While email lists may be common, it’s not always clear why tons of bloggers and businesses have adopted this additional task. Feeling clueless? Not sure whether you should start one of your own? Here are a few reasons why you should totally start building an email list, and one reason why you shouldn’t.

It’s the only thing you have control over

In my opinion, social media is absolutely essential to growing a profitable and engaged blog or business. It connects you to your audience, allows you to share relatable pieces of your life, and drives traffic back to your site. But it does have one big flaw:

You can’t control it.

You don’t own Instagram or Pinterest or any of the other social media sites that you’ve spent so much time growing. They could easily flip a switch and change everything. In fact, not too long ago, the algorithm for Facebook pages changed, forcing you to pay to promote your posts if you want more than a handful of your community to see your updates. Ouch. But hey, you don’t own Facebook. Facebook does.

Luckily, you do control your email newsletter. It’s all yours, baby. So, even if tomorrow, Pinterest changes their site so that only three people ever see your pins again, you’ll still have an email list full of dedicated followers who are there to open your emails and read your most important updates.

Email subscribers are more likely to buy your products

Do you ever intend to sell products or services on your website? Then you need an email list. Think of it this way: a person’s email inbox is sacred. If they allow you to send them emails, then they’re essentially inviting you into their virtual home. People hate getting useless spam in their inbox, but they’re willing to scroll through an Instagram feed full of photos from acquaintances they’ve talked to twice in their life. Bottom line? Most people are less picky about who they “follow” on social media vs. who they subscribe to via email.

So, if someone subscribed to your email list? They dig you and they mean business. They’re not just a casual “follow4follow” account on Twitter. They’re real. They’re engaged. And they might just want whatever it is that you’re selling.

For those reasons, it’s incredibly important to take care of your email subscribers. Not only are they going to be your most engaged blog readers, but they’ll also be your most loyal customers. This is your tribe. And your email list is their headquarters.

It’s the easiest way to keep in touch

Lastly, an email is the easiest way to share big announcements and keep in touch. Not everyone will check your Instagram or blog everyday unless they are absolutely crazy about your site. But what will they do? Well, they’ll probably check their email everyday. So, if you have something important to share, and want to be sure that your audience receives it, then an email list is an excellent medium to keep in touch.

So, who shouldn’t create an email list?

Personally, I think most bloggers and business owners should be trying to grow their email list, but there is one exception. If you don’t ever intend to sell products or services of any kind, then you probably don’t need an email list.