A couple of weeks ago, I ran a free course called "How to come back stronger" and it was incredible. There were 700 people on the course - I went live every night and people asked me all kinds of different questions about starting, growing and scaling a creative product business.
One of the questions that came up over again was about email marketing. People were asking - do I need to have an email list? Why do we need an email list?
This blog post outlines three reasons why you absolutely need to have an email list for your creative product business.
1 - Own the relationship
The first reason, arguably the most important - is that you do not own the relationship with your social media followers. The social media platform owns that relationship, which means if your account gets hacked or shut down, or temporarily frozen, deleted - all of the horror stories that you've heard - and that do actually happen - then you haven't actually a relationship with the people who follow you.
You have to rebuild it from scratch, whereas if you're consistently move people from social media to your website and then on to your email list, over time you will gradually pick up those people and you own that email list.
It's really important.
2 - Capture potential customers
The second reason that it's really important that you have an email list is because the average conversion rate for an e-commerce site is around 2%. So that means if 100 people visit your site - on average, 98% of them will leave without ever buying anything.
So if you think about it, if you do not have a sign up popup - an opportunity for them to register for your newsletter, then 98% of people are coming onto your website - and you've put in all of that effort to drive them to your site - and then they leave without purchasing anything. If there's no newsletter to sign up to, then there's no way for you to ever contact any of those people.
They just leave, and that's it. They may or may not come back, so even though an email list may only capture another two or three of those 100 people - over time, that has a significant impact. It builds and builds your ability to talk to a larger group of people, than just the people who have purchased from you.
3 - Conversion
The third reason is that the people that you speak to you through your email list are much more likely to come to your website and purchase from that email than the people you're talking to on social media. We often get very hung up on how many people are coming to visit our website - you should focus on converting traffic - traffic that's coming from instagram, for example, has an average conversion rate of about 0.8%.
Whereas people who come from your emails are five times more likely to buy - about a 4% conversion rate. They're on your list because they know you, they trusted you enough to give you their email address, which is a big act of trust and commitment.
You're getting together a list of people that you own. You are making the most of the visitors who are coming to your website, even the ones who aren't ready to buy just yet - but are maybe really interested in your business, and you're also building up a list of people who are more likely to buy from you.
....And three top tips to get you started with email marketing
1 - Choose an email provider
Some eCommerce sites have their own built-in email providers, but chances are it will be fairly basic.
However, personally (and speaking to other product businesses), Mailchimp just isn't that intuitive. You may prefer options like Flodesk or Klaviyo - both excellent choices for product businesses.
2 - Set up a way for people to join
Sounds obvious, right? But people need to be able to join your list once you've got it.
Make sure you share your sign up link everywhere - on your social media platforms, and of course on your website.
You should also make it easy for people to opt-in after purchasing from you so you can keep in contact with loyal customers.
Pop-ups, while not everyone's favourite, remain an effective way to encourage sign-ups from website browsers.
3 - Send those emails!
Once you have people on your list, don't ignore them. Work out how often you can consistently send an email, and stick to that routine.
Those are my top three reasons why you absolutely need an email list and my top three tips to get your started.
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