our newsletter The Marketing Shop News is due to return for 2021 after a short break, edition 1 for 2021 is due out Wednesday 3rd March and you can sign up for a copy here.

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