If there’s one thing you must do on your website, it’s this…

Build Your Email List.

No matter what kind of business you have, growing your email subscriber base should be a core goal of your online marketing efforts, second only to generating sales.

That may come as a surprise to you. After all, is email really that effective? With the rise of Facebook and social media and texting, etc, isn’t email dead? …or at the very least on its deathbed?

Au contraire!

According to the August 2011 Pew Internet Survey, email is still right up at the top of the Internet activity list. Here’s how online adults are using the Internet:

  • 92% use search engines
  • 91% use email
  • 76% get news online
  • 71% buy a product online
  • 65% use social networking sites

And of the 91% of online adults using email, 61% of them use email EVERY day. Not too shabby.

Of course, this may not be true forever. Things change. But for now, email’s still going strong. So, if you’re looking to sell stuff online, email’s gotta be a big piece of your strategy.

Why Email Is So Powerful

As I learned from Russell Brunson, you can group all Internet traffic into 3 categories:
1. Traffic you don’t control (e.g. SEO, affiliates)
2. Traffic you control (e.g. advertising)
3. Traffic you own (e.g. email)

Email is powerful because you own it. You control it.

I know it sounds weird to say that you “own” or “control” your email database. I’m not saying you own or control the people on your list. Rather, I’m suggesting that your email list is a form of media that you control (as if you owned a magazine, for example). It’s your own media.

Email vs Social Media

But what if you have 1,000 Twitter followers and 1,000 fans on Facebook. Don’t you ‘own’ your social media following, too? Isn’t that as good as email?

Well, it’s true that you do have about the same control over your social media list as your email list.  However, it’s much more straightforward to make money via email marketing.

Provided you have a reasonably sized and reasonably responsive email list, it’s pretty routine to create an email campaign that generates thousands of dollars in a matter of days.   On the other hand, I don’t know many marketers who can say the same about their ability to monetize their social media followings.

If you’re still unconvinced about the power of email marketing, just look at Groupon’s business model. OK, Groupon may not be profitable, but you can’t argue with the fact that people definitely do respond to offers via email.

Your Most Valuable Asset

Your list of customers and prospects — and, more specifically, the relationship you have with your customers — is the most valuable asset you can build.

Your email list is more valuable than any other asset in your business, including your team, your products, your intellectual property, etc.


Well, at the risk of being totally obvious, your customer list is the most valuable asset you have because your customers are the people giving you money.

Here’s an example to illustrate the point. Let’s say for some reason you lost your team and your products and all you were left with was your email database. Assuming you have a good relationship with your subscribers, you could still earn plenty of money.

Here’s how:

First, all you’d have to do is send out recommendations to your list to buy other people’s products and you could earn affiliate commissions.

Second, you could simply ask your subscribers what products they’d like to buy from you, and then go out and create those products and offer them to your subscribers.

Pretty simple stuff.

“Let’s Write a Swimming Pool”

Once your email list has grown to sufficient size and responsiveness, every time you have a new product or service, you can simply offer it to your list and earn a healthy profit.

According to Paul McCartney, when John Lennon sat down to write a new song, he’d say “Now, let’s write a swimming pool.”

In other words, because the Beatles had such a large and responsive fan base, they knew that they just need to release a new song, and the money would follow — enough money to buy a new swimming pool!

Now, those types of results don’t happen overnight. But it’s never too early to start building your email list. It’ll start small at first, but it really does snowball. So get started today!