What’s an email list and why do you need it?

So you’ve heard a few successful entrepreneurs recommend building an email list. Okay, more than a few.

Dale Sidebottom, the PE Teacher. Carla and Emma Papas, the Merrymaker Sisters. Jocelyn Sams of Elementary Librarian. And the online science guru, Bethany Lau. Just a few of many teacherpreneurs strongly in favour of the good old fashioned mailing list.

So now you’re wondering, what’s the big deal anyway?

Because emails have been around for longer than Facebook. They’re simpler to use than Twitter. And even your sweet old Grammy knows how to send one.

The thing is, email lists paired with modern day technologies make for one hell of a marketing tool that’ll help you make more money as a teacher. And here’s why.

From Mailing List To Marketing Magic

You might be surprised how many advantages email marketing has over other, more ‘modern’ or complex forms of marketing.

Here are 5 benefits, and a few stats, on email marketing to show you why.

Benefit #1 – Time and Cost Savings

Emails are easy and cheap to set up. And automation has made them even easier.

You don’t need employees, offices, or even stationary to send an automated email. You can use a laptop, from anywhere (including the comfort of your couch), and set up emails at a pre-specified date and time to reach people all over the world .

Newsletters, invites, offers and other cool information can be sent to your customers frequently, and at just the right moment. Because timing, is everything.

Email marketing is the type of marketing you can do exactly when you want, as often as you want. With a click of a button and a well planned mailing schedule, you can send thousands of customers interesting information when they need it most.

Got excess stock that you need to bolt? No problem. A quick promotional email to your mailing list could get you a few sales that very same day. Especially given that 70% of people open their emails hoping to find a special or discount.

Benefit #2 – Market Testing

Some of the best opinions to inform the future of your business will come from existing customers or people who’ve expressed interest in your offering before.

So, when you’ve got them all on a mailing list, you’re winning.

Send them a survey about current, new or pipeline products and services and let them tell you what they want most. Here are a few tips for effective market testing.

Benefit #3 – Measurable and Informative

Nobody wants to be accused of sending boring, spam-worthy or annoying emails. Want to make sure your emails are providing your customers with valuable information?

Well, email marketing may just provide you with some of the best marketing feedback you’ll ever get. Email analytics will give you a wealth of useful information you probably won’t find through other marketing channels.

With email marketing you can keep close track of the number of clicks, which links get clicked most, the number of unsubscribes, complaints and spam reporters, and so much more.

This will help you to figure out which subject lines, customer segments, and email content are most effective in appealing to your customers. You’ll be able to measure the return on your email marketing investment, user engagement and source of sales to make sure you make smart, effective marketing decisions.  

Benefit #4 – Getting Personal

Customer relationship management is important for every business out there. And the way to keep strong, ongoing relationships with your customers is by offering a personalised touch.

Mass emails serve their purpose, of course, but sometimes you need to tailor your approach. Especially in the age of mass customization. And email marketing allows you to do just this.

By something as simple as tailoring your subject line, your readers will be 26% more likely to open the email. You can also segment your lists by gender, location, or any other available characteristics to make sure you’re sending your customers information that’s relevant to them.

Auto syncing with Facebook is another great way of combining your mailing list with custom audiences.

 

Benefit #5 – Making Sales

And then of course there’s the primary benefit, the reason you’re in business… making sales.

You’d agree that forwarding on an email to a friend who you think might be interested is so much easier than posting a magazine cut-out. How many people even use hardcopy magazines anymore? Or scissors!

When done right, emails to your target market can boost your brand reputation, and spread the word about the products and services you’re offering. This leads to more product orders, more subscriptions, and more demand for your services.

All achieved with a simple, cheap and effective approach known as email marketing.

In the words of flipped learning innovator, Carl Condliffe,

“A blossoming email list is a powerful tool for converting sales.”

Creating Your Own Email List and Marketing Campaign

So, you’re convinced. And you want in.

Now you need to get started on creating your very own mailing list and setting up your marketing campaign. Your first move is to collect those email addresses, both through your personal networks, and through email subscriptions when customers sign up for your free products or information.

If you’re looking for some help, check out these top 15 marketing campaigns in 2016, or this beginners guide to successful email marketing.

As a beginner, MailChimp, GetResponse or one of many other email marketing softwares can be an easy way to get started. ConvertKit is particularly recommended for professional bloggers.

And for those of you who are a little more experienced in email marketing, we use Active Campaign for all of our Teacherpreneur email marketing automation and CRM.

If you’d like to surround yourself with an intermediate to advanced community for teacherpreneurs, including some of the teachers mentioned in this blog post, join the Teacherpreneur Academy Facebook Group to take your Education Business to the next level.