Let's face it; most of what you own online you don't actually own. At any point social media services can change without notice. Just look at Mark Zuckerberg's latest announcements:
Suppressing pages on the newsfeed.
Contests are now seen as negatives.
Ads are getting more expensive.
So what is a business owner or marketing professional to do in the face of the ever decompressing social landscape? It's time to rethink email lists. Why, you might ask? Well, email lists are all your own. Your CRM might fluctuate in cost but ultimately email is the most reliable form of communication online.
With that, I present to you the 4 reasons you should start growing your email list (as if you need more convincing).
1 - No Social Ownership
You might think that you own your Facebook fans, Twitter or Instagram followers, or your LinkedIn connections, but it's actually those networks that own the digital presence of those people. Think about it this way:
Let's say you have 10,000 Facebook fans, and you attempt a promotion that you don't see as a violation of Facebook's TOS, but they do. Facebook comes in and bans your page. What happens to all of those fans you spent thousands of dollars collecting? They're gone, and all of that work is for not. Or, let's say in a more extreme case, Facebook dies ... say goodbye to all of your fans. Even a glitch could cost you thousands of dollars.
With email you acquire those names, you are in control of how often you contact them, you can keep useable backups, and the list can be used in multiple ways at your own discretion. Starting to see why email is so important?
2 - The Costs Rarely Increase
Facebook Ads have increased by 11,000% since inception in 2004. The cost to reach people via email has increased roughly 45% since that same time period according to the rates at MailChimp. Think about what might have happened had you focused on both this entire time.
The more emails you collect, the more you pay, but that payment structure doesn't fluctuate wildly with increased competition. Take a look at MailChimp's rates here.
3 - Speak Directly to Those Who Care
When someone "opts in" to your email list they are shaking your hand, introducing themselves, and welcoming a conversation. You have their attention until they "opt out", but unlike social media marketing the only barrier to reaching your email list is the person checking their email and clicking on your message.
Since the average internet user checks their email 1 to 3 times per day, that means your reach is a powerhouse method of marketing through your list, and best of all, it won't be hindered by increased costs by the platform you are running your campaigns on.
4 - People Crave Personal Attention
A Facebook ad is general, whereas email is more personal. You can use merge tags to greet your list by name, and the message is something that psychologically feels more intimate than an ad. The trick is to balance sales with usefulness. Don't always sell! At times it is better to provide entertainment or education, showing that you care about your audience.
Whoomp! There it is. If you're not convinced that email is just as important in 2018 as it was in 2008, well then, let me feed this fact to you. If a power apocalypse were to hit us today one of the first communication platforms the government would work on revitalizing is email. So, start building those lists, nurturing, and backing them up onto external hard drives. You won't regret it.
As a side note, this article shouldn't take away from the power of social media. The fact that this article goes out to many different social media networks proves its power. However, social cannot be the only eggs you carry around in your marketing basket.
Need help with email lists and marketing? Contact SYNC, and let's talk about how we can get your email campaigning on track.
Written by Jay Hall, Chief Strategist