An email list will be your best friend when it comes to growing your business, making more sales, and getting your message out into the world.
Why is email marketing such a powerful strategy? Because email is a direct line into your subscriber’s world.
In today’s post, I’m breaking down 8 major benefits of having an email list as an entrepreneur, along with 13 creative ways to use your email list to grow your business.
My hope is that by the end of this post, you’re not only convinced of the need to have an email list, but you’re also super excited to set up your list and start growing it.
13 Creative Ways to Use Your Email List to Grow Your Online Business
Did you know that the majority of people check their emails every single day, and 34% of people check their email more than ten times throughout the day?
Compare that to a platform like Instagram where you can spend hours trying to plan the perfect grid of photos, write the perfect captions, and figure out the perfect time to post…
Only to have less than 10% of your followers even see your posts in their feed.
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With an email list, you won’t ever have that problem.
And besides being a direct line for communicating with your audience and potential customers, there are a ton of other benefits to having an email list.
First, let’s quickly go over the two major benefits most entrepreneurs think of when they think of email lists.
List Benefit #1: Your email list is an avenue for you to serve, educate, and inspire people
You started your business because you wanted to help people, and your email list is a great opportunity to do just that.
By sending regular emails to your list that are jam-packed with value, you’ll be making a positive impact on your subscribers’ lives every single time you pop into their inbox.
Speaking of, I recommend sending an email to your list approximately once every week.
If you can, send it on the same day and at the same time each week so that your subscribers start to expect and even look forward to your weekly emails.
List Benefit #2: Your email list is the best way to sell your paid offerings
Regardless of whether you sell digital products, courses, or services, your email list will be your #1 sales generator when used correctly. Why?
Well, when you send regular emails to your subscribers that are filled with free tips and value, you build up the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your audience.
This will make your subscribers much more likely to purchase something from you when the time comes.
But wait, there’s more…
Beyond the two benefits above, there are a lot of other ways you can use your email list to grow your business and make a positive impact.
Here are 6 more benefits to having an email list as an entrepreneur, plus 13 creative ways to use your email list to grow your biz.
List Benefit #3: Your email list allows you to form personal connections with your audience
Sending emails to your list can spark some really great conversations, which can lead to long-term relationships.
Sending value-packed emails helps you create lifelong customers who want to buy everything you sell and raving fans who tell everyone they know about you.
Here’s an easy way to encourage your subscribers to respond to your emails to get those two-way conversations going:
At the end of your welcome email, ask your subscribers a question and encourage them to respond with their answer.
For example, you might ask something along the lines of:
“What’s your biggest struggle right now?”
Not only does this question spark a conversation, but the answers you receive will be super valuable intel into your audience’s biggest pain points and potential products you could create to solve those problems.
When you receive replies to your welcome email, make sure you take the time to respond and share thoughtful advice, tips, and resources with your new subscriber.
Your time and effort will go a long way in terms of building relationships and helping you stand out in your subscriber’s mind.
List Benefit #4: Your email list is an easy way to grow your social media following
Just because email trumps social media in terms of sales, that doesn’t mean you don’t need social media accounts for your business or that you shouldn’t invest time into growing your social media.
But here’s the good news: the subscribers on your email list are the exact people who will want to follow along with you on social media.
They joined your email list because they’re interested in you and what you have to say, and what better way to provide even more free value and form even deeper connections than to have them follow you on Instagram and Facebook as well?
Here are two quick ways to use your email list to grow your social media following.
Strategy #1. Add a few social media follow buttons in the signature at the bottom of your emails
With most email service providers, you’ll be able to add these buttons to your email template so you don’t have to insert them manually every time.
For bonus points, use your brightest and boldest brand color for your social media buttons so they stand out from the rest of the email.
As an example, here are the buttons the Tone It Up ladies have in their email footer:
Strategy #2. In the P.S. of your welcome email, include a Call-to-Action to follow you on social media
Don’t overwhelm people by asking them to follow you on 8 different platforms. Just stick to one here
This should be your core social media platform, the one you put the most effort into and that you show up on regularly.
List Benefit #5: Your email list helps you drive traffic to your website and blog
If you’re spending time creating fresh, valuable content on your blog every week, you want to get as many eyeballs on your blog posts as possible.
Here are two creative ways to drive traffic from your email list to your blog.
Strategy #1. When you publish a new blog post, send a “teaser” email to your list with a Call-to-Action to check out the post
The key to making this strategy work is to give your subscribers a compelling reason to click over and read your new post.
People are busy, and if they don’t see a clear benefit — “What’s in it for me”?” – they aren’t going to invest their precious time into reading the blog.
To get those clicks, you want to explain exactly what your subscribers stand to gain by reading your post. To do this, focus on the problem this particular post solves or the results it will help people achieve.
Strategy #2. In your welcome series, link to some of your best blog posts
This is a great way to share value with your subscribers and establish your expertise without needing to create any new content.
Chances are you already have plenty of awesome foundational blog posts sitting in your archives, so go ahead and link to 2-3 of these posts throughout your welcome series.
List Benefit #6: Your list will build up your expert status
Being viewed as a go-to expert in your industry will help you secure invites to appear on the most prestigious podcasts, summits, events, panels, magazines, and websites.
As you can imagine, this exposure is great for your business!
