Email isn’t sexy. You never hear anyone talk about it the same way that they mention Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – you know the ‘cool’ places where people are being social and building communities of ‘raving fans.’
I’m going to let you in on a secret: email is stronger than ever, especially with the customers who matter most: your existing customers. The ones who have a history of doing business with you and who are most likely to buy from you again.
Look – over the past year or so, Facebook has been reducing “the organic reach of postings.” In plain English that means when a business posts on Facebook, less than 6% of your ‘fans’ will see it in their news feed. So if you have 100 followers and post something on your business page – maybe, maybe 6 people who liked your page will see it.
With even more recent changes, that 6% is expected to plummet even lower. In some cases, companies have seen their organic reach drop to 2%. TWO PERCENT.
All those posts you’ve written, all those really cool memes you’re sharing, all those questions you’re asking to start ‘conversations’? Next to no-one sees them unless they go to your Facebook page. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen at all – but, from personal experience, the News Feed pretty much IS Facebook for most people.
The long and short of this: if you want to be seen on Facebook, even by your fans, you have to pay. And that’s fine – it’s just not what most people think of when they talk about using social media.
When most people think social media they think ‘free.’ They’re trying to find a way to get additional exposure with no actual media expenditure.
Those days are largely over.
Consider the alternative. Email. A recent Forrester survey shows:
- US online adults who want to stay in touch with your brand are almost twice as likely to sign up for your emails as to interact with you on Facebook
- Your emails get delivered more than 90% of the time [and opened by 18% – 30% of your audience], while your Facebook posts only get delivered 2% of the time
- US online adults who want to stay in touch with your brand are almost three times as likely to visit your site as to engage you on Facebook.
Yes, email is boring – but it remains the highest performing channel, with studies showing that it returns $44.25 for every dollar spent on average.
Again, I’m not saying to ignore social. I’m all for using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn – any and every social channel to it’s absolute fullest. But do not use it to the exclusion of other, important, channels.
If you have to choose between adding a subscriber to you email list or gaining a new Facebook fan, my recommendation is: get the email subscriber every time.
Heck, with a little creativity you can even use your social media to grow your email list.
Image (c) Bruno Girin – https://www.flickr.com/photos/brunogirin/2484786902/