I don’t care what kind of business you’re in.
You could be a plumber or a car mechanic for all I care.
You have no excuses.
You must have an email list with current and potential clients, and you should be emailing them regularly.
This email is the short version of why.
(You’d have to pay me to make me write up the long one because it’s very, very, very fracking long.)
And you should read it carefully NOW if you don’t want to miss out big.
1. Your email list is your BEST insurance policy for maintaining your customer base. And not just in case you get deplatformed from Twitter of Fecebook.
Imagine you own a fitness center, but it burns down because of an electrical malfunction. You have insurance, but it takes time to rent new space, buy new equipment and so on. Some of your customers may lapse from working out while others sign up for your competitors’ services.
If you didn’t have an email list or you had one but wasn’t emailing people regularly, you’re fracked. You have to start from scratch recruiting people to come back. If, on the other hand, you have been keeping in touch, you can immediately reach out with your plans to restore service, incentives for customers to renew memberships and so on. You don’t look needy. You are in charge and doing your best to provide the best services ASAP.
This applies even more gravely if you have used the email list to develop a personal relationship with your customers. If you’re in a fickle sales business and someone like Amazon or Shmoogle moves onto your turf, that personal relationship can help you transition to a completely different line of business with minimal friction and marketing expense. Because people already trust you.
2. Your email list is your direct channel to build customer loyalty and trust. It works even if you have no competitive threats or difficulty recruiting customers. If your emails deliver value – not just a bombardment of ads and promotions, existing customers will be looking to buy more from you, and agitating for it.
Email subscribers and Patreon supporters have been griping that I don’t yet have books to sell them, with all the information condensed in one place. If you’re in a consumer products business, this means you can increase your sales exponentially with the same list (whereas I can write only so many books in a year).
When people trust you and the quality of your wares, they want to buy more from you. A high-value email list guarantees this.
3. Your email list shows your customers you care and ensures your products are consumed correctly. Most companies stack their emailings with pointless “news” items. You don’t. You make your emails about the customer.
For example, your emails can include tips and directions how to maximize the value of your products and services. Not only does this show you care and improve the customer experience ( who doesn’t like returning customers eager to buy more?) – it also will reduce your costs for returns, exchanges and overall customer service.
You don’t just sell, but make sure that customers consume the product correctly, so there isn’t anything to “fix” and your customers come back for more. Simple and powerful function of your email list. Going back to the fitness center example, you could be emailing people workout routines and safety tips to prevent injuries – less legal liability and revenue losses from customers’ being absent in recovery.
4. Your email list is a reminder to your customers to give you useful feedback. This is a hugely important function of your email list that few emailers appreciate. I’m already getting tremendous value out of Patreon supporters’ feedback on all the content – but not on Patreon. They invariably hit Reply and return a daily email instead of messaging me directly.
Email is a personal medium that virtually everyone uses daily. It makes you feel more accessible and there’s no barrier to entry – you already know how it works. Unlike Patreon or any custom customer support system your business might have.
I also constantly remind people to hit me up with comments and questions in my daily emails. (Please email back if you have any!)
That’s the highest-value way to keep in touch with the pulse of your market – let customers give you a piece of their mind. And email is the path of least resistance to make that happen. What people may not be willing to say in your face, they can still send you in an email. It’s magical that way!
5. Your email list allows you to make even more money and create value for customers from affiliate sales. As a fitness center owner, you can throw people a link for a protein powder or protective gear you think is excellent. You’re not just selling people – you’re helping them. It takes time and patience to find protein powders without sugar and other toxic additives.
And you didn’t just make an affiliate sale. You raised the value of your gym membership because now I can bulk up even faster.
As a repair mechanic, you could be selling car accessories and maintenance supplies like motor oils. As an educator, you could be adding anything from optimal school supplies to professional clothing and accessories for whatever you’re training people to do. The opportunities to create customer value are limitless.
6. Your email list will support your business growth. If you have a new product, who’s already eager to buy it at near-zero marketing cost? – Your email subscribers, of course. And with the right product validation, they may even be willing to bankroll your product development through pre-orders.
Why bother with annoying bank loans and outside investors if customers are eager to finance your expansion? The email list makes this a viable option few business owners ever consider.
7. Your email list will start your next business. How? The larger and the more personal your email list and content, the sooner people will start contacting you with business offers out of the blue. Deliver value and people will find ways to use it you never previously imagined.
I routinely get approached by potential consulting clients, even though I’m not looking for any. And I’ve made clear my outrageous $275 an hour fee, which goes up to $285 on New Year’s Day.
In whatever line of business you are, there’s a consulting angle to it. Even if you’re in consulting, there’s another consulting angle you haven’t yet conceived of which could be your next business. And the email list can be both the fuel and the spark for that business if you stick to it and create real value for subscribers.
I know what you’re going to say: that I’m talking up my book, that everything looks like a nail to a hammer, that emails are a waste of time, that you’re going to annoy your customers if you email them daily – or even weekly.
If you set up your list right, if you email people right and if you email the right people, your email list is a goldmine that never runs out.
Which is why I’m doing a series about running email lists for Patreon supporters.
The first part of the series is about how you should communicate with your email subscribers outside of your emails to maximize sales and satisfaction.
Sales and persuasion content is typically reserved for supporters pledging $90+ a month, but until November’s end ONLY this piece will be accessible for all patrons at $30. The content drops at this link within the next 12 hours. Access goes back to $90 at 23:30 US Eastern Time on Friday, 30 November.
The post is NOT about how to write the emails themselves. Which is why a $30 pledge also gets you instant access to all the Weekly Writing Workshop content so far, including 22 Time-Tested Techniques That Make GREAT Writing a Consistent Habit.
Act now, have no regrets in December.