With social media dominating the marketing landscape in recent years, I’ve heard more and more people ask whether growing an email list is still necessary. If you’re already putting a lot of time and energy into growing your platform on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, is it worth putting effort into growing an email list, too?

My answer: Yes. Absolutely it is. Having an email list is an important part of growing any business.

It is true that there have been a lot of recent changes to the email marketing game. New privacy rules and updates have made tracking open rates and click-through rates a lot less reliable than they used to be. We’ve also heard discussions for what seems like a decade now about how email is going to die away in the near future, but so far that hasn’t happened. Email continues to be an essential part of our lives and I think everybody needs an email list if they are trying to grow and build a business, particularly online.

Let’s talk about three reasons why.

1. You own your list.

The number one reason for having an email list is that you own that list. When you collect the names and email addresses of your audience you’re then able to take that list with you wherever you go. If you switch from Convert Kit to Active Campaign, you get to export your email list and take it with you. No one’s going to take that from you. 

The same thing can’t be said for social media platforms, which are essentially rented space. I’ve seen so many different clients and colleagues of mine lose access, temporarily or permanently, to their Instagram or Facebook accounts, for a variety of reasons, and if that happens it can be a huge setback if you don’t have another way to communicate with your audience. If you are in the middle of a launch and your social media account gets hacked or cut off because you accidentally violated a community guideline, it can be disastrous if your only real way to communicate with your people was that platform. 

On the other hand, if you have been growing your email list, you are in a great position to pivot if you unexpectedly find yourself disconnected from your social media audience. I had a client that was getting ready for a launch when she suddenly lost access to her Instagram account of 150,000 followers. Because we had been working on building her email list, however, and connecting her Instagram followers to her there as well, her launch was still successful. Maybe her launch wasn’t as big as it would have been if she had access to all of her channels, but it was still a success because she had put in the work to grow her email list.

2. You need multiple marketing channels

Email shouldn’t just be your backup plan, however. Communicating with your audience through multiple channels gives you more opportunities to build relationships with a larger variety of potential clients and customers. Some of your potential audience might never (or very rarely) engage with social media, so adding additional ways to connect with them is a smart way to grow your business.

I also love having the ability to talk to people in different ways. I love showing up and talking to people on Lives and in Stories, and being able to communicate that way, but I also love writing. Sometimes email also feels like a space we can be a little bit more open and casual, which can be an important part of building those client relationships.

3. Email CONVERTS.

Even though we can’t track open rates and click-through rates like we used to, we still know people are buying from us through emails because we can actually see it happening in real time. I can see that when I sent an email out and quickly get five new sales that those two actions are directly tied. Even if I cannot see the data anymore, we know that the data was there because we can see the results of it. Email is so important because it’s still working. Email converts. Period.

Email is also often an easier way to get links to your audience. If I’m talking to you on Instagram Live and I tell you that I have a List Building Funnel Toolkit that would help you with growing and building your email list, I have followed it up by directing you to a link in my bio. I can’t easily give you access to that link. But in an email, I absolutely can. I can hyperlink it all throughout the email, giving you multiple chances to click on it and go ahead and buy that offer from me. 

Email makes it easier to convert. It makes it much easier to get people to actually sign up, say yes, join your webinar, or whatever that looks like for you. Even if we’re not able to see it quite as clearly as we used to, it still has much higher conversion rates than social media.

In my next post, I’ll talk more about what an email list actually is, and how you go about growing one. If you don’t want to wait, I have a FREE list-building funnel challenge coming up soon that will help you learn more about growing and building an email list. Click here to join.