In spite of numerous social media platforms and options for building community, building an email list still matters.
With Clubhouse on the horizon and the seemingly ubiquitous nature of Instagram, the community building landscape has more options than ever before. If you’ve been wondering how email fits in this sometimes dizzying sea of options, this post is for you. You’ll learn four reasons building an email list still matters as well as some tips for building.
1. You own your email list
When it comes to points of contact with your growing community, an email list is one of the few lists you truly own.
Can someone unsubscribe? Sure. But other than that, no one can take away your subscribers. Your email list remains under your purview amidst changing trends, events, tides, and offerings. Even after a major pivot, your email list remains as a potential prospect list.
While social platforms technically own your followers, your email list is something no platform can take away from you.
2. Email is often foundational to the customer journey
Whether you’re hosting a virtual event, sharing information, promoting an offering, collecting payment, or making any other customer touchpoint, email is likely at the center in some way.
While there certainly are a variety of ways to structure your customer journey, email remains a primary unique identifier in most scenarios. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
Regardless of your business model or promotional plan, it’s highly likely that email will remain a key part of the process.
3. Email is a constant amidst change
It may feel like another lifetime, but it wasn’t that long ago that MySpace and AOL instant messager were some of the most popular places to connect online. Do you remember hanging out by the computer way too late all to see if a friend was going to get on?
In the relatively short lifespan of social networks, we have seen a lot of evolution. Hello Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, and Goodreads. Moreover, new ones are continually appearing on the scene. I’m looking at you, Clubhouse.
While some users remain fairly loyal to their networks of choice, many carry no deep sense of loyalty. They are inclined to jump the moment something more interesting or relevant appears on the scene.
Unlike social platforms which have the potential to experience a mass user exodus, email has proven to be fairly constant.
4. Email pairs well with social media initiatives
Not only are there more options than ever before, but social media platforms are also continually changing their algorithms and user experience. The more profit-oriented platforms become, the more we typically see them manipulate the user experience. These changes aren’t always bad but they can prove challenging.
While contending with these changes, many content creators often find it becomes more difficult to connect with their community. This is especially true if they haven’t established multiple connection points, including email.
You may find yourself dedicating an increasing amount of hours to a platform only to experience diminishing reward and little return on investment. Remember, your time is valuable!
In some cases, the time you spend on social networks will be well worth it. Many founders and content creators have experienced tremendous success. But don’t completely disregard your email list in the meantime. Use your social platforms as one spoke in a community-building wheel — with email as an important component.
Even more importantly, don’t lose sight of your goals and revenue model. Building a large following does not necessarily equate to business growth or increased profit. Be mindful you aren’t getting lost in an undefined quest for popularity.
No matter what your social initiatives are, email can be incorporated in a number of complementary ways. This will only strengthen your efforts and help you build a more resilient community.
Let’s get building
At this point, I have achieved my purpose you’re realizing the importance of building an email list. Not only will it help you build your community in a reliable way, but it’s also an important tool in creating an effective customer journey.
Here are some great tips for getting started or refreshing your email building strategy from some of my favorite experts:
- How to Build an Email List from Scratch: 10 Incredibly Effective Strategies
- 29 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List
- Define Your Customer Journey for Better Email Marketing
If you’re starting from scratch or don’t have a good system in place, you may need a home for your new email list. This valuable data is not something you want to lose!
Some of my favorite platforms for managing customer relationships include:
For more on what each of these offers and how to make the right decision for you, check out The Best Tools, Apps, and Platforms for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners.
Now that you understand a bit more about why building an email list is still entirely relevant and important, I’m excited to see what you do with yours!