There is power in email marketing. That’s why every service-based entrepreneur needs an email list in order to thrive.
Yet some still resist this powerful tool. If you’ve been putting email at the bottom of your list as a “nice to have” but not a must have, I’m going to invite you to re-prioritize your marketing.
There is a saying: “The best time to start building your list is yesterday, and the second best time is today.” I agree, from personal experience. I’ve regretted wanting to launch a new product, wishing that I would have built my email list months before, which would have made it so much easier to promote it.
Email marketing definitely works, and there’s plenty of statistics to back it up, but weird misconceptions and myths tend to stick around, and this can be confusing. Let’s talk about that first. (You can skip ahead and get to the reasons here)
First, there is still a lingering negative connotation among wellness professionals and perhaps some who grew up in a different time.
Second, there’s usually some rumor floating around every few years about how “email marketing is dead.”
I’m not as interested in why a handful of marketing “experts” want to declare that email marketing is dead. This is just clickbait nonsense.
What I’m far more interested in is.. Why are health and wellness practitioners still so resistant to email marketing, including myself? Because we think it’s THIS:
I have a few theories about this.
1. People tend to associate email marketing with either spam, or useless junk they don’t have time to read. These are rejected, and they don’t want to be rejected either, or “bother” anyone. So they send a nice, once a month, bland, newsletter.
Think about it.. are you compelled to open a an email with the subject line: September Newsletter? Neither am I. On the other hand, I DO open emails from business owners who have something of value to offer, and I’m not talking about Black Friday deals.
2. Many older people were used to either being bombarded by ads, or paying for everything, including information. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea that most “selling” done today is about content marketing and free information. This is a win/win.. it’s a lot easier and cheaper for a business to invest in a blog, SEO, or a podcast than to rely solely on paid advertising.
Even ads don’t work the same way they did in the past: Via random interruption and sheer repetition.
Even if times HAVE changed.. there is still some old mindset blocks that may be affecting us that have DEEP roots:
3. Fear, skepticism, and apathy due to old-school ideas about business, and getting burned by it.
If what you were exposed to since childhood was:
• Everything having a price tag. Every tiny little thing. Pay to read this blog, pay to start an email list, pay dearly to make an international call. Pay for the cup your coffee came in.
• Anything given away for free must have a “catch” or strings attached.
• In- your -face, talking -at- you advertising.
• Trading a service for a flat fee, placing an ad in the Yellow Pages, and hoping for the best.
• If things get desperate, resorting to deception and ripping off the customer. (as in the dishonest auto mechanic)
• Cutthroat competition instead of finding a specific niche to serve
• Email lists that are sold to companies that engage in high volume, untargeted (spam) campaigns.
• Junk Mail and telemarketers
• Price markups followed by 50% sales. Every day. (this last one is still a biggie in retail)
In other words, transactional, one way communication. Buyer vs. Seller. Sales closing tactics. Advertising trickery. I’m not a fan of those things either.
Fortunately, this is just not the way it’s done anymore, at least for service industries. Business transactions shouldn’t SUCK, after all.
I believe that our integrity as business owners is an asset too valuable to (yes) fuck with, and I think we respect our audience and customers too much to engage in some of those old school ways.
But If this is what you are exposed to all your life, not to mention being targeted for scams if you are a senior (scamming seniors is about as low as you can go as a human being) no wonder many people are not exactly excited about jumping into this whole “email marketing thing.”
Today, smart business owners and marketing professionals know that email is an important part of a healthy marketing ecosystem.
Now that we got some of the bigger myths and misconceptions about email out of the way, lets talk about how it will benefit you and help your business grow.
Because the more you are educated about email marketing, the more you’ll understand why email is so powerful and why you need to have it working for you as soon as possible.
Reasons why you need a solid email marketing plan
1. Email marketing has an impressive ROI, compared to other methods of marketing. Hands down.
Social media can be random. Paid advertising.. can be a money pit unless you know what you are doing and can invest the right amount. Print advertising and direct mail campaigns can be expensive and since they are often not well targeted, the ROI can be low.
But email? Studies show that for every dollar spent, the return is about $38-42. If you do it right.
Despite these numbers, many small business owners still hold on to negative feelings about email marketing. I get it. But it’s preventing us from taking advantage of one of the cheapest and most effective ways to market our businesses so that we can give our ideal clients and customers what they need and desire.
Just because we may not like getting certain types of emails doesn’t make email marketing any less effective. There could be a lot of baggage to dump about how we feel about email marketing, if you grew up in the era I described above.
