This topic is talked about a lot in online business circles, but I hardly ever see it mentioned in craft business circles. Having an email list is important. Some people say the money is in the list and they aren’t far wrong. Here’s why you need to be thinking about an email list:
You own your list
This is similar to the reasoning behind having your own website. Your list is yours. It’s a directory of your ideal customers, sat in front of you and that is powerful. It can’t be taken away from you, like Facebook likes might, and it can’t be shut down like an Etsy store might. It’s yours, yours alone and you own it.
People on your list actually want to hear from you
These days giving our email address out is something that most people will only do if they really want to hear from you. By signing up to your email list they are expressly saying that they want to hear more from you, that they are interested in your products and are giving permission to be marketed to.
You can contact them whenever you want
Ok, within reason! You’d probably not be in touch with your fans daily like you might be on Facebook, but you can choose how often you’re going to contact people.
Perhaps you want to do a round up every month of the new products you have in stock or maybe you will highlight the most popular items in the past month. Or perhaps you want to just tell everyone every time you add a new item to your Etsy store. It’s up to you.
You don’t need to pander to algorithms or when your fans are online (so much)
If you’re trying to shout about your new product to your fans on Facebook you’ll know how hard it is to get in front of everyone. Facebook wants people to pay to use their platform (they are a business as well after all) and so relying on these free social media methods to get our news out is not very efficient. Yes it’s free and yes it has it’s place, but it’s also frustrating.
With an email list you also don’t need to think (too much) about timing it right to get your fans when they are online. Your email will sit there and be there for them when they are. You do need to think about it a little, I wouldn’t recommend midnight sendings, but it’s certainly not so much a big deal.
Overall you can be in front of your fans and reminding them about you when you want to.
You can learn a lot from a list
How many people opened your email? How many people clicked through and got excited about your new items?
Each time you send an email you learn about what is working and what might not be. If you can encourage your fans to interact with you and reply to your emails you can also get a valuable insight in to who is there, what they like, and then use that information to your advantage and to grow your business.
No Vanity numbers
Nobody knows how many people are on your list, unless you tell them! It’s not a game of numbers like Facebook, IG and twitter.
On social media these numbers mean pretty much nothing and they are just really a vanity metric. They don’t mean anything, yet people strive to get higher, wasting a lot of time in the process! With a list you’re not looking at the quantity so much, but certainly thinking about the quality of your subscribers.
You own your list (again!)
Ok, I’m going to end by repeating this point, because it’s really the most important. Owning your network, owning your direct line to potential customers is like owning the best shop on the high street. It will always be yours no matter what changes. If for some reason your FB page was hacked and your Etsy shop got shut down in one fell swoop you’d struggle to get in touch with your customers to tell them where you are. You’d be gone. Even if your owned website failed a list would be helpful. If you have a list – you can still keep in touch and you can still keep your business running. It NOT the end of the world!
Next time I’ll be talking about how to set up your email list, so be sure to make sure you’re on mine to be notified when that post is live! You can sign up using the form at the end of this post.