Facebook and Instagram’s websites and applications crashed and were unavailable for almost an entire day last last week, so we’re going to talk about the benefits of email marketing!
For a lot of business owners, the social media outage was a huge reminder as to why we shouldn’t be putting all of our eggs in one basket. Social media is a great tool for attracting new audiences and building brand or business awareness, but it also has limitations – for example, you can spend a lot of time and money building an audience on Facebook, but you cannot export that audience and take them with you if you decide you don’t want to be on Facebook anymore.
That is why we are talking about Email Marketing today; we think it is one of the most undervalued marketing channels available to business owners and it does not face a lot of the same limitations that social media platforms grapple with.
8 Reasons You Should Be Using Email Marketing:
You Own The Database:
Any time, money and other resources you invest in growing your email marketing database are an investment. If you are using one platform for your email marketing such as MailChimp, and you decide that you want to move to a different platform such as Campaign Monitor, you can export your database as an excel spreadsheet and migrate to the new platform in a matter of hours.
The same cannot be said of social platforms – if you decide you want to close your Facebook page and move to Instagram, you cannot export your followers. If something happens to Facebook and they go out of business, then you suddenly lose all of your audience.
You Control the Marketing Message:
With email marketing, you have total and absolute control over the marketing message that you are sending your audience. You don’t have to compete with other brands or businesses and you don’t have to alter your content so that it performs more favourably in the algorithm.
Email Marketing Audiences are Warm:
Generally, people who sign up to your email marketing are more familiar with your brand and your products or services. When we think about the different stages in the buying cycle, people who sign up for emails are normally further along in the cycle – this means that they are closer to buying from you for the first time.
People who follow you on social media on the other hand are often still in the ‘research’ phase where they are following you as well as several of your competitors to see which brand they like the best before buying.
People Actively Have to Opt-In:
People who have given you their email address actively want to receive more of your marketing messages and content. There is an element of trust that comes into play when someone gives you their email address and contact details.
On social media, while people do follow you of their own free will, they can do it anonymously. They don’t have to give you anything in return to follow you, and they can easily leave at any point in time – there is less commitment involved on their part to follow you on Facebook as opposed to signing up for your email.
You Aren’t Competing with Email:
When someone opens your email, you have their undivided attention. Yes, you still need to have interesting and compelling content in your email to hold their attention, but your marketing messages aren’t getting lost in a sea of other posts by other brands like they do in someone’s Facebook or Instagram feed.
Email Marketing Has Higher Conversion Rates:
As a marketing channel, email marketing generally sees higher conversion rates than social media channels. This has a lot to do with the audiences being warmer and more familiar with your brand as well as the lack of competition as already discussed.
THERE IS NO ALGORITHM DETERMINING WHO SEES YOUR CONTENT:
This one is in capitals because it is super important to keep in mind when comparing email marketing to social media. If you have 1000 people on your email marketing database and you send them an email, then 1000 people will receive your email.
If you have 1000 followers on Facebook and you publish a post, you will be lucky to reach 100 of them (unless you pay to ‘boost’ your reach).
There are few exceptions to this rule – you do need to maintain a healthy database, and if your email content is spammy then it may get redirected to user’s spam or trash folder, but that is a variable that you have total control over.
It Is Affordable and Easy to Get Started:
It is easy to start email marketing – MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are the two most user-friendly and affordable platforms available, and setting up your first email campaign will only take a couple of hours. You can use their existing templates and change them to suit the colours and style of your brand – you can then save the templates so that they are available to use again next time.
In terms of building a database, you can put a signup box on your website as well as a signup sheet in your store (if applicable). If signups are a bit slow, then you can offer an incentive for signing up, such as 10% of their next order. You will likely find it no more time consuming or expensive to grow your database than it was to grow your Facebook audience.
Email Marketing and Social Media:
Social media has an important role to play in marketing communications for many businesses, but we need to make sure that we aren’t relying on it too heavily. It is a great way to gain access to new audiences and get your brand in front of them, but we need to be thinking about what happens next. We need to be thinking about how we are going to get them off Facebook or Instagram and onto a platform that you have total control over such as your website or email database.
A great way to do this is to constantly be telling your social audiences about the great content that they are missing out on if they aren’t on your email list. Reward your email list with early access to sales, special deals and additional content, and then tell your Facebook and Instagram audiences that they need to sign up if they want to get access to the deals as well. In this way, social media and email marketing can work hand-in-hand to help you grow your audience and sales.