I was recently a guest on a new podcast from the team at Systeme.io, called From Zero To Launch. You can listen in to the interview below.

It’s been interesting to watch the Systeme platform grow in popularity. I had Aurelien Amacker, the founder of Systeme, on my podcast where he detailed the origin story behind his company and why he entered such a crowded software space.

With so many platforms like ClickFunnels, Kajabi, Kartra, Thinkific, Teachable, MightyNetworks, Podia, LearnDash… and the list goes on, all helping people to sell digital products online, launch courses, membership sites, build landing pages and grow email lists, I would never have thought to enter this market.

Also, to build an “all-in-one” marketing platform is no small tech challenge. You could invest hundreds of thousands of dollars just to build basic features.

Yet despite this Systeme has grown and continues to grow rapidly. Many people in my audience have made the switch to Systeme after being frustrated and overwhelmed by ClickFunnels. It certainly helps that Systeme has a free entry-level plan that includes all the features.

The Importance Of Your Email List

During the interview, the host Natachja asked me a lot of questions about about my blogging history, whether I would suggest people still use a blog today or focus instead on more recent platforms like Instagram and TikTok. She also asked me if I recommend producing a “blueprint” style document as a way to grow your email list, just as I did with the Blog Profits Blueprint.

As I was answering all these questions I found myself reverting to the same answers I’ve been giving since I started appearing on podcasts back in 2007. I continued to reinforce the importance of growing your email list.

Of course it’s true that blogging is not the same as when I started. Clearly people today like short form video, or platforms like TikTok and Snapchat wouldn’t be so popular. However, as I mentioned on the podcast, it’s vital that if you use external platforms to reach people, you get some of them to sign up to your email list.

It’s important to understand that marketing and selling are done in phases. From initial exposure, to building trust and then making a sale. Often you connect and reach people with broad exposure tools like social media. You can sell on those platforms, but more often than not, it’s the emails that do most of the selling. This makes sense because people who join your email list are saying they want more from you, and thus are prequalifying themselves as getting closer to buying something from you.

Most of your social media audience will never buy anything from you. This is why you use your email list as a way to bring those interested closer to you. It will be a much smaller group, but that’s a good thing. I’d rather serve 100 paying customers than try and build a following of a million users on a social media platform.

Why Haven’t You Started Your Email List Yet?

One of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced when coaching other entrepreneurs is the tendency of people to talk about their ideas and even spend time creating some content, yet when I ask them how many email subscribers they have, they tell me they have none. Instead they talk about the few thousand followers of their Facebook page, or their LinkedIn profile or Twitter or Instagram account.

Having 5,000 followers on social media is progress, don’t get me wrong. Chances are those 5,000 people will barely see any of the content you publish and even fewer still will ever buy anything from you.

The problems are reach and attention spans (or the lack thereof).

Social media platforms are not a direct line of communication to your audience. When you post a picture or video or small text snippet, it doesn’t go to all your followers. Even worse, those followers who do see it, only get exposure to your content for a split second, set along with all the other posts and pictures grabbing their attention in the social feeds.

With email you don’t get 100% attention rates of course, but you certainly get a much higher rate of engagement than social media. Open rates on some of the emails my coaching clients send have been as high as 80%, with ‘worse case’ scenarios being 20%. You will never get 20% engagement on a social media platform to one piece of your content — you’re lucky to get 2%.

Email List + Online Course

I experienced a breakthrough with my business, growing from a couple of thousand dollars a month to over $15,000 a month after I made two decisions:

  1. I started an email list
  2. I sold my own course

Before this I was attempting to use my blog to grow a large enough audience to make money from ads, sponsored content and affiliate sales.

That probably sounds similar to what social media influencers do today. They try and grow their audience large enough so that they can get paid for sponsored posts.

I had a breakthrough when I realized my blog should be the tool for getting initial attention, but not necessarily as my direct source of income. This is a similar conclusion to make with social media today.

By adding an email list I could focus on very specific problems and then sell my course as a solution. Profit margins on an online course are fantastic and you only need those few hundred customers to start making serious money, compared to the millions of followers on social media you would need to do the same.

I may have been one of the earlier people to figure this out, but today the examples are everywhere. The smartest (and richest) influencers have an email list and they sell their own products directly. I’m not talking just about the superstars here either — there are so many niche influencers building nice small audiences making great money because they adopted the email list and online course business model.

Get Started With Systeme For Free

What’s amazing today is that you can access tools as powerful as Systeme.io for free.

You can create an email list, build your online course or membership site, create landing pages, affiliate programs and take payments online all within the one tool and it’s free to get started.

People are choosing Systeme because it’s easy to use and there are videos to show you how to get started. These tools are complicated monsters because they have so many functions, so any time people say something is easy to learn, that’s a key selling point to me.

You can try the entire platform for free forever, no credit card required. 

At the very least, setup your free account and finally start your email list. If we ever talk, I never want to hear that you haven’t started growing your list yet. There are no excuses now.