For several years we have been told that all businesses need to be on social media. There are companies and experts who’s entire business is about helping people and companies grow their follower list on social media. Though social media is useful for engaging with potential clients and driving leads to your website there is one thing more important than social media followers. It is your email list. Here are 3 reasons why:
- You can reach all your subscribers – Social media platforms, especially Facebook, make you pay to boost your post to all your fans. It is unlikely all of your fans or followers will online when you post to see it anyway. With a subscriber list, you have direct access to people and can reach all of them. Popular newsletter tools such as iContact and Constant Contact allow you to track exactly which subscribers opened your message (and how many times the opened it) or forwarded and even the links in the newsletter that he or she clicked. This information is powerful in analyzing the effectiveness of your newsletter communications. You can personalize messages to include the name of the recipient, send special messages based on spending habits, or even wish your subscribers happy birthday.
- You control your email list – Social media platforms can change their algorithms, layouts, word limits, rules, and pretty much anything at any time. You are always at their mercy. The social media platform Vine is a cautionary tale of putting too much dependency on a social media platform. Vine was a popular social media platform that allowed users to post 6-second videos. Vine closed its doors recently and those with millions of followers on Vine who were not strategic about converting followers to newsletter subscribers have lost all of their influence to the followers on Vine. With your email list, you are in full control. The expressions "You never build on rented land" applies to social media. Anything you do not own such as a social media platform can be taken away.
- Email is still used more than social media - Email is still the most used electronic media. There are 3 times more email users than social media users. Simply stated there are more people checking email than checking social media. Not everyone is on social media and people close their social media accounts every day. Social media platforms gain and lose popularity (MySpace anyone?) but email continues to grow. A person can't even create a social media account without an email address.
You have been putting your marketing efforts into growing your social media followers and fans so now what? Don’t get rid of your social media accounts. Instead, use it to drive subscriptions to your email list. Make sign-up to your newsletter clear and easy on your website. Offer something of value in your newsletters such as expert tip, discount codes, or a free ebook to help your subscriber list grow.