Email, in fact, is a selective process on BOTH ends. Done right, it’s a respectful and interactive process, and is becoming even more so.
Your job is to make it feel like every email is like Christmas or one of those events where you get a COOL goodie bag.
It’s ALSO your job, as “Santa,” to deliver the RIGHT goodies to the right place. (I’ll get to that in a moment)
2. Better, controlled reach, engagement, click through rate, and conversion rate
In other words, for all the work you put into it, you actually get something in return without exhausting yourself. With social media, you don’t have much control over your narrative or who sees your content. The “shelf life” of your content is very short.
Many business owners spend a LOT of time on social media, hoping to go viral. This is not a good strategy.
This is because the focus is on getting more followers. This is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive way to get clients. It’s also frustrating because followers generally aren’t very committed to anything in particular.
Note: Some channels, which most people think of as social media (YouTube and Pinterest) aren’t really social channels, but search engines. This works well for those with an “I’m ready to buy this thing now” search intent. This is important, especially for local businesses.
However, this is a small percentage of the people that will buy from you.
Why not tap into the much bigger audience that may not buy from you today, but later?
This is where email shines. Email is about nurturing actual LEADS. Even if you have a Facebook group or YouTube channel that is doing well, you still want to turn a “follower” into a lead at some point.
The chances of someone opening your email are still much greater than the odds of having your content seen on social media. The reason? Instead of casual followers who click on everything but forget about it all the next day, leads have already allowed you into their inbox and are expecting to receive high-value messages and content from you.
The odds of them BUYING from you are also statistically higher.
This is exactly why having an email list can be far more valuable than having a huge following on social media.
Here’s some fun statistics from MailMunch:
If you have 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter – this is what you will get:
- 435 people will open your email
- 120 Facebook fans will see your message
- 40 Twitter followers will see your message
Anyone who uses Facebook to market their business knows what I mean.. even when you do everything “right” it can sometimes be a little depressing when your post reach drops to almost nothing due to algorithm changes.
It’s not just algorithms, but human behavior as well. I’ve seen people who join hundreds of Facebook group and have thousands of friends. How likely is it that they will take the time to engage with my group? Not very. I use Facebook groups to engage with people I already know are a good fit, not to find new leads.
So what about conversions? Are the people that open these emails more likely to buy than a follower on almost any social media channel? The answer again, is yes.
First, the CTR or click through rate is higher.
The conversion rate (meaning that some kind of action is taken) is almost 200% higher.
Of course, this isn’t about email vs. social media. They are both important, and they compliment each other. Social media is very, very important for the very beginning stages of the journey that you and your ideal patient or client experience together.
Most marketing professionals including the ones who specialize in SEO or social media, still recognize the value of building an asset that you actually own.. your email list.
3. “Set and Forget” Marketing and a better lead/client experience.
Some of your emails need to be sent automatically.
If you are at the stage in your business where you don’t want to “trade time for dollars” anymore, email is a non-negotiable.
Why? Because trying to do everything manually creates a complicated and messy experience both for you and your clients.
It’s absolutely false that this is an impersonal experience. Picture being a customer or client and placing an order that doesn’t get delivered, asking a question that doesn’t get answered, or generally falling through the cracks.
Automation takes care of these transactions and the need for immediate response.
Automation is also the best way to deliver the right emails at the right time to the right people, when they subscribe to our lists.
Both build trust and show that you know what you’re doing.
You are going to need a modern and elegant email marketing/contact management strategy if you want to grow your business and have time to do the things that actually move the needle in your business.. not futzing around with manually tracking every client and lead that enters your ecosystem.
This isn’t that hard to set up. In your email marketing service, it will look like a flowchart, and you set this up yourself, or have someone else do it for you. I’ll be showing you more of what this looks like in the next blog in this two part series.
4. Nurturing your leads
This is what most people think of when they think of email.
Email is still, hands down, the best way to keep in touch and build relationships over time.
Again, social media is too random. I like to think of it like relying on having to go out everyday to find the people you want to talk to, in coffee shops, cafes, and bars, hoping that you’ll see them.
Factor in that you have no control over what’s open, who shows up where, and that you can’t get their contact info!
Email is like gathering business cards and actually following up by providing useful information.
Let’s focus on those “Letters to a Friend” and why it will help you get more clients and patients.
These emails will need to be sent either manually or scheduled manually, not automatically triggered by an event like an opt-in or purchase. This is ideally done on a consistent basis, like letters from a friend. These are still called Newsletters by most of us.
