So many entrepreneurs focus all of their time and energy on leveraging social media. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great way to build a following, but time after time I see people fail to use the most powerful tool for building a business: email. It may surprise you, but email outperforms social media platforms when it comes to attracting new people and converting existing ones. I simply can’t overemphasize the importance of building an email list.

Benefits of an Email List

Email is effective.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing sees an average 4300% return on investment (ROI) for U.S. businesses. And since subscribers joined your email list from your website by clicking on a link, you know they are interested in what you have to offer. This is why they are more likely to convert into paying customers. 

Your followers asked to be there.

Social media and podcasts reach the masses. But what makes email special is that people on your list asked to be there. Because of this, they won’t simply scroll past your message.

You can pitch multiple products or services in email.

A carefully designed email will reach the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. You can customize email lists based on your audience’s preferences to make sure they always receive the most meaningful content.

You can relate to your customers through personalized emails.

Email allows you to engage with your audience in a creative, personalized way that blog posts or tweets simply can’t. It provides a creative outlet to prove that you understand a prospect’s problem and offer a solution. Basically, it gives you the opportunity to engage with a prospect and prove your relevancy.

Email allows you to talk directly to your listeners.

Email gives you direct communication with someone, much like receiving a piece of mail. One of the first things many people do first thing in the morning is check their email. When you communicate through various social media platforms, you put yourself at the mercy of them allowing you to talk to your customers. Conversely, an email goes directly to your customers’ inboxes. It is the most scalable way to make sales with new customers and build relationship with existing customers.

Your email list belongs to you.

When you build an email list, it’s yours. And that means you are in control. Compare this to Facebook, where you depend on an ever-changing algorithm to get your posts seen. At any time, they can decrease your reach with your fans to encourage businesses to pay for ads. You don’t have these restrictions when a person has granted you permission to send them useful emails.

Email is targeted.

Sending emails to announce sales, new blog posts, or events is a fail-safe way to keep your customers in the know. And the best part is, they signed up for your email list because they actually want this information. You can reach your most valuable customers with relevant information they care about.

Email can help build trust with your audience.

Since an email message goes directly to a person, it feels more personal. Some people will not comment on a public timeline or newsfeed for all the world to see. But they may feel more comfortable replying to an email knowing that someone will read and acknowledge their message.

How to Build Your Email List

Calls to Action (CTA)

Strategically place CTA buttons to subscribe on every landing page on your website.


Create a fun weekly or monthly email newsletter, and post about it on social media accounts.


Everyone loves entering to win free stuff. Announce a giveaway on social media and your website, but specify that people can only enter through email: “Subscribe now to enter the giveaway!”


Offer a free service or downloadable resource in exchange for an email address. Another option is to offer a discount code for products or services when someone provides their email address.

Pop-Up Images

Place images that pop-up or slide-in on all your landing pages. Don’t rely on people to search for a way to subscribe. You have to ask them to sign up.


Describe what visitors will get when they subscribe to your emails. Give sneak peeks of great content or email-only opportunities.

You may also want to check out this post for 30 Days of Social Media Posts. Ready to take your business to the next level? Join Brand Strategies Lab.