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Affiliate Marketing email marketing Internet Marketing Make Money Online

If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Email marketing still works

Some awesome discussions came out of my previous post Turn you got mail into you got cash. I was going to switch gears into a series on Facebook Ads, however I made an interesting observation in these discussions that told me that the why was not answered sufficiently. A lot of people asked “Does email marketing still work?”

Maybe you can tell me why everyone agrees that social media engagement is critical, but when it comes to email marketing the house is divided into list building zealots and list building atheists. I’m not sure that the term atheist is grammatically accurate, but they are similar to religious sense of the word in that they refuse to acknowledge or believe that email marketing is viable.

Ironically social media and email marketing have been around since the days of Arpanet. The genesis of social media was Usenet where people could post news to news groups. Conferencecall.UK’s blog has an awesome infographic on the history of Social Media.

Ray Tomlinson sent the first email 47 years ago. Less than 7 years later Spam started by a gentleman known as Gary Thuerk. Smart Insights did a great post on the evolution of email marketing with a nice infographic that you can check out here.

Now you may be thinking that I’m going to try to convince you email marketing still works with facts, figures and statistics. While that is a great structure for a debate, the viability of email marketing is not up for debate. It is a fact that it works. If you are looking to be convinced you are in the wrong place. My objective is to lay out some of the top reasons why you need to start building an email list and have you form your own opinion.

Before I dive into the reasons some entrepreneurs out there try to skip a step and buy a list instead of building it themselves. If this thought has crossed your mind, please drop it like a hot plate. This is a bad idea as the leads in the purchased list may not be qualified for your product or service. Field of Dreams put it best

Please allow me to present 3 reasons why you should start building an email list:

Reason 1 It’s an asset

In an online business, there is really nothing else that you will have complete control over. No matter what happens you will always have your list to fall back on. There have been plenty of stories of people that have lost access to what they have built in Social Media. If Facebook suddenly decides that the group you have spent a lot of time building up is against their standards and shuts it down, what recourse do you have? I’m not against social media at all, quite the opposite.

In addition to being an asset, your email list is a database of customers or potential customers that are qualified and want to hear from you. Granted, they not be raving fans or endorse all of your offers, but they are subscribers. They are look forward to your emails and follow your brand. This is similar to social media followers, but you have the potential for more comprehensive exchanges. For example, your exchanges on twitter are limited to 280 characters. There are not restrictions on your email exchanges and it’s private. You will find that email marketing and social media marketing together enhance your relationship with your subscribers.

Reason 2 Captive audience

Have you ever suffered from traffic anxiety? What I’m referring to is your sales page is ready to go and you launch your product. You think the entire world is going to check out what you have to offer. You keep refreshing your google analytics page and it still shows less than 10 visitors.

Let me paint another picture. Your sales page is ready, and your product launch is set for 9a the next day. You send out an announcement to your list as well as an announcement at 9a when the product launches. By 930a your phone is blowing up with PayPal notifications.

I’m not saying to solely rely on your email list. In fact, your marketing machine needs to be firing on all cylinders. Your list will provide an awesome traffic and sales boost. Your subscribers naturally will share the email with their friends and network which also adds fuel to the fire.

Think about this.

Let’s say you have 1,000 subscribers with a historic 10% open rate. So 100 subscribers open your promotion email. If 10% of those 100 share your offer on social media that means your reach just grew to 1,000 people at least as the average person has at least 100 social media contacts. In some cases, some of those friends may also share the post which exponentially expands the reach. Looking at this you are probably right, just stick to Facebook ads instead of building a list.

Reason 3 Dedicated audience of potential customers

Your list contains a dedicated audience of potential customers. Social media followers can come and go like the wind. In a moment’s notice the number of your followers can drop. The best approach is to combine both email marketing and social media marketing to grow both. Your social media followers that aren’t on your list will grow your list and your subscribers that aren’t following on social media will boost your following. When your subscribers are following on social media they will also start to engage with your posts. This will form a bridge into their social networks and suddenly you notice your subscriber list grow by 10x.


So there you have 3 reasons why to build you list. Does email marketing still work? Post your thoughts in the comments below. I do read and respond to all comments personally.

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  1. Nick Burn

    I read all over the place tha the money is in the list, and although I am yet to start building my list, it is something I intend to do. It made me think when you wrote about always having your list to fall back on if thing went wrong with organic traffic.

    I am using social media, but that is something I enjoy, building a list has always seemed difficult not sure why, so I have avoided it. Would you say even with no experience of list building I could buid a meaningful list in say 6 months?

    • Dan Shea

      Hey Nick,

      Good things take time. If you are focused on adding value and helping your subscribers you will build a rock solid list. It may take a little longer than 6 months but that varies depending on your strategy. I would recommend on doing consistent effort for 12 months and you will see results.

  2. Vesna Magk

    Hello Dan,

    Thank you for your great post! I have a relatively new site regarding Health & Diet. In this moment I use only soc.media to reach my audience. I’m familiar with the benefits of E-mail marketing, but, reading again about them, made me think…. I’m not sure what I’m still waiting for. Your blog has convinced me to add this excellent source of traffic to existing one – soc.media, as soon as possible.

    Thanks again,

    • Dan Shea

      Entirely my pleasure Vesna!


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