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Your website matters.

Your LinkedIn account matters.

But your email list is the lifeblood of your business.

It’s where prospects become leads, and leads become clients, and clients become advocates.

And yet most professional service firms dramatically underestimate the value of their email lists. They aren’t nearly aggressive enough with building the list, they cobble together bland newsletters blasted to everyone regardless of their level of interest. They don’t use it as the strategic tool it can be.

Your email list is more important than your website.

Think about how you use the internet, and specifically how you build relationships with vendors in your own life.

It’s highly unlikely you go to their website every week. You most likely go there once or twice. You arrived at the website either from organic search results, a post on social media, or from a paid ad. Or you already were talking with them and wanted to vet them to make sure they are legit.

You aren’t going back again and again.

But if I give you my email address, you now have permission to build a relationship with me over time. I can get your emails every week or month or quarter, again and again.

There’s an idea in psychology called the “mere exposure effect”. The more touch points I have with you, the more likely I am to build trust and affinity with you over time.

It’s much more likely you can provide these touch points through email than your website.

That doesn’t mean your website doesn’t matter. The website is how most of these people get onto your list in the first place. And it’s the property they share with others on their team when you enter the decision set for a potential engagement.

But at a minimum investing in email will increase the % of people who go from prospect to potential engagement.

Your email list is more important than your social presence.

This might sound odd, given how much we utilize organic social and particularly LinkedIn in our Authority Marketing system. But the reason your email matters more is because you control it.

LinkedIn and other platforms are algorithmic channels. They don’t care about showing your message to your customer, they care about maximizing time on their site. Whatever content accomplishes that goal they’ll promote.

And as they learn they can make major changes to the algorithm - what works today might not work next year.

Facebook was a famous example of this. Their organic reach used to be massive - if you could get fans to your business page, the content you shared would reach a meaningful percentage of that audience.

But as they continued to grow, they started diminishing the organic reach of your posts. It eventually become a “pay to play” situation where you had to boost your business posts to get them seen by the audience you’d already acquired.

Your email list, on the other hand, will never get penalized by an algorithm. As long as your list is authentic, subscribers have legitimately opted in, and you aren’t sending spammy content, email platforms will send your emails to everyone on your list.

Invest in email.

Given this, it’s critical to be more strategic with email. This means:

  • Thinking of every page on your website as a vehicle for building your list.
  • Creating valuable content upgrades or lead magnets to get people to raise their hands.
  • Investing in deliverability to make sure prospects receive your emails.
  • Cleaning your list regularly.
  • Segmenting your emails by pain point.
  • Being smart about A/B testing to maximizing open and clickthrough rates.
  • Thinking through what you can offer via email to move them further in the client journey.
  • Consider creating partner-specific newsletters using The Madison System to build trust and affinity at the partner level.

Email is your most valuable asset. Treat it that way.