Is the email still the king of marketing?

Many of the marketers and entrepreneurs I most admire still favour email marketing. And I do too. If I could only do one type of marketing, it’s what I’d do.

 

My suggestion is to focus on getting your email marketing in order and growing your email subscriber database before getting seduced by Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

Despite social media stealing headlines everywhere, email is the marketer’s and entrepreneur’s best friend. Here are six reasons why:

 

1. Everyone has an email address

 

Every time I get to survey audiences, everybody has an email address, if not two. On average, less than half have a Twitter or Facebook account.

 

Most baby boomers are totally comfortable with email but social media hasn’t always caught on.

 

2. Email is the most business orientated

 

Many business people still consider Facebook and Twitter as something for their kids: email is how grown-ups communicate. Whilst social media has had a huge uptake in recent years, email is still most common in business circles.

 

3. Most of us are on email all day

 

Even though we know we can be more productive if we check emails just twice a day, most of us are guilty of leaving our email open all day long. Human nature dictates that we are prone to getting distracted by new emails coming in.

 

Contrast that to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, where, in my experience, we usually only check these during breaks or via our smartphones.

 

4. The money is in your email database

 

I’ve listened to two prolific and high profile ‘social media’ guns, Darren Rowse (aka ProBlogger) and Gary Vaynerchuk both advise audiences that the money is in their email database, more so than their social media following.

 

The reason is because they’ve had significantly more success building businesses and generating sales with email.

 

5. People are comfortable making purchases based on emails

 

Making purchase decisions from an email is common practice for Australians. We book airfares, renew memberships and buy things from Amazon or eBay all the time when they email us.

 

But it’s a lot less common for us to be making these purchases via social media.

 

6. Emails get seen even when you’re not logged in

 

Emails stay in your inbox until they’re opened or deleted. Whereas tweets and updates on Facebook or LinkedIn are pretty much ethereal and never get seen if your followers aren’t logged in.

 

You’re only ever reaching a fraction of your community with social media and some estimates put the figure at as low as 10% of your followers being online at any point in time.

 

Best of luck with your email marketing!

 

I’ve written an e-book that explores how email and social media can complement each other. If you’re interested, A Short Guide to Email Marketing & Social Media (12 pages) is free to download from my website.

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