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.
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
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.