The Importance of Building Your Audience With An Email List

importance of audience building with email list

I was reading a blog post about audience building when I came across this old principle from Kevin Kelly:

The true fans theory.

And it made so much sense with what we already know about email marketing.

Here’s how Kevin Kelly breaks it down:


To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans.

To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.


Kelly explains how every business and brand has casual fans and true fans.

While casual fans may purchase from you from time to time…

… true fans will jump on everything you offer.

According to him, nearly 10% of your audience (or your email list) make up your casual fans.

But only 1% of your list or less will be true fans.

So how can you make a living using the true fans theory?

Kelly elaborates:


Here’s how the math works.

You have to create enough each year that you can earn, on average, $100 profit per year from each true fan.

That is easier to do in some arts and businesses than others, but it is a good creative challenge in every area because it is always easier and better to give your existing customers more, than it is to find new fans.


While there are several ways to cultivate and nurture true fans in your audience, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to pull it off.

Unlike social media, which has 1-3% reach at most, you can average 20% open rates (and even more) with your email subscribers.

If you frequently (and consistently) email your list and keep building those relationships…

… you’ll be able to nurture a much larger portion of your audience into true fans than you would on social media.

But the key is consistency. If you aren’t emailing your subscribers frequently, someone else will.

And that other person – your competitor – will have a better chance of earning Top Fan status if they spend more time with their subscribers.

If you don’t know what to email your list about today, I encourage you to revisit my 60 email ideas in 5 minutes video. ​

Your 1000 fans could be waiting for your next email!

Hey, I'm Charlene!

Hey, I'm Charlene!

I help service providers nurture long-term relationships with their audience by writing damn good emails and ads.