Should I have a mailing list?
One of the big questions many of our website clients ask is, “Should I have a mailing list?” Not like a snail mail mailing list…an email mailing list! There are insane amounts of benefits that can come from a mailing list, so our answer is always a resounding yes!
Why Having A Mailing List Is A Good Idea
It’s true that a little organization goes a long way in business. Even more so, we think, with an email list for your potential & current customers or subscribers!
I remember when we first set up our own website that we were divided internally on whether or not we even needed an email list. We decided to create one on the off chance that it would be useful for our clients in the future. It’s a very good thing that we did!
As our offerings have developed more sophistication over the years and we’ve been able to automate certain parts of our processes, it’s been very handy to let our subscribers know about new products & sales on our listings.
Should I Use a Service?
So, why wouldn’t you just set up an email list & handle it yourself, rather than use a mailing service like Mailchimp?
The answer is simple: it’s a pain & a little messy to try to send all those emails yourself. There are also limitations that email providers have on how many emails you can send per message/hour/day. If you send too many, you run the risk of getting your email account labeled as spam – that’s just no fun.
Mailchimp & services like it (Mad Mimi, Mailer Lite, Constant Contact) have structured their business around this & other factors like laws similar to CAN-SPAM to tick the box on a few pretty important things like:
- Ensuring that your message is promptly & efficiently delivered to your thousands of recipients
- Keeping you compliant with laws – laws that change all the time (looking at you, GDPR)
- Cleaning out people from your list automatically so you don’t have to – these would be folks who opt out, never open anything, gave an incorrect email address, etc.
- Providing reports on how well your email campaign performed
- And a whole lot more, depending on your mailing service & level of membership
Automation Using Your Mailing List
So, we’ve established that your mailing list is a really effective way to stay in touch with people, and that it keeps you compliant with shifting legal requirements. If that’s not enough, consider this – you’re one person (at least at the beginning) and you really do need to take advantage of all you can to lighten the workload. Mailchimp, in particular, can do a fabulous job of automating certain things for an eCommerce site.
Let’s say that you have a website selling wine, and you’re doing all sorts of innovative things at your winery. You’re super busy, but you’re so passionate about your high-quality products that you really want to share information about it with your clientele. So you set up a list, now called an audience, in Mailchimp for your general wine knowledge campaign. Wine lovers from all over subscribe to your list.
The associated email campaign that you’ve created for this audience is what’s called a “drip campaign,” which is an automated series of emails that get sent out. You would have created these emails in your campaign on Mailchimp. Then, you can set when they’re supposed to go out once. After that, they go out to each person who subscribes like clockwork…all tailored to the schedule of when each person signed up, so everyone doesn’t get the same email at the same time. After a few emails, there’s an opportunity for your audience members to add themselves to another drip campaign that you’ve set up to identify people who are just as enthusiastic about your wine as you are. That begins to help you identify your most loyal customers & serve them what they want & help you run a thriving business.
Abandoned Carts & Social Hour
Mailchimp, as the example we’re using here, can also help you out with your cart abandonment rate. When someone comes to your site and they load up that digital shopping cart, & then leave it by the “register,” Mailchimp can send them a reminder. Basically, you’re banking on the chance that they either got distracted and forgot, or were researching where they wanted to purchase, then got distracted, maybe had a glass of wine (?!) & forgot. The abandoned cart email can help bring them back to complete the transaction.
You can also tie Mailchimp in with your social media accounts & run campaigns there, which gives you a potentially much larger reach than just your 23,534 mailing list subscribers. Each eCommerce business is different than the next & they each have their own niche that they serve, but this is a potentially great way to do help expand that reach.
What Can The Mailing List Do For Your Future Business Possibilities?
So it happens that one day you might have a big, fat investor come along & like your business so much that they make an offer to buy you out. You hadn’t considered it until that moment so you say, “Okay, let me think about it & get back to you.”
You try to finish your work day and start looking at numbers. You talk with your partner (&/or significant other, hopefully) about the offer, and you decide the offer’s a fair one. You get back in touch with investor McMoneybags & say, “I like the offer & I’d like to continue with the sale offer.”
They say great & you two begin drawing up the agreement. A little bit into it, you mention, “By the way, we also have a mailing list of 35,768 people that we’ve been building for the past 15 years for this company. These are all people who have purchased repeatedly from us & every mailer we send out, we make at least $9,500. If you’d like to have that mailing list, we need to discuss terms for it, as well.” And the offer goes up significantly – or you end up with a nice marketing gig to rely on after your sale of business. 🙂
On our side of things, we make sure to integrate the mailing service of your choice on your website when you hire us to design your website! Need a little website help? Or maybe some mailing service help? We’d be thrilled to assist you, so please drop us a line!