5 Reasons You Need An Email List in 2023

Jenna Kutcher 

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June 14, 2023


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I’m worried I sound like a broken record… I’ve been talking about email lists since 2017 (yup, you read that right… since Episode 12 of the Goal Digger Podcast!) and I haven’t shut up about it since! It’s like I found this magical secret that I need to share with the world, and I won’t rest until everyone knows about it. 

There are a million reasons why I keep talking about this topic and in today’s episode, I’m sharing the top 5 reasons why you need an email list in 2023.

If you’ve been tuning in all these years but still have yet to start an email list, I hope this is the episode that helps you make the leap into email marketing. I promise when you do, it’ll change your business in massive ways, so let’s get started!

1. Direct and Personalized Communication

One of the reasons why I love having an email list is because it gives me a direct way to connect with YOU. To me, showing up in your email inbox is a very personal way to communicate and I don’t take that honor lightly. I know that you don’t give out your email to just ‘anyone’, which is why I make sure that there’s always VALUE in what I’m sending – and you can do the same for your audience.

Having an email list ensures that when we want to encourage our audience, teach them something, or give them a behind-the-scenes look at our business, we don’t have to rely on algorithms on social media in order for them to see it.

Unlike social media posts that can get lost in your feed, emails land directly in your inbox, providing a more personal connection and higher chance of engagement. To put it simply: Email subscribers are much more valuable than social media followers because they have willingly provided their contact information, indicating a higher level of interest and commitment to your business or content. 

Email subscribers didn’t just hit a “follow” button – they filled out a form and raised their hand saying they WANT direct communication with you! Email subscribers are more receptive to your messages, offerings, and care about what you have to say. We all know that social media followers don’t typically have that level of dedication! 

You can also personalize your emails – including your subscribers name in the field, that’s something you can not do on social media where you’re screaming to the masses. In fact, this one simple fact alone makes a HUGE difference. 

According to a study conducted by Experian, personalized emails can generate six times higher transaction rates compared to non-personalized emails. The study analyzed billions of email marketing campaigns and found that personalized subject lines and content tailored to individual recipients’ preferences significantly improved engagement and conversion rates.

Moral of the story: email lists are far more personal than social media alone, and when you nurture your subscribers and consistently deliver valuable content, you have a greater chance of converting them into paying customers. I’ll take this personalized connection over social media followers any day!

2. Increased Reach and Engagement

With email marketing, you can actually reach the people you’re intending to reach AND get them to actively engage with what you’re sending… I’m not just talking a double tap or an emoji, I’m talking about engagement that leads to real, tangible results in your business. 

Let me be the first to say: this isn’t a “THIS or THAT” contest between email marketing and social media – this is the both/and conversation BUT if you’re putting all of your eggs into the social media basket, that has to change.

Now I know how hard you’re working to grow that following, but did you know that according to Social Insider, in 2023, less than 10% of your Instagram followers see your posts?! 

If this blows your mind as much as it does mine, let’s all say it together, friends: it’s high time to start your very own email list! With an email list at your disposal, you’ve got the power to reach a much wider audience and drive crazy engagement. Say goodbye to that measly 10% reach on Instagram and hello to a whole new level of connection and impact. 

Think about it: when you send an email to your list, 100% of your subscribers will see it in their inbox and make the conscious decision to open it, read it, delete it–whatever. Of course, getting them to open your emails and read them is a conversation for another day and another episode –but you know, without a doubt, that everyone will at least SEE what you’re sending. 

Whereas on platforms like our fave, Instagram, only 10% of your followers (if you’re lucky!) will even know the content exists and a fraction of those people who see your posts will engage with them – and the kicker here is even if they ARE engaging, that engagement is likely in the form of vanity metrics like likes and comments, not metrics that impact things like profit or revenue. 

A reminder I love to share often: likes and comments don’t pay the bills so it’s time to get an email list that can increase your ability to reach the people you’re trying to reach and boost the types of engagement that leads to tangible results in your business. 

3. Targeted Marketing and Segmentation

Email lists are like these magical tools that let you slice and dice your audience into different groups based on all sorts of cool criteria. 

If you’ve ever felt like you’re screaming into the void on social media and hoping the right people hear your message, this is your answer. With an email list you can segment parts of your audience to speak more directly to them and to get them exactly what they want. 

