Ssssoooo what is an email list?
If you have done enough googling to be dangerous you have probably come across something that says you need to have an email list to have a profitable and more reliable business. While I don’t think anyone should tell you THIS IS HOW TO DO IT.
They are correct in saying that having an email list important to your small farm business.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you chose to purchase a recommended product I will receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you. This helps me bring you great content every week and you can build a business and life you love.
It’s like adding a fourth leg to a table. A table can stay upright with three legs but it is far stronger with the fourth.
It’s hard to understand why you should start an email list at first because it feels like ONE MORE THING you have to do.
Let me explain why you need to start collecting email addresses then I will give you some beginner action steps to take to get you off the ground. Sound good?
Why You Want To Build An Email List As A Small Farm Business
You have heard the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” right? Meaning if you depend on one thing to keep your business afloat you will lose the whole basket of eggs. Some people have a blog and only depend on one social platform to bring them traffic. Or worse yet they have built their entire business on a social media account with no home base to direct people to.
We have seen social media platforms come and go, people get their accounts shut down, and their business is gone because they depended on someone else’s platform for their income.
Creating an email list of people who want to hear from you is one more step to taking your business reliance OFF of someone else’s platform.
You can send emails to people just to talk about what is going on, share a new post you wrote, or even share a product you love and make affiliate income.
Thankfully there are plenty of options out there that have a free option when it comes to choosing an email service tool. (more on that later)
Some People Prefer Emails
Not everyone likes to be on social media such as Facebook or Instagram and even some even prefers to read emails over being on social. This is not a “hate on social media” post but for most people, it is not a relaxing place to be and even stressful at times. But in an email, people know what to expect.
They aren’t going to scroll through and get a blast of noise scaring them half to death.
What Experts are Saying About Building an Email List?
What Experts are Saying About Building an Email List?
Don’t take just our word for it, listen to what all top marketing experts are saying about email marketing:
– Neil Patel – Crazy Egg and QuickSprout Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort.
– Joe Pulizzi – Founder Content Marketing Institute If you’re not building an email list, you’re making a HUGE mistake.
– Derek Halpern – Founder Social Triggers Email is the most predictable driver of growth and sales in our business. I prefer email marketing over all other traffic channels.
– Syed Balkhi – Founder WPBeginner Many expert marketers say their biggest mistake was not building an email list when they first started out.
How To Get Them On Your Email List
You can have a box that says “sign up for my newsletter” but that rarely is enough.
You need to have an opt-in (sometimes called a freebie or incentive) or something the person will get in return for their email address.
Something that will give them a quick win but not take them too much time to do.
For DIY blogs you can do something like a free pattern or5 easy holiday crafts.5 thanksgiving recipes that are a must.How to organize XYZ… You get the idea.
Don’t want to forget this information? Save it to your favorite Pinterest board with the image below so you can find it later.
Choosing An Email Service Provider
There are tons of email marketing services out there. Often beginners use the free option to save cost, which is understandable. However, some of these free platforms are not the best. Why? Some platforms mislabel themselves as “email marketing service” when in reality all they offer is free blog subscription via email. This allows your users to receive an email update every time you publish a new blog post. (wpbeginner.com)
But that’s not true email marketing. Here are some of the downsides of using a free blog notification service: You can’t personalize the email message. It will be delivered in the same format often with no branding or personalization. You can’t categorize subscribers by interests, demographics, or content type. There is no reporting. You don’t know how many people got the email, what percentage of users opened it, and how many of them clicked on your links. (wpbeginner.com)
Choosing an email marketing service can be hard. There are a lot of factors that play into which one you should use. There are only a few that I would recommend and the one at the top of my list is ConvertKit.
I am a rebellious type. I have to see it for myself to believe the hype. People talk about ConvertKit a looottt and sometimes you think it’s just to get an affiliate commission. But here is what I have noticed after trying at least 5 different email tools.
Pretty Is Great But It Doesn’t Win The Battle
For some niches, maybe. But most people don’t care as much was we think.
BUT looking pretty doesn’t get you into people’s inboxes and your emails opened. There is too much code making your emails heavy and putting them into spam or the promotions tab which is just as bad because people don’t really know that one exists either.
Pretty ESPs rarely focus on the right tools.
My major complaint is they don’t integrate with much of anything. Making it extremely hard to segment out people who buy your products or have already been customers. (So you don’t try to sell them something they have already bought)… but when you are trying to grow as a blogger and not simply collect email addresses for your online services. That’s a problem.
My Email Marketing Service Test
When I was stressing over whether or not to leave Flodesk over the fact that the pretty elements of Flodesk ended up putting people into the promotions tab about 50% of the time.
I set up a test email account. I went around and signed up for several email lists of people I knew used Flodesk as well as a few others. I wanted to see where people would end up in a fresh Gmail account that had no modifications in it.
There were bloggers and business owners lists I signed up for who use Flodesk, Mail Chimp, Convert Kit, InfustionSoft, and a few others. MailChimp, hands down ended up in the promotions tab the most.
Flodesk was second just like I thought.
And ConvertKit users when in the main inbox 99% of the time. Now of course there are factors that will affect that but the common theme of people in the main inbox in that test email address were using CK.
I say all that to say this.
There is a reason ConvertKit is at the top. If you want to create a free account here you can give them a spin.
Email Systems Work For You
That is the beauty of automation. You can schedule one email or a series of emails to go out at any given time based off of and action someone takes.
Selling With Email
To get people to buy from you, they need to know like, and trust you. They don’t learn to trust you unless they are exposed to you for a long time and often.
When they are willing to give you their email address they have taken a small step closer to trusting you. You can build on that trust by sharing lots of value through your emails.
With email you talk to them and share your life. What you are struggling with. Projects you are excited about. You need to talk to these people like they are your best friend.
Every business owner big or small needs a nurture sequence which is a set of emails in an email provider like ConvertKit set up to automatically be sent to a subscriber at a certain time.
Your subscribers will become familiar with who you are and what you do. If they don’t unsubscribe in the first few days or weeks. (don’t feel bad if this happens this happens to all of us) they will want to hear more about what you do.
Once they grow to love what you do and the way you teach. You can through email, tell them about the occasional product for them to buy. They might not always buy your product but you just brought awareness to what you do have. Your subscribers will think of you down the road when they need what you are offering and be ready the next time you offer your product.
When selling you should remember the 80/20 rule. Give 80% value and 20% sales pitch. People do not want to be sold to on a regular basis and they are getting quite good at ignoring it.
That does not mean you should never sell to your list. You just have to give them time to like you so much they will want to buy your stuff. Once your readers grow to know you and have gotten value from what you know. They will want to buy your stuff.
If your paid offers are not right for them but they still like hearing from you then they will be ok with you offering products even if they don’t buy. The ones that don’t will unsubscribe and that’s ok. Those people were not right for your business.
It might feel soul-crushing at first but your list will grow and an unsubscribe will be a blessing because you are not paying for them to be on your email list service. Just give it time.
Even if you don’t have anything to sell to them right now start collecting emails and building a relationship with your readers. And that is honestly the best time because you will share your heart with them honestly without any ulterior motive.
Send emails every week to your list is best but if you can’t manage that then try to do it often enough that they don’t see your email come through and they have to try to remember who you are.
And email list will help you build a closer relationship to the people who are in your circle. Whether they buy produce, animals, or order from you online. You can use it as a notification tool or even share affiliate products to earn extra income for your small farm.
Got more questions? Drop them in the comments below.