You would think everyone would be on the same page by now, after all nearly ever single reputable personality (and a few that aren’t so reputable) have been touting the value of having a big email list.
In fact, even a publication as mainstream as The Verge, who I love by the way, ran an article last year about “Scamworld” that talked about the raw power of email that results in millions of dollars of revenue (even if you don’t agree with the practices to do so).
Also last year a buddy of mine, Derek Halpern from Social Triggers did a test to once and for all put the nail in the coffin about the misconception that social media is even worth your time in comparison to email. He posted a link about a new blog post to his 30,000 Twitter Followers and emailed his 30,000 email subscribers (at the time).
The results: Twitter sent 300 clicks while e-mail generated 4,200 clicks. Which would you rather have for your list of 30,000?
Why Social Media is for Your Ego
I STILL get hundred of emails from people saying that their #1 goal is get more Facebook likes, Twitter followers etc. The biggest offender of the social media black hole appears to be people in the hunt for Facebook likes.
Now look, I totally understand that seeing a bunch of “likes” for your brand can make you feel really good. And, I’ll even concede that a well managed Fan Page can generate some decent traffic. But for now at least, it pales in comparison to email marketing.
I’ll even take it a step further and say this:
“Social Media has it’s place, but if it takes precedence over building an email list you’ll be stuck chasing 2nd place” – @TravisKetchum [Click to Tweet]
So you have a decision to make, to want everyone to think you’re a big deal by having a sizable social media presence? Or would you rather actually be a big deal by having a much bigger business by focusing on gathering your audience on an email list?
Why Email is for Your Business
The year 2012 was a banner year for me, because it’s the first year that email became a corner stone of how I operate my business. I had been involved with helping grow everyone else’s list before then, but had neglected my own.
Then, I launched a little WordPress plugin for running Contests because I wanted to focus on generating more leads for each part of my business by running contests people loved to enter with their email and were incentivized to get their friends to do the same.
In short, people absolutely loved it and we scooped up thousands of customers in a very short amount of time. Then we started getting interviewed on other popular blogs and the list kept growing exponentially.
Between the various aspects of what we do, we are collecting many thousands of emails each and every month segmented by interest. We now control the flow of traffic to our content, products and overall success of our business. E-mail marketing was directly responsible for hundreds of thousands in revenue between our own products and products we promoted via email.
To date, email has hands down been the most concrete driver of revenue growth and customer retention for us.
My Biggest Marketing Anxiety
I wish more people fully understood the value they are leaving on the table by ignoring their email list and focusing on building their audience where someone else really controls the relationship. (For example, needing promoted posts on Facebook to actually reach your customers.)
But I guess selfishly, the more people who keep ignoring the data about email marketing the better it is for people like me who do leverage it as it keeps the signal to noise ratio down 🙂
The biggest anxiety I have about our current marketing strategy is that I wish we would have started collecting emails WAY sooner (notice the trend here, nearly every successful marketer feels the same way).
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