Segments can be based on a ton of different factors. We’re talking demographics, interests, purchase history, stage of journey and how engaged they are with your stuff. It’s like having a secret weapon for personalized marketing.

With these segments, you can send laser-focused content and offers to each specific group. You can send with confidence because you’re able to tailor your message to fit their needs and interests like a glove. And guess what? When people get emails that actually speak to them and their preferences, they’re way more likely to take action.

Think about it this way: when you post content to your entire audience on social, it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks. But with segmenting on your email list, you can aim that spaghetti right at the people who are the carb loving folks, waiting to bed fed. And that, my friend, increases your chances of scoring conversions and making those sweet and important sales.

Right now, I bet you’re wondering HOW you can learn your audience’s preferences to segment them, and I have just the answer for you: quizzes! Just a couple of days ago, I welcomed Chanti Zak onto the podcast to discuss how to create a quiz funnel for your business. Scroll back to the last episode in your podcasts app to listen to her insights!

4. Ownership and Control

Can I tell you something kind of embarrassing?! If I think about it too much, I will literally lose sleep over the fact that right now, there are so many content creators and business owners who are solely marketing their businesses on social media (WHICH THEY DO NOT OWN)! 

Fun fact but if someone asks me what I’d do if I wasn’t doing what I am doing, I told them that I’d love to help content creators and influencers build businesses that don’t rely solely on social media – that’s how much sleep I lose over this topic. It stresses me out that if Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube shut down tomorrow, so many people’s entire livelihoods (and many of their families’ livelihoods) would be completely wiped out… all because they don’t have a way to reach their audience anymore.

You could be the biggest Instagram influencer with millions of followers making tons of money on brand deals and sponsorships–but if you get hacked?! You’re done for! Or say something like a global pandemic happens and you have to quickly get in touch with your customers and clients to tell them how they can best support you but you realize that only a fraction of people are seeing your posts and they aren’t even the right people – yeah, we can’t just rely on social media any more. 

Bottom line: If you’re not focusing on your email list—and you’re putting all your marketing eggs in the social media basket—you’re taking a real RISK when it comes to your SALES.

In order to run a profitable business, you need to be social media-proof; because while social media platforms can change their algorithms, policies, or even disappear altogether, your email list is a valuable asset that you own and control. You are not subject to the whims of external platforms, and you have the freedom to design and execute your email marketing strategies as you see fit. Talk about stability!

5. Higher Conversion Rates and Return on Investment

Here’s the final two-part kicker: numerous studies have shown that email campaigns tend to have far higher conversion rates compared to other marketing methods. People are on social media to be entertained, educated, or distracted – but when people are in their inbox, they mean business. 

It’s almost like emails have this magical power to make people whip out their wallets and hit that “buy now” button. That means more real results like sales, my friend, and when you’re making more sales, your business starts to grow like crazy. 

On top of the fact that emails simply convert better than social, you are also getting a much bigger return on the time and energy you’re putting into your work. If I asked you today what results that Instagram reel got you that took you an hour, you might not be able to tell me real, tangible results – According to a study conducted by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), the average ROI for email marketing is approximately $42 for every $1 spent. 

This means that, on average, businesses can expect a significant return of 42 TIMES their investment in email marketing campaigns. So if you’re someone who wants to make sure your precious time is going to the right things and in the right places, email is where you need to be. 

Have I convinced you to start an email list yet?! If not, I don’t know what else I can say… Between the increased reach, conversion rates, and the fact that you have more ownership and control, for entrepreneurs serious about growing their business, it’s a no-brainer and it’s time to make the leep!

If you’re ready to dive deeper into this topic, I’m hosting a free, live class all about how to make your email list into your biz’s best (profit-growing) friend: “From Zero Subscribers (or Zero Strategy) to an Engaged Email List that Lasts.”

We’ll chat all about how to hop-skip over the expense & tech setup holding you back, tips for sending out weekly emails without adding more work to your plate, my best tips for getting people to hit that ‘sign up’ button, and what to say to them (in a non-sleazy way) once they’ve joined to convert them from subscribers to paying clients & customers. It’s going to be a jam-packed class with your name all over it! Save your seat at growanemaillist.com and I’ll see you there.

Thank you to our Goal Digger Sponsors

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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