Email Lists vs Social Media

Positive Email“The money is in the list.”

You’ve heard this dozens of times while perusing any number of “how to sell” blog posts or websites. With the popularity of social media, Facebook and Twitter seem to be outshining the old standard of building an email list. But is shiny & new actually better?

First, let’s back up… What is “the list” we’re talking about? Simply, a list of people who signed up to receive your newsletter, blog post alerts, or a freebie you offer on your website.

Your email list is the #1 way to sell more of, well, anything. It is the #1 way to grow your platform (authors, you know this is critical for success) and to develop your brand (small biz, you know this is essential for growth).

Why is this? Isn’t email annoying? Aren’t people super protective of their email address? Doesn’t social media – Facebook & Twitter – reign supreme?

Let’s break it down: 

Social Media is the New Queen of Marketing – FALSE

How many tweets or Facebook posts do you scroll through every day? Thousands?

Now, how many emails do you receive everyday? Maybe 50-75.

The chance of someone reading one out of 50 email messages is much higher than the chance of someone reading one post out of 1,000. The first time I heard the social media vs email debate framed like this, I had a huge “ah-ha” moment. Maybe it was more like a “Duh… why didn’t I think of that” moment… but it totally makes sense!

It’s the simple fact of concentrated quality. You may think you follow quality people on Twitter or that your FB friends share quality content but it’s not concentrated. It’s a shot in the dark whether or not you see a message amongst the thousands of other posts. Oh, and if you’re posting from a business page? Yikes… it’s even harder to reach people.

Email is Dead/Annoying/Too Much Spam – FALSE

Take a minute to reflect on how you use email. When do you give out your email address? When are you inclined to sign-up for a newsletter, a freebie offer, or to receive alerts about new blog posts or events? Are you annoyed when you receive the type of information that you, yourself, signed up to receive?

No. You expect to receive great information, delivered to your email inbox, because you choose to receive it. You are a fan of that content or company or author or event. That is why you gave them your email address! As long as you’re emailing folks that have elected to receive emails from you, then you shouldn’t worry about sending out spam (assuming your content includes more than, “Hey! Buy Buy BUY my book!”)

Email is 40x More Effective than Social Media – TRUE

Your email list subscribers are people who choose to support you, who are interested in you, and who want to stay up to date on what you have to offer. Your email list is full of people who trust you enough to give you access to their a private, direct, and personal line of communication.

Because of that, emails are 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter – combined.  (source)


Whew, sorry for the yelling but, man, is that an important stat or what?! Email is trusted, it’s direct, and it is much more likely to capture someone’s attention than a tweet or FB post.

Why does your email list generate sales?

The difference is that email is delivered to a trusted, not-as-cluttered location – directly to your reader’s inbox.  So, the likelihood that a person not only reads, but digests, the information in an email is so much higher than sending out a tweet into the Twitter abyss. Plain and simple.

It allows you to connect with your market in a way that is nearly impossible using any other online method. Your readers come to trust you. They become your advocate. They learn why you, your service or product is so awesome. Have an event coming up? Guess who is most likely to show up…  Big online launch party planned? Tell your list. Want to help spread the word about a new book or service? Let your list in on it first!

By cultivating a list of fans, you will always have people who are ready and willing to support your cause and new endeavors. From events to new books to sharing big wins, your list is a concentrated group who have elected to connect with you.  The #1 thing you can do to boost your sales is to build your email list.

1)   Social media fun but it truly isn’t as effective as we’re led to believe.

2)   Email marketing is alive and kicking. 90% of people check their emails everyday.

3)   Building your email list = Deeper Connection = More sales

Don’t you want a band of merry cheerleaders at the ready when you need them? Then start building your email list today.   

How are you working to build your email list? Are you just getting started or have you been working toward this?

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