Why You Shouldn't Procrastinate on Building an Email List

Why Build an Email List | ProductiveandFree

Do you have plans to grow your blog or scale your business?

Then you might have heard of the importance of building your email list.

It’s what all the top online marketers recommend doing (ex. Seth Godin, Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, Neil Patel, Pat Flynn, etc.) and they have very good reasons why.

But before I list some of them here for you, let me go ahead and say that yes, it’s still important even in 2018, even with the popularity of social media, and even with video as today’s “big” thing.

Now, I admit that when I first started out, I had no idea what an email list was so I didn’t start building one until months after I started my blog.

The result? I missed out on getting to know and capture hundreds, maybe thousands of visitors, readers, and followers right from the beginning, many of whom probably never returned to my site ever again.

So, here’s the deal.

Your email list of one of the most valuable assets you could have as a business owner or blogger because it’s a direct and inexpensive way for you to capture your audience, engage with them, learn more about them, keep them updated about your business, and ultimately, turn them into happy clients and customers.

And this is true whether you’re already selling products and services or you’re still planning to do so in the future, and whether you’re already “successful” on social media or you have yet to sign up on different platforms.

Here are seven reasons why you shouldn’t procrastinate on building an email list.

01. You own your email list.

It sure sounds great to have 1M subscribers on Youtube or 100,000 followers on Instagram but any marketer would advise you to be cautious about building your business on “rented land” because that’s essentially what these social media platforms are—not yours.

This means that your business would be at the mercy of their ever-changing algorithms or of new policies regarding the use and distribution of information using these platforms.

Remember #DeleteFacebook? What about when Youtube changed their monetization policies for creators? Or when Instagram suddenly changed the news feed to show only “relevant” posts instead of posts based on when they were actually published?

In stark contrast, you have more control over your email list because any message you send (or receive) is simply an exchange between you and a subscriber.

You may be sending out the same email to thousands of people at once but each person from that list will be reading your message in their email inbox, which is considered to be a personal space.

With email, you have a direct way to contact your subscribers any time you want… which they 100% consented to when they gave you their email address. This brings me to #2.

02. Your email list is essentially full of people who gave you permission to email them.

Email marketing is a form of permission marketing, a term coined by Seth Godin, which means a subscriber actually gave you the go-ahead to contact and email them the moment they typed their email address in your opt-in form.

Your marketing efforts now become powerful because they expect it. They want to know more about what you teach, sell, offer, or blog about. They trust you enough to keep receiving and opening your emails when, at any time, they could easily unsubscribe from your email list.

Compare this to advertising which is a form of interruption marketing (which literally “interrupts” a viewer’s attention) and is considered to be annoying, to have a low ROI, and to be relatively more expensive.

03. Your email list gives you data (lots of it).

Once a person gives you their email address, you know exactly what enticed them to opt in to your email list—either your checklist, challenge, community, or something else—and what page they were on when they did.

This kind of data can now tell you about your conversion rates and which pages, opt-ins, or topics a person is interested in.

Here are some examples:

If person A subscribed to get my Business Systems workbook, then he/she is interested in creating business systems.

If person B subscribed to join my Facebook community, then he/she is interested in connecting with other people looking to be more productive.

If person C subscribed to get a discount code to use in my shop, then he/she is interested in purchasing one of my digital products.

Now, once you put together data like these, you’ll see patterns which will help you monitor your progress and make better business decisions to hit (or surpass) your business goals.

Compare this now to social media where you don’t know exactly why someone followed you. Is it because of your pretty photos, relatable messaging, or unique sense of humor? And what exactly are they interested in in terms of your products or services? You won’t know unless they message you directly or comment about their interests.

04. Personalized messages = better marketing

Email marketing tools are now so sophisticated that you can input each person’s own name, tag them, and segment them based on their interests or actions.

You can even deliver different emails or email sequences as an automation trigger based on what they opted in for, what link they clicked on, or what sequence they just finished (I’m talking about Convertkit, of course!).

Whenever you deliver more personalized emails or email sequences, you’re being a better marketer.

You’re able to build relationships with your subscribers by talking to them more directly, showing them you understand them, and proving how you could help them specifically.

Compare this to social media where every post goes out to everyone. No segmentation, no personalization, and no targeted messaging (read: generic captions like “Hey, friend!”).

The same video, photo, or caption you post on social media is seen by a freelancer interested in your templates, an entrepreneur who wants to hire you as a coach, or a podcaster looking to interview you as a guest expert.

Sure, some platforms like Pinterest offer personalization (i.e. related pins) but it’s usually out of your hands. If Pinterest decides to showcase other businesses’ pins instead of your own, then you’re out of luck.

05. Email marketing helps you be productive.

With email marketing (specifically using those sophisticated tools I mentioned), you can set up automated emails and email sequences once and simply check on them regularly in the future.

This is how a lot of successful bloggers, course creators, and online business owners attract subscribers and convert them into paying customers even when they sleep, are on vacation, or are busy doing something else (read: sales funnels).

When done well, email marketing can help you build that know-like-trust factor needed to grow your business but also help you be productive (and profitable!) at the same time.

06. Email engagement rates tend to be higher.

Unless you’re a successful social media influencer with a highly engaged following, it’s pretty difficult to get followers to take action.

The average engagement rate is reportedly only 0.5 to 5% which means for every 1,000 followers, only around 50 will comment or like your post.

On the other hand, if you’re doing email marketing well, you can see higher engagement rates—an average 20-25% open rate and a 2-5% click rate depending on your industry.

07. Email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

People have been using email for decades (yes, decades!) and it’ll be around for at least a few more.

The same couldn’t be said about social media platforms though. Facebook is 14 years old, Youtube is 13, Twitter is 12, Pinterest is 9, and Instagram is 8, and who knows how these platforms will look and function in two years or what brand new platform will be invented in the next 5 years.

Next, there are also more people who have and use email than there are users of Facebook, Instagram, or some other platform. Office employees use email. Traveling freelancers use email. And everyone who has an Amazon or Netflix account uses email.

Lastly, people are also reportedly checking their emails first thing in the morning with some using their email inbox as their daily to-do list, and a study shows that people even check their emails up to 15 times a day.


Email marketing is an effective strategy to attract people and convert them into clients and customers so you shouldn’t procrastinate on building your email list.

In some ways, it’s better than social media or advertising because it’s a form of permission marketing. You also own your email list, it provides you with a lot of data, it can help you send personalized messages, and it can help you become a productive and profitable business owner. Also, email engagement tends to be higher and email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Share in the comments below: Do you have an email list of engaged subscribers? If yes, what strategies are you using to grow it? If no, what other marketing strategies are you using and what are your reasons for not yet starting?