This past year in 2014, I had the privilege of attending Marie Forleo’s B-School. It was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to start an online business. Not only does Marie’s witty and enthusiastic personality make the eight week course fly by but the amount of resources and business tips that you receive make the price of the course well worth it within the first week. I will definitely be attending again this year and I can’t wait!

One lesson that Marie shared with B-Schoolers that really stuck with me and that I think is valuable to share with you is the importance of having and building an opt-in email list. Here are 5 reasons why you should have and actively grow an opt- in email list database and if you don’t have one then why you should create one NOW!

Here are 5 reasons why an opt- in email list is SO important to your business:

1. If people opt in to receive your information or find out more about what you have to offer, you are half way there to making the sale. They are asking YOU for more information so take advantage of that. If you don’t have a place on your website where a potential customer can sign up to stay in touch with you then you are just letting your captive audience walk away!

2. You OWN your list. It’s great to have a really big following on one or all of the popular Social Media outlets these days but what happens to your connections if that Social Media platform suddenly shuts down? Basically you are out of luck…you have just lost all of those connections with no way to contact them.

3. You can give your potential customers something of value. Your are the expert and the more information that you can give away to your followers for free the more you develop a relationship with them and the more you will become the trusted resource that they will turn to when they need an expert in your field. Also, we all know that everyone loves getting something for free and when you set up your opt in list you can set it up so they will receive a free gift just for signing up! It doesn’t have to be anything huge. It could be as simple as a PDF or a screen saver or an mp3…anything that would give them some more information and leave them feeling good and excited about signing up.

4. You don’t want your clients to forget about you! We all have very busy lives and seem to jump from one thing to another extremely quickly these days so the more you can find a way to have your name stick in your clients minds the better. An opt-in email list offers just that. Now you don’t want to overwhelm or become annoying to your clients because then they will either opt-out or mark you as spam  but… you do want to consistently be on their mind so if they need a service that you provide then it’s your name who pops into their head to turn to. Knowing your client is key to setting up a delivery schedule that will work for them whether it’s daily, weekly or bi-weekly. As long as you are consistent in the frequency in which you send it you will build a relationship with your client and that is key!

5. Opt-in email lists offer a lot of track-ability! When you manage your opt-in list you can really see what is working for your business and what’s not. You can see who opened your email, when they opened it, how many times, what links they clicked on and if they shared it with their friends. Paying attention to your open rates etc. is a really easy way to see what your clients want and what they are interested in and to help you tailor your future campaigns to their needs.

There are several email marketing providers out there, all offering similar tracking capabilities and features such as premade templates and customized opt-ins and buttons but I really like and recommend to my clients Mail Chimp. It is free to set up and use until you have reached 2000 subscribers which really is a lot of clients in your tribe. It is also very user friendly and offers a double opt-in so it’s delivery rates are very good….if you are putting the effort into sending out emails you want to make sure your recipients are receiving them.

Whether you have already started creating your opt-in email database and want to grow it or you are ready to get started setting one up, I am here to help and can be as involved in the process as you would like from setting it up the account and templates for you to totally managing and creating your campaigns for you.

Contact me here to talk about your email marketing and options and start growing your business right now!