In a business landscape dominated by social media marketing, an established communication channel like email might be perceived as an old fashioned medium. Yet, the technology is here to stay. Email newsletters give marketers full control over their communication strategy and provide a much better return on investment than paid advertising on social media.
Email vs social media
With nearly 4 billion users, there are more email account users worldwide than all the social media account users combined (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and dozens more). While social media platforms provide instant communication and allow advertisers to cast a very wide net – and reach an even bigger audience through paid advertising – the effectiveness of such tools is no longer as clear cut as it used to be.
Posts face huge competition on various news feeds, meaning that the lifespan of an announcement is very short. Measured as the level of interaction with a particular piece of content (reactions, likes, comments and shares) in relation to the number of followers, the average engagement rate for posts on Social Media now stands at barely over 0.5% across all industries, with Instagram currently performing much better than Facebook or Twitter.
Platforms are constantly altering and revising their algorithms, making it very difficult for marketers to assess the performance of a particular campaign or plan new strategies. As well as that, demographics and allegiance to platforms is shifting very quickly, meaning a more diverse distribution of channels as opposed to a dominant one. For all of the above reasons, it is more time consuming and very difficult to personalise messages adequately and reach a targeted audience.
On the other hand, the old-fashioned emails provide a very focussed and measurable channel of communication with existing subscribers (as opposed to “followers”).
Typically, users will still check their email inbox first thing in the morning. Marketing emails will land directly into a subscriber’s inbox and stay there indefinitely to be accessed immediately. An email newsletter is also more personal, and various email marketing tools will allow businesses to segment their campaigns to target separate groups.
Therefore, a business owner has full control over the design and distribution of the campaigns which can take multiple forms such as:
- promotional communication.
- time-limited offers to subscribers only.
- blog posts such as news and update about the company.
- noteworthy stories about the industry.
- how-to guides.
The new GDPR legislation now means that marketers must seek consent from users before sending email campaigns, thus making an email list even more valuable. By opting in to subscribe to your newsletter, a potential customer has indicated that he or she is interested in your business and will probably purchase a product or use your services in the near future. A good quality email list equates to a captive audience which is also likely to engage better with your brand on social media channels.
Investing time and effort into building a valuable “customer relationship database” in the form of an email list should prove more effective over time than trying to gain more followers. Use social media to promote your brand of course but leverage the reach of each platform…to grow your email list.