We know how difficult it can be for small business owners to find the time and resources necessary to create effective marketing strategies. That’s why we’re here – our basics series of articles are designed specifically towards helping you grow your marketing knowledge!
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Developing a Growth Mindset: The Value of Newsletters & Email Lists

We are often asked by clients whether it is worthwhile to pursue starting and growing an email list or investing time and money into a sales email campaign to help generate new leads. The reason these questions generally arise is because of a perception that newsletters and email campaigns are considered old (possibly out-of-date) methods of marketing. With so much focus on social media these days, many assume that these older methods of marketing are becoming out of date much like the newspaper when the internet came about. But is it true?

Time and again, marketing surveys and statistics from studies show that email marketing remains one of the most (if not the most) effective methods of building a dedicated audience. Despite the immediacy and popularity of social media platforms, they have not been able to upend the old-school efforts of a simple email list.

Is Starting an Email List Still Worth It? In a Word, Yes.

As mentioned above, the statistics that come from research and surveys continue to point to email marketing remaining one of the best direct marketing options a business owner has available to them.

On average, open rates for marketing-based emails average about 21%. While that might not seem like a large number, that ends up being roughly 21 out of every 100 people that receive the campaign – a far cry from what you can expect from social media and its algorithms.

Further, when we look at revenue expectations between 2020 and 2027 we see nothing but exponential growth over the next decade. It is estimated that by the end of 2023, email marketing revenue will top 11 billion dollars a year.

How does that gigantic number break down to a number that a small business owner can digest? Email return on investment (ROI) comes in at a staggering $36 of return for every $1 spent.

Why is Building an Email List a Good Growth Strategy?

Perhaps the main reason that email lists continue to be a solid direct marketing source is that it is a resource that has intent behind it. What I mean by that is that every person who subscribes to your list has made a conscious decision to be there. They have read the content, responded to your call to action (CTA), and decided that the value they receive is worth the price of their email address (currently valued at about $10-20 btw). The point to take away from this is that an email list is perhaps the most direct method of marketing to a dedicated audience that we have available to us because our audience has opted into receiving future emails from us.

An email list is perhaps the most direct method of marketing to a dedicated audience that we have available to us.

A strong email list of dedicated contacts is also an actionable marketing tool. It can be leveraged over time to help nurture individuals — converting them from skeptical consumers to loyal customers. Hence, the more value you provide to your audience, the better you show how you are the best option to help them survive and thrive.

Finally, and perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for creating a thriving email audience is that it can help to bring in business when we are facing the ebb and flow of incoming work. Having a dedicated audience in your back pocket means that when we face an economic downturn (personally, nationally, or globally) will still have a solid marketing channel available to us comprised of people that are already climbing the engagement ladder.

Positioning Your Marketing for the Future

The business landscape is a tumultuous one. There are economic upheavals seemingly waiting around every corner. The development of a strong and dedicated email list helps us to create a stable marketing channel that we can leverage in the future when we need it. Even more important than providing a point of stability in our marketing plan, though, is what that email list provides a brand in terms of engagement opportunities.

Our audience is there for us. They want to be there. While our email list may be made up of a variety of people who know varying amounts about our brand, it represents opportunity and potential. Each time we reach out to our audience we have an opportunity to provide value, open the brand story gap, engage and educate, share information about our services, bolster our brand perception, and eventually close the gap and make the sale.

Start Now

There is no better time to start building an email list than right now. Every day is an opportunity to grow your audience and get your message out there. The “Know, like, and trust” principle takes time. A robust and useful email list is a long game that takes dedication (like most things in our businesses) and knowing that is why we should feel a bit of pressure about getting started.

There is a lot to do to get started with email marketing, but this is a process that directly reflects a growth mindset. And having a growth mindset is one of the determining factors of whether we are built for survival over the long term.

Illustration by Erin Lynch.

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by Erin Lynch // Basics, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media

About shop

We are Shop, a web design and graphic design studio based in Vancouver, WA. We’re a small group of designers, developers, writers, and makers who have banded together with the goal of creating beautiful design.