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[48] Why a Mailing List is Non-Negotiable

Having a mailing list for your handmade business is non-negotiable.

All other marketing avenues are great, absolutely. Social media is awesome. PR is brilliant. But nothing beats having the intimate connection with your customers and potential customers that email offers.

Building your marketing solely on the back of social media can backfire. You may have seen the announcement this week that Instagram is going the way of Facebook with their feed – changing it so they start ranking posts and showing you what they think you want to see, rather than a simple time-ordered feed. This is no surprise, as they are owned by Facebook – but a lot of people are freaking out about this change, and worrying how it will impact their business. (I don’t mention this in the episode, because I recorded it before the announcement broke.)

You don’t own Instagram, or Facebook, or any other social platform. You DO own the emails on your mailing list (so long as people stay subscribed, of course). No-one can take that audience away from you except the audience themselves.

Email marketing gives us the opportunity to connect directly with the people who care about what you do and want to learn more, stay updated, and take advantage of special offers.

These people have deliberately chosen to gift you with their email address – out of all the squillions of mailing lists in the world, they’ve chosen you. That’s pretty darn special. And worth working for, because having their email gives you direct access to them where they are most likely to see your message – in their inbox.

In this episode, I outline more reasons why a mailing list is non-negotiable, as well as some ideas for how to get started, and get people subscribing.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Email marketing is important as it is something you can rely on for people to engage with.
  • Even if a recipient doesn’t open your email they have still seen you and your name.
  • Emails help you to be in the minds of your customers and to be present.
  • By being present in someone’s inbox you are making a connection with them.
  • If a person subscribes to your mailing list then it means they care about what you do and they are putting their trust in you.
  • Remember that you are not bothering people. If they unsubscribe it is ok. It means they are not your ideal customer.
  • Send emails at least once a month to touch base with your subscribers.
  • Keep your emails simple, to the point, and just use one topic each email.
  • Don’t overcomplicate it and don’t over-think it.
  • ‘The key is reminding them you exist’. {Jess}
  • Never ever add emails to your list without the persons express permission.
  • Add links to your newsletter sign up page to everything that you can.
  • It is important to find good, user friendly software that works for you.
  • Take a sign up sheet to markets to boost your mailing list.
  • ‘Treat them like the gold that they are’. {Jess}
  • A mailing list is a crucial part of marketing your creative business.
  • GUIDE: Learn more with our C&T Guide: How to Run a Rockin’ Mailing List
  • Want more help? There is a whole workshop on getting started with mailing lists inside the Thriver Circle – with a follow-up workshop to come this year. Membership opens again in early May – so make sure you’re on the C&T mailing list so you’ll be notified when access is available again!


Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



I love being part of mailing lists. Although my pet hate is when a business releases something on social media, and then later that week or maybe even a couple of weeks later, subscribers get the news. Is it just me, or should newsletter subscribers always be the first to know? Thanks for another informative podcast Jess.

What say you?