Should I bother to grow my email list? Does it matter? Does it actually work, you ask?

Simply put: Yes, to all of the above.

You might have heard the phrase that “the money is in the list”, and in many ways that is true. While you don’t have to have a “big” list to build a 6-figure business, and email subscribers don’t guarantee sales and success, selling generally happens via email – not directly in a Facebook ad. While it’s not impossible to sell to cold leads (people that don’t know you) with an ad, it’s not the easiest thing either. Your odds of converting them down the line via email are much better than selling to them right out of the gate.

If you’re trying to grow passive income streams, list building will be crucial because it’s a numbers game in many ways. (How can you get rich selling a $97 course unless you have a lot of people going through your sales funnel each day?)

If you’re a “call me” business, working 1:1 or in small groups with your clients, you don’t need a list of thousands, but getting in front of a new audience is important for growth. And regardless of how valuable your time is, simply offering someone that doesn’t know you a free consult isn’t usually very appealing. (I have no idea who you are – why would I get on the phone with you so you can try to sell me something?) Prospects will be much more open to your free call offering if they get to know you a little first, so start by offering a high-value freebie opt-in offer and THEN offering your free consult.

Here are some of the reasons why it’s wise to focus on building an email list if you want to build a successful online business.

1. Ownership

As much as I LOVE Facebook and other types of social media, you don’t OWN your social presence. Facebook owns all of the data about who likes your page, who engages in your groups, and what ads they click through on.

When you collect an email address, you now own that piece of your customer’s information. That means if Facebook were to shut down your fan page tomorrow, you would still have a way of contacting your customers. (God forbid, but it has been known to happen!)

2. Relationship-Building

When people come to your site from a Facebook ad, it’s most likely their first interaction with you and they might not be ready to buy anything from you. That doesn’t mean they won’t become a customer later! They might not know, like and trust you yet, or they might just not need your services right this minute.

Statistically speaking, it is much more likely that someone will buy from you after being exposed to you and your brand multiple times. In fact, there’s an old marketing adage called the Rule of Seven that states that someone has to be exposed to something seven times before they’ll take action and buy. I don’t know that seven is really the magic number to get to a sale, but it does speak to the fact that you can’t offer something once and then give up.

Once you have a list, you are able to start creating a relationship with the people on it. You do this through offering value, telling stories about who you are, and asking engaging questions. You never know, maybe your list will start to email you back! (I love it when people reply to my emails – I learn a lot about them!)

Meet them where they are at, offer them something of value for free to start building the relationship, and then you’ve earned the right to sell to them. (More on this in a few days.)

3. Reach

Have you ever wondered why only a fraction of the number of people who like your page see your posts?

Facebook uses various algorithms to determine what people most want to see in their newsfeed. And when you share a post to your page, even if you have thousands of likes, it’s entirely possible that only hundreds of people will actually see your post in their feed.

Email, on the other hand, gives you (almost) complete control. When you send an email to your list, you’re going to end up somewhere in their inbox, which gives you a great chance of being seen. The quality of your email marketing and your subject lines will influence whether or not they open the email, but at least you know you got it in front of them.

If you really want to make sure you get something in front of your audience, you can combine email marketing with Facebook ads! You are able to target your email subscribers with Facebook ads using custom audiences. Remember what I said about needing to get in front of people more than once? Facebook ads + email marketing is another way to stay top of mind and build those relationships without relying solely on one channel.

4. Establishing Expertise

When you send great content to your email list, you are establishing good rapport and your position as an expert in your field. And whether or not the people on your list end up buying from you, they will remember your name and look to you as an expert.

No matter what you do with your list, there is value in building and cultivating an audience of people who know and like you as an expert.

What are you going to do to grow your list in the new year?

It’s important to focus on the long game when it comes to growing both your list and your business. If you start advertising consistently rather than just when you’re in launch mode, you’ll be pleased to see your list growing while your ad costs starting coming down. (Facebook loves it when you’re in it for the long-term, not just a few times per year advertiser.)

Need ideas on what you can offer as a list builder?

Also be sure to check out the second post in the series, all about how to create the perfect opt-in offer. {Read Now: 5 Keys to a Stellar Opt-In Offer}

Need help putting all of the parts and pieces together and creating a plan for your unique business?

Check out the FB Ads Incubator >> The doors are open just four times per year and class fills up fast, so join the waitlist for the next round!

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