Here are two specific ways you can use your list to build up your expert status.
Strategy #1. Continuously share free tips, value, and content to showcase your expertise
Every email you send to your list should be focused on giving value. Yep, even if it’s a sales email!
Share tips. Teach a step-by-step method. Create a bonus PDF resource and send it to your subscribers as a surprise gift.
Strategy #2. Share results, testimonials, and case studies
If you want to be viewed as an expert, social proof will be your new best friend.
Every so often, sprinkle a few testimonials from your clients and customers in your emails. Tell the story of one of your client’s amazing transformations. Tell your own transformation story and explain how you got to where you are today.
Just a heads up: This type of social proof is great in any email, but it’s especially valuable in sales emails when you’re trying to persuade a potential customer to take action.
For example, you could include a “Client Results” section at the very end of your email, after you’ve already provided tons of value in the email.
List Benefit #7: You can use your email list to survey your audience for feedback
Everything you do in your business should be catered towards your audience and their wants, needs, interests, and personalities.
And what better way to figure out exactly what your prospective customers want and need than by going directly to the source?
Here are three easy ways you can survey your email subscribers to improve your marketing, offerings, and business.
Strategy #1. Send out a validation survey before creating a new product
In this survey, ask your subscribers questions like:
Is X an area you struggle with?
How long has this been a problem for you?
What have you tried doing to solve this problem in the past?
Have you ever purchased a product to help you with this problem?
What would your ideal solution look like?
If you get the green light with your validation survey, you can go ahead and develop the product. And then, you guessed it, you’re going to launch and sell the product to your email list!
I’m a BIG fan of using a list-building quiz as a survey marketing tool.
One that not only easily grows my list, but also gives me tons of data about who my subscribers are and what types of products they want to buy from me.
Quizzes are excellent for growth marketing.
Strategy #2. Segment your subscribers into different groups for targeted marketing
A great way to segment your subscribers into different groups is to ask them what their skill level is or what topics they’re most interested in learning about from you.
To make it super easy, give your subscribers a few options to choose from. For example, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
If you use ConvertKit, you can set this up in your welcome email as a set of clickable links. When your subscriber clicks on one of the links, they’re automatically marked with relevant tags and then segmented into a specific group on your list.
Strategy #3. Send a post-purchase customer feedback survey
No product you create will ever be 100% perfect and there will always be room for improvement. When deciding what changes to make to your products and customer experience, again, go straight to the source.
Send out an automated email to your customers once they’ve had enough time to use your product. In the email, link to a quick survey where your customers can share their thoughts with you anonymously, and then use this information to improve your products moving forward.
Here’s an example of a feedback email that Big Cat Creative sends out after someone makes a purchase:
List Benefit #8: you can use your list to promote affiliate products
This strategy is a great way to boost your revenue in months when you don’t have any launches or promotions planned for your own products.
Here are three creative ways to generate affiliate income with your email list.
Note: These first two strategies are relatively time-intensive, so I only recommend using them when the commission is worth the investment of your time.
Strategy #1. Run a promotion for an affiliate product
This will be similar to a launch you would run for one of your own offerings.
Make the promotion time-sensitive and offer a special bonus for people who purchase within the given time frame.
Send a series of persuasive emails to your list highlighting the problem that the product solves or the result it will help them achieve, explain why you love it so much, and then give them clear instructions on how to purchase it.
Strategy #2. Create a sales funnel for an affiliate product
A sales funnel is an automated series of emails with the goal of taking people on a journey that ends with them purchasing a specific product.
A typical sales funnel includes 5-7 emails that are spaced out over 1-2 weeks, and are a mixture of value-focused emails, soft pitches, and hard pitches.
Just like you would create a sales funnel to sell one of your own products, you can do the exact same thing to promote and sell products you’re an affiliate for.
Once someone joins your list through a relevant freebie, add them to an automated sales funnel series where you promote a product that will help them take their results to the next level.
Strategy #3. Include affiliate links in your opt-in freebies
I love adding links in my freebies to products and resources I love. If they happen to be affiliate links, even better!
By sharing these links, you help your subscribers find the exact tools, products, and resources they need to get the results they want, while also making a bit of extra money for yourself.
It’s a win-win!
13 different ways to use your email list to grow your business – Conclusion
To recap, here’s what we have covered:
1. At the end of your welcome email, ask your subscribers a question and encourage them to hit reply and share their answer with you
2. Add social media follow buttons in the footer of your emails
3. In the “P.S.” of your welcome email, ask people to follow you on one specific social media platform
4. When you publish a new blog post, send a teaser email to your list with a Call-to-Action to check out the new post
5. In your welcome series, link to some of your best blog posts
6. Continuously share free tips to demonstrate your knowledge
7. Share results, testimonials, and case studies
8. Send out a validation survey before creating a new product
9. Segment your subscribers into different groups for targeted marketing
10. Send a post-purchase customer feedback survey
11. Run a promotion for an affiliate product
12. Create a sales funnel for an affiliate product
13. Include affiliate links in your opt-in freebies
Which of these 13 strategies will you be trying out? Do you have any other creative strategies for using your list to grow your business?
And, have you enrolled in this list-building course? You probably should 😉
Learn More About The Hot List Email Marketing Course