Why aren't you selling to your email list?
If you have an email list and you aren't selling directly to them, you are losing revenue that would otherwise end up in your pocket.
People sign up for your email list because they want to hear from you. Plain and simple. They like your business and are expressing an interest in hearing more from you.
Now, at this junction you have two options. Fulfill their desires and communicate with them...or just leave those people alone (despite their request to hear from you) and do nothing.
Let's look at this through the lens of restaurants. I've joined email lists for a few local restaurants in the last couple years. I did it because I was interested to know if they'd keep me updated about food/drink specials and events (like trivia night, I LOVE trivia).
What I found was disappointing. 100% of those restaurants sent me inconsistent communication and when they did email me it was for something I didn't care about. The emails were about some obscure sporting event viewing at the restaurant. That might work for a small segment of the email list, but in general it likely failed.
Putting local restaurants aside, let's look at a national chain. Moe's Southwest Grill is TERRIBLE at email marketing.
You might be surprised that such a well known chain does something poorly. I like Moe's a lot. I enjoy the food and would rather eat there than Chipotle (don't @ me).
But their email marketing is the worst. I'm not even sure it deserves to be called that.
As a customer, why would you ever sign up to receive emails from Moe’s? I did it out of curiosity as a marketer. But for the average person, what would compel you to sign up?
Maybe you’re interested in new menu additions or seasonal salsas. That’s fair, but that’s likely a small segment of people.
The majority of people who sign up for an email list like Moe's are looking for one thing. Discounts.
They want coupons for a free side of queso. They want BOGO burritos. They want a free small drink with the purchase of a meal. Honestly, anything that saves them a dollar or two.
I’ve been on Moe's email list for years and I finally had to unsubscribe. As a marketer, I just couldn’t handle how pitiful the emails were and because it was painful knowing how much revenue they were leaving on the table with each email.
Their emails have nothing compelling.
No good stories to draw us in and make us hungry. No videos of food looking delicious and drawing us in. Typically their emails a brief, matter-of-fact headline, a photo (the photos look fine, but aren't anything special), a brief description of what's in the photo, and a weak call-to-action.
No personality (which is crazy because that's what the brand is kind of known for - "WELCOME TO MOE'S"). No compelling language or stories. And a bland button that says, "ORDER NOW."
What if instead Moe's personalized these emails by talking TO people instead of AT them?
What if they offered up a $1 or $2 off coupon when you show the email at the restaurant?
Maybe I'm wrong and these emails do generate some business for them, but I guarantee with the simple addition of a discount, or maybe even some glimmer of a personality or soul these emails could be driving 2-3x the revenue at Moe's locations all over.
So that leads me to my next question. If Moe's is missing out on this kind of revenue, how much money is your business leaving on the table?
If people volunteer to receive updates from you, it's your job to keep them updated and to then sell to them.
They’re asking you to do it!
A lot of small businesses will say they just don’t have the resources. They don’t know what to do or where to start or what platform to use or what message to write or how to track the results.
But there’s good news. There ARE people who know how to do it.
I’ve personally written, sent, and designed email campaigns that have generated thousands in revenue.
All from words on a screen.
Maybe it's time to revisit that Mailchimp account you forgot about and see what kind of trouble you can stir up.