Why Email Marketing Trumps Social Media Everytime

Online business is all about relationships and trying to get those relationships to be as close as possible in order to increase traction. However, many people are making a big mistake by putting too much effort into social media.

email marketing beats facebook twitter and google plus

Running a business means wearing many hats. You are an administrator, marketer, sales person and accountant … the list goes on. We’re all familiar with “the overwhelm” from time to time and it’s also easy to get caught up in the “latest shiny object” syndrome. So we need to look at what we’re doing all day and work out the ROI from our efforts.

The money I make from one person on my email list is far, far greater than the money from a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn follower. Quantifying this with money may sound materialistic. But it’s not about the money, it’s about the engagement. Money is a great way of measuring engagement.

It’s true for most other businesses as well. So, why am I bothering to say this? Because I see a lot of people who aren’t collecting email addresses and yet spend ages trying to get social media followers. And, if that’s the case with you, please read to the end of this article and get in touch if you need any help.

So, why do people bother with social media?

Because they have to. We’ve got to be there. There is a social layer of the web that has developed over the last few years that we just can’t ignore.

But there’s a problem, it drags you in. You feel compelled to thank people for shares, write long replies or, even worse, get embroiled in flame wars.

It’s necessary for you to engage with your audience/customers through social media but constantly monitor the amount of time you spend there.

What’s so cool about email marketing?

On the other hand, it takes minutes to start collecting email addresses from your site and it isn’t exactly difficult to send them an email every so often. Here’s what you get in return:

  • It’s personal. Yes, open rates and click throughs are decreasing, but people take notice of email and this tendency is not going away any time soon.
  • It’s a tribe. The people who join your email list love you more than anyone else online. They have performed an action by giving you their email address. They have entered it in a form and confirmed it by clicking a link in an email they’ve received. They haven’t just clicked on a follow button.
  • It’s a research tool. The best thing you can ask your email subscribers is “what are you struggling with at the moment?” The answers to this question will give you ideas on what to write blog posts about, how you can serve your customers better or what sort of products to create.
  • It’s traffic. You should mail a list at least once a fortnight, every so often you should tell them of a great new article you’ve written.
  • It guarantees sales. As I said before, your email list loves you. Therefore, they are more likely to purchase your products than anyone else. This is the most important reason why you should be concentrating on email, not social media.

Once you realise the power of email marketing you will look at your online business in a completely different way.

It’s not about traffic, stupid, it’s about conversions

All these years, online businesses have been obsessed with traffic. We refresh our Google Analytics every few minutes, we urge people to visit our site through social media, we even cry when some Panda or Penguin algorithm change take the eyeballs away.

But it’s all a waste of time. Think about it. What’s traffic? It’s you paying for people to get your information for free. A conversion is a visitor who’s performed some action you want them to, for example, signing up to an email list or buying a product. These are people who are paying you (either with an email address or with dollars) for your information.

Increase conversions by 1% and it has a huge difference to your bottom line; increase traffic by 1% and … er, yup, whatever.

And it’s a million times easier to convert people you’ve already converted.

You can do it

Have I persuaded you? Get an account at MailChimp or Aweber and start collecting email address and don’t forget to email them once in a while.

Didn’t need persuading? Think conversions. Can you make it easier for your visitors to sign up? Can you improve your offer? I took away the link to the squeeze page on my sidebar signup form and conversions have increased by 30%. Take away the barriers between your visitors becoming your customers.

Did this help you? If so, please share!

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  1. says

    Hi Rob,

    The personal aspect is big. Sending out messages on demand to tons of folks, and personalizing, sending messages directly to their email, rocks. Can’t beat it.


  2. says

    Hi Rob,

    A great article, as always. Thank you. Do you think you might be able to help us with an article on the science of good sign-up forms? It seems there are many ways but only a few bring great results. Ali

    • says

      Hi Ali, thank you. Well, as you say, it’s a science. And a huge subject.

      I find that really obvious things that have been staring me in the face help incredibly. For example, the books at the top of my right hand side bar used to have a link to the squeeze page (this squeeze page goes on and on about how excellent the books are). So I took the link away and, boom, the signups really rocketed up. So taking barriers away from people really really helps so you should put your signup forms in as many places as possible and make it as easy as possible for the visitor to enter their email address and sign up.

      There is a science behind squeeze pages as well. This can be tested with A/B split testing but I find that very cumbersome to set up and, if you’re working with a very small sample, it can be hard to draw any conclusions from. But, yes, we will come back to this important subject. :)

  3. says

    Hi Rob,

    I couldn’t agree more with you on this one. Many probloggers said that your Email list is the best of all for potential customers. Social Media might change and can change your followers and/or visibility drastically (one good example is the Facebook Edgerank) but your Email list stays with you, YOU OWN IT. If Google+ is to disappear tomorrow, your email list is still with you. And so anybody who hasn’t started their list yet is making a big mistake on Internet marketing.


    • says

      Hey Angela, thanks for the comment. Two of your greatest assets are your site and your list. I’m so glad I started collecting emails when I did.

  4. says

    Hi Rob,

    I totally agree with everything you say in this post. Getting people onto a mailing list should be the top priority for pretty much every website/blog, however, making that conversion is sometimes tough.

    That said, it’s certainly not impossible, and working out ways to improve conversion rates is more important than acquiring Twitter followers.

    There’s a WordPress plugin called Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget) which you or your readers might find useful. It basically “sticks” a specified widget to the top of the screen, so as you scroll down the page, the widget stays in view. If the widget contains your sign-up form and it never disappears from view, there’s a higher chance of people using it.


    • says

      Hi Stephen, thank you. I’ve been thinking of using this sort of thing. I was actually thinking of using it on a Kindle book ad like Steve Scott does on his site. But, cool idea. :)

  5. says

    A hard lesson I also learned recently Rob. Traffic is great, makes you feel good. But does not put dollars in the bank account. I can testify to that!

    • says

      Yes, Ashley, I want to write an article about “feeling good” because I think the stats we regularly refresh in our browsers supply dopamine hits similar to those from smoking and other drug taking that cause us stress when they go away.