The importance of building an email list for your business

by | marketing, online tools & resources

When it comes to building an email list for your business, like most things in life, it’s never too late to start.

Perhaps you have been running your business for years but have just never got around to it or maybe you feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin. Whatever the reason, it’s better late than never right!? If email marketing is sitting on your business to-do list but subscribers, open rates and sales funnels are all a little bit of a mystery then today’s post is for you.

Let’s dive right in and start with the basics.

The importance of building an email list for your business by sm web designs - WordPress designer

What exactly is an email list?

An email list is a collection of email addresses you have gathered via your website that you have permission to send marketing material to. In simple terms, it refers to the total number of subscribers you have.

Email lists can be built in a number of ways and might include people who have:

  • Purchased something from you
  • Subscribed via your website
  • Signed up for your product

Why is building an email list for your business important?

We all know that social media is a powerful tool for growing a profitable business with an engaged client base. But it has one big flaw – you don’t own it and therefore don’t have any control over it. Luckily though, you do have complete control of your marketing emails. They are all yours. So, even if tomorrow, Instagram completely changes their algorithm so that hardly anyone sees your posts ever again, you’ll still have an email list full of dedicated subscribers who will read your most important updates. Regardless of the platform you use, the email addresses and the consent to contact remain with you. In marketing terms, getting people to subscribe to your emails is a crucial first step in moving prospective customers into your sales funnel. And there are several reasons why email marketing is one of the most effective channels out there:

Conversion rates

It has better conversion rates than social media. In fact, studies continue to show that email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel!

Warm audience

One of the main reasons for email marketing having better conversion rates than social media is that the people on your list have actively opted to hear from you on a regular basis. They are essentially warm leads.

Build relationships

Emails are a great way of building ongoing connections with your potential/existing client base. They provide an opportunity to nurture your relationships through the medium of storytelling ( I recommend Donald Miller’s book ‘Building a StoryBrand‘ to help you nail this) and offering your audience (free) added value that will in turn lead to increased trust and confidence in your brand.

How to create a successful pre and post-launch plan for your website - use social media
Why you should start with building an email list for your business by sm https://sm-webdesigns.co.uk designs

Keep in contact

As well as helping you to maintain regular contact with your existing clients, email marketing allows you to up-sell other products in your range and promote service ‘add-ons’.


One of the best things about email marketing is that it allows you to send targeted messages out to your list via segmentation (instead of sending one mass message out to everyone). Email segmentation is an effective a way of personalising your emails to ensure what you are sending your subscribers is as relevant to them as possible (e.g. based on factors such as their geographic location, interests, purchase history, and more). 

Sounding board

Your subscribers are the perfect audience to test out new offers/services/products on before you launch to the public.

So, how do I start building my email list?

Before you can start sending out emails, you need people to send emails to. Firstly, ensure you have a banner or form on your website inviting people to subscribe. That said, simply posting ‘enter your email address for updates from us’ isn’t going to get anyone excited. Instead, you need to provide a specific call to action or offer a benefit to them for providing their email address e.g. a free download (sometimes known as a lead magnet – see my post on 10 ideas for your lead magnet). This is a proven way to start building your mailing list.

Prefer to chat things through on a call? You can book a free 30 minute call with me, so that we can discuss where you are at and get clear on exactly what your business needs from your website.

Sarah x