When you hear the term ‘growing your audience’ you might immediately think of your Instagram and Facebook  followers, or your YouTube subscribers.

While these social media audiences are an important piece of the overall marketing puzzle – they are not the MOST important.

If you had to chose, you could do without your social media followers and still maintain a healthy-ish business.  But what we cannot do without is our email list subscribers.

And if by some magic you have been getting by without an email list so far – you will not believe how your business multiplies when you start growing a newsletter list!

There are a few really key things to know about email list building for your business, and by the end of this post I hope you will inspired to get to work on yours.

1. You don’t own your social media audience

When people follow you on Facebook, for example, try thinking of it this way:

“They follow me THROUGH Facebook!”

The key here is that Facebook is in charge of the whole relationship.  They own these followers – they are Facebook’s contacts, who also happen to follow you.  They are not your contacts, not really.

If Facebook decides that you have done something to violate one of their policies, they can stop your advertising, or in the worst case scenario they can even freeze your account.

Imagine losing access to your followers overnight!  Now if you were relying on these Facebook followers to be your next customers, your business would be in trouble.

When you have a list of people receiving your email newsletters, then you are in charge of:

  • What you advertise to them
  • How frequently you advertise to them

You also make the rules, and you don’t have to pay for boosted posts!

2.  You will fight against the algorithm

Almost every social media platform has an algorithm these days. If you are not clear what this is, then think of it as a computer program which uses maths to figure out what each person enjoys seeing.

If you are a dog lover, you will notice that over time Facebook shows you more and more content (both free things and paid adverts) about dogs, dog food, related products and so on.

This is a clever tool that social media platforms use to tailor content to us – it keeps us coming back for more, and it’s really quite addictive.

Platforms do this because they are businesses themselves.  They have staff to pay and profits to make.  Keeping us a bit addicted means that they will make more advertising revenue from us.

Sorry if I just ruined your enjoyment of social media!  But I think it’s really important for all small business owners to know and understand this.

3.  Email has the best (and most predictable) conversion rate

Once people are on your email list and you are sending regular emails to them, the software that you use will give you some basic statistics.

Any software should show you at the very least the percentage of people that have opened each email.

If you have clickable links in those emails, such as a link to watch one of your videos or sign up to one of your classes, then you will see stats for that too. 

Over a short period of time, just a few months, you will see a trend emerge for what your typical email open rate is.  You will also see, of those email readers, how many people click a link each time.

These basic statistics allow you to predict to some degree how your offers will do in the future.  For example, if you have 1000 email list subscribers and a 20% open rate, then you know that roughly 200 people will read your emails.

Now from those 200 people, if you have a 3% conversion rate, then you can estimate that 6 people will take your next offer.

I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of people, but these are fairly typical industry-wide email stats, and it’s important for you to have the right expectations.  And these rates are a great deal better than any on social media. 

Due to the vast number of disengaged followers we all have these days, and the way that we all have to either pay to boost posts or do battle with the algorithm, a Facebook audience of 10,000 followers could still yield fewer than 6 conversions.

So now that you know these key facts, I hope that you will get serious about growing your email list and keeping them engaged with emails. 

As always, if you need any help with this then do reach out to me.