Many online entrepreneurs have an obsession with email list building.
Thousands of websites (this one included) strive to inspire you to submit your email address to a mailing list – often with an email opt-in incentive – also called a lead magnet (see what is a lead magnet).
Depending on your surfing habits, your Facebook feed may already be inundated with sponsored ads to sell you a course to teach you the secrets of email list building.
FYI: Did you know when you keep Facebook open in a browser tab, Facebook tracks the pages you visit on other tabs (to then share this information with its advertisers)?
While this site does not pay for Facebook sponsored ads at this time, it did throw a lead magnet project into the mix of email list building schemes.
Email List Building isn’t Necessarily Bad
Email list building is a legitimate online business strategy – and with good search engine optimized content on your site, email list building can be on autopilot to a degree.
As the old adage goes, it’s a numbers game.
The more people you add to your email list, the greater chance you have to sell your products or services to people on your email list.
But what if email list building is the wrong current strategy for your online business?
Here are three notable occasions email list building may not be your best marketing strategy.
3 Occasions Email List Building is a Poor Use of Your Time
1. Client Work to Do
The most valuable form of marketing you will ever have is word of mouth.
You have probably heard this adage too: People prefer to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
If someone doesn’t already know about your business, they will lean on the advice of a friend they do know, like, and trust.
That friend may be your client.
Before you invest more time in email list building schemes, don’t overlook the marketing power of an existing client.
But that marketing influence is lost if you do not follow through on agreed-upon commitments to that client.
2. Your Service is High-End Work
If your market niche is more service-oriented (e.g. consulting, project management, technical design) for only a few clients at a time, you don’t need to focus on building a big email mailing list.
You need to focus on attracting your target client through lead generation forms on your website.
These two lead generation web tools allow you to create customized experiences for your site visitors.
After all, if you can make online forms or surveys kind of cool, you stand a good chance of getting a response from your target client.
3. You Have Products or Services to Create
It’s a catch-22 with email list building if the purpose of your email list building is to sell a product or service that you don’t yet have available to sell.
You need an email list to help communicate your product or service, but you need to actually create a product or service. Your offering doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be at least as good as the expectations you are setting.
In the end, email list building takes time.
Blogging is a sound strategy to generate organic traffic to your site, but the results happen through repetition not one-time inspiration.
If you find yourself focusing more of your available time on your email list building and not on your unfinished product, email list building is a poor use of your time.
Resources for Email List Building (if email list building is a good use of your time)
- Lead Magnet Guide (5 essential characteristics of a lead magnet)
- Lead Magnet Survey (share your own opinion about email sign up incentives and discover what other entrepreneurs recommend)
- Lead Magnet Project (an interactive online project for professionals building email lists)
- Lead Magnet Examples (Graceful Resources email subscribers can add their own web address for free)
- Recommended Website and Email Software Resources (you’ll also discover why these resources are recommended)
Cheering for your online success – one project step at a time!