List Building or Social Media?
List building and email marketing may be considered “old fashioned” and even “un-sexy” compared to social media. The rallying cries of “Email marketing is dead!” are ringing out all over the social media world. But you probably need to know that these cries are simply inaccurate. They are also hurting the bottom line of those businesses who listen.
List building or social media isn’t the question. The key is to use them both, together, to maximize results for your business. List building and email marketing provide your business with the most direct line of communication for turning leads into sales, which is why the smartest entrepreneurs have no intention of giving it up any time soon.
We believe that if you are asking, “List building OR social media”, you are asking the wrong question. We use both. We still focus most of our marketing on our list building and email marketing. Why?
Social networks thrive on the sharing of good content, and your only real job on social media is to give people something to share.
When people see something on your social media site, they usually click it to learn more. When they get to your site, your job is to continue communicating with them. When it comes to ongoing communication, email is the best choice. Email marketing helps you avoid just another update in an overcrowded Twitter stream.
When your information is on social media, it can get lost on the page with a lot of other posts. When your information is in an email that the reader asked for, you have their attention.
This is why so many successful entrepreneurs focus on list building and email marketing.
Still not convinced?
Let’s look at the data.
In order to convince you that email should be your top priority when it comes to communicating with customers, we are going to bring out the statistics and data to show how and why email marketing and list building lends itself to better engagement.
Email is More Popular than Social Media
According to a recent study by Ipsos, nearly 85 percent of people who use the web will use email, compared to only 62 percent who use social networking sites.
The key difference to note here is that all social networking sites were included in that 62 percent, which means that each individual site has far less of an audience than you think.
Email is universal, widely used, and still the biggest place where business is conducted online.
Worse yet, by using multiple social networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest), you are dividing your audience across multiple platforms.
Compare that to list building and you can quickly see how email marketing can be very powerful as a single focused distribution channel for content and updates.
Email Engagement Is Much Higher than Social Media Engagement
According to data compiled by Litmus, an email marketing analytics company, when measuring list building or social media, email regularly offers better value per dollar spent than even search and paid ads:
It’s easy to see that an engaging newsletter is a win-win. You get to send out your valuable content to current customers and prospects who have an interest in your industry. In addition, you have the opportunity to maximize one of the most powerful, personal marketing channels available on the cluttered mess that is the internet.
Email is Made for Business
One thing to remember when evaluating why social media updates, ads, and even promoted posts are so ignored is the fact that you are competing with fun and games on social media.
When the average user logs into Facebook, they want to see new pictures from last Friday night (so they can un-tag all the evidence), updates from family members who are out of state, political debates, and witty status updates from their friends.
Not only does email trump social media in both quantity (more users) and quality (better engagement), email marketing was simply made for business.
Email as a communication channel is personal.
As consumers, we are therefore naturally more receptive to things in our inbox. We guard our inboxes much like a mother wolf guards her pups … because they are filled with things we choose to see.
This more intimate method of communication lends itself to more honest discussions and decisions. This is an important reason why people will always be “warmer” to being sold via email, and just another reason why email will always beat social media when it comes to marketing.
When Facebook went down, we knew they would fix the issue. We just logged in to our autoresponder and launched an email campaign to generate sales while they worked it out.
Which do you prefer in your business, List Building or Social Media?