Why Building your Email List Should be a Top Conversion Activity


Today you’re going to learn about why list building (email list building specifically) is an absolute must activity for your business, and you’ll learn how to boost you list building efforts. So sit back and enjoy.

So why is it that list building should take top priority? And why is it that they say ‘The money is in the list’?

Well by intuition, you just need a way to contact people predictably, if you want to grow. Customers don't stick around, they are mostly in a rush, they mostly can't make a purchase from the first visit, we all know that because we’re all customers our selves. 

You likely have competitors, and your customers will be smart enough to shop around before making a decision. You simply cannot afford to lose them after they leave, and hope that they will come back again.

You worked hard to get that customer to visit you in the first place, it is smart to continue your efforts enticing them to come back.

You see it when you visit a brick and mortar retailer, they usually ask you for your email when you checkout, usually offering you an incentive.

Experian concluded from research that Every dollar spent on email marketing offers a return of $44.

Wow, that is over 40x return. It is well worth the investment to maximise your list building efforts without a doubt.

Look at how this compares to other channels, referenced from Adobe’s research:

  • $7.30 from Catalogs
  • $22.24 from SEO
  • $19.72 from Internet Displays
  • $10.51 from mobile
  • $17 from keyword ads
  • $2 from banner ads

Now that the numbers show us that email should be top priority, let’s have a look at what that might be?

Why is it that every dollar spent on email marketing offers $44 in return?


Email is personal

Email is personal

Well first off, email is Personal. Picture this, you’re on a plane, and you’re about to land. The steward offers you a landing card. On the card, they ask you for your email address. Your email forms part of your identity. They don’t ask you for your Snapchat QR code or Facebook profile address, Your email is truly personal.


So if they ask you for your email at your airport, they are fairly confident that the vast majority of people will have an email address.  So should you, the vast majority of your customers will have an email address.

The only other equivalent form of contact that everyone knows about is a phone number; more on that later.

Because email is a protocol, i.e. it’s not controlled by one company that sets the rules, you can track email activity.

You can track if your customers have opened or clicked on an email link. You are not left in the dark as to how customers are interacting with your emails, and how you can improve on them.

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An email has a subject line. Why does that matter?

Titles in general are make or break for many  content pieces. With email you get to draw your customer to the content with a good, attention grabbing title. It's difficult to do so with Messaging or social media posts, where you are competing with other elements on the page for the customer’s attention.

The first content a customer sees when they access their email account is essentially a list of subject lines, no other distractions.

Then when a customer clicks on your email, all they get is your email. it's not displayed amongst other forms for content.

Unlike social media, you are not sharing real estate with anyone else, especially when it comes to acquiring new customers and their attention.

Social media certainly has it’s unique uses. To date, nothing comes close to the effectiveness of email conversion rates.

This is to the extent that McKinsey concluded that Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter (source: Campaign monitor).

Ok so that all sounds great, but email has been around for such a long time, and technology changes quickly, shouldn't you be investing on novel ways to contact customers? It is only a matter of time before other channels to the customer overtake email in it effectiveness, right?

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Well, email is hard to replace

Here’s why:   

  • You sign in to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with email. Email and password is the way you access your services. So we all need one.
  • Newer technologies are different to email, they don’t necessarily replace it.
  • There is even a chance that as we see new tech, this makes email even more valuable; because most new tech requires an email to access, and as things like Messaging take some the load from email, it is believed that this makes email even more valuable as a channel.
  • Unlike Social Media channels, no one owns email, it's a protocol Nevertheless, the way you access your email may well evolve in the future. For example have you heard of Alexa, from Amazon. Alexa is a home robot that talks to you. One day, it may read your emails for you, or pings you when you have a new email. But guess what, this will require you to have an email address.

Like websites, email is here to stay for a long time.

Ok so now we know about the importance of building that email list for your business,  what do we do with that list? What do we send our customers?

A Principle in Email Marketing

The overarching principle here is to provide continuous value, and appeal to your customer's wants and needs.

So if you run an ecommerce store you can send your customers special offers. And what would be even more effective for your customer is if you can send them relevant offers.

Recent Email marketing technology makes this easy. You can send customers different emails based on activities they have performed on your site. What sets Gather apart for example is that when a customer signups through Gather, you get to know which page they were looking at at the time, for example you’ll be able to understand which products they are interested in, which will help you send them more relevant emails that they can respond to better.

This is the same with content. If you know your customer is interested in a certain aspects of your website or store (certain product collections for example), you can send them content on that particular part of your business. Naturally your business exists to improve your customer’s life or work. Give them content on how to improve their work or life and how they can do that through your products or services.

This is the type of material that makes your customers feel special. They have signed up to become part of your in-crowd. Send the exclusive engagements that only the subscribers will get. This is the behavioural principle of scarcity at work, showing your customers that if they signup they will receive scarce offers only available for subscribers will give them good reason to do so.

Here’s some ideas for exclusive engagements to get you started:

  •     the chance to get a makeover if you are an beauty shop
  •     first in line for your book signing if you’re an author
  •     the chance to meet some of your influencer partners
  •     the chance to win an ‘I will cook for you for one night’ if you are a chef

You get the idea. These are engagements you can provide without extra inventory, all you're  doing is leveraging your existing brand pull.


OK, so now we have covered the ideas, in the next instalment, we’ll look at some of the ways you can grow your email list, we’ll have a look at some of the methods of doing so, and some of the tools that would save you time and effort in doing so.

 Before you go, there is a bit of prep to do, if you don't mind, before the next instalment. This will  help you plan how to use Gather in a way that is suitable for your particular business.

And here’s your link to get started with Gather, in the meantime. I suggest you start with the email optin campaigns, before looking into referrals.

If you get stuck or need help, please let us know. As we eluded to above, we about your success. Email us on hello@gathercustomers.com.

If you have already signed up to Gather, you will receive the next instalment in your inbox.

Until the next instalment, have a great week.

Founder, Gather.