The term “newsletter” is still used to describe those single emails sent to your tribe on a regular basis. (much like neon-colored gelatin desserts have become known in the U.S. as Jello)
However, those old newsletters.. the dry, boring “updates” about your business that are SO 2005, those clunky things that offer nothing educational, entertaining, or enlightening.. as in VALUE, are officially dead.
So if you are still writing monthly newsletters with generic articles, take the time to define who your ideal client, patient, guest, or customer is. Building an email list for your business can actually feel easy and natural when you do this.
I’ll be showing you how to do this in an upcoming blog.
5. Selling your stuff without having to “sell.”
According to this study, 66% of consumers have made a purchase online from email.
And let’s face it, you aren’t doing all of this business and marketing stuff just for the hell of it. If you are in business, you need to earn an income.
Not just that, but in a way that feels GOOD, not lousy or slimy.
Email, when done well and in the spirit of giving and providing value, feels good, because we get to tell our stories and geek out on the things we believe in. Not only that, we’re actually invited to one of the most sacred spaces in today’s overstimulated society: The email inbox.
As long as the message is relevant, and we do what we say we’re going to do, most people aren’t “bothered” by your emails. In fact, it’s equally considered poor form to email only sporadically. You know, that friend that only comes around once in a while when they want something from you. Don’t be that dude or gal.
Which brings us to the next reason:
6. You can really get granular with how you sort (segment) your list either with other lists, tagging, or custom fields.
Email makes this easy via segmentation, which means you can set up your system so that IF a certain person meets certain criteria (they made a purchase, clicked on a link, got a certain quiz result, or have been “sorted” in some way) THEN they will get an email (or are excluded, depending on your settings)
This sounds fancy, and although it’s tempting to assume you’ll only need bare bones basics (Think ConvertKit) you’ll likely come across a scenario in which you really DO need to send a specific email to only a subset of your entire list.
That’s why I generally recommend Active Campaign, which hits the sweet spot as far as robustness, flexibility, ease of use, affordability, and support.
7. You have an asset you actually OWN.
I’ve seen some entrepreneurs build their ENTIRE business on social media. I can’t even begin to express how this can bit you in the arse later.
Some don’t even own their own websites.. if for some reason the platform (rented space) they built their site on goes down, so does their website. On some platforms, you don’t even own your own data.
It’s smart not to put all your marketing eggs in one basket, espeically in this age when the slightest “transgression” can put you in “jail” or even deplatform you.
Nobody can take your email list from you, that you worked hard to grow and maintain.
In an upcoming blog, I’ll be showing you how easy it is to stay consistent with your newsletter, and some “set and forget” automation basics.
8. Email marketing is more stable and predictable than other marketing channels
My inbox is often flooded with messages about the latest updates from Google, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest.. the list goes on.
There’s so many changes happening so quickly that we don’t really have much control over in the end. It’s not that these channels aren’t great tools to put in your toolbox, but if there’s one takeaway message from this entire blog, is that completely relying on corporate decisions from a platform you don’t even own seems insane.
We are always going to see clickbait about how email or SEO or whatever is “dead” because these kinds of messages get clicks.
The truth is that email isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and although it’s not “sexy,” it’s one the cheapest and effective ways to market. The only major change is that now we have AI tools added as an option to most of the email marketing platforms, or we can use ChatGPT or similar tools like Jasper to generate content ideas. So it actually just got even EASIER.
Email is also a HUGE time saver because we don’t need to spend hours trying to keep up with the latest trends or Instagram algorithms or what to post on TikTok this week.
Again.. I’m not against social media. Add it in, absolutely. Find out what works for you and go for it.
But skipping email or putting it at the bottom of your priority list isn’t a great strategy.
Do yourself a favor.. start building your list, get your lead magnet and your “Set and Forget” marketing going, find an easy way to stay consistent with your newsletters (find out how in this blog) and you’ll thank yourself when your next busy season or product launch hits.
Want to know more about email marketing, with visual aids?
Level 1: Go to the next blog to learn more
Level 2: Join the Rebel Wellness Entrepreneur Membership. Not only will you find an entire “vault” of info and trainings specifically about lead generation and email makreting…
Level 3: Ready to dive in and build your first online offering? Enroll in the Future Proof Your Practice Toolkit. This course will take you from start to finish, from mindset to “tech” setup, so that you can get your first online offering out to the world QUICKY, even if you are starting from scratch.
You can click here to learn more about how I can help you get your email marketing set up.