I've been told by too many authors that they don't have an email list to not realize this is a problem. In the last few years as social media has boomed, folks have gotten the unfortunate misinformation that email marketing is dead or somehow no longer necessary. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you only needed one reason to build an email list, well here it is. As Terry Whalin, Author and Acquisitions Editor for Morgan James Publishing so aptly put it during our recent interview, "Social media is rented space." This is to say that you don't own it or control it, which means that if you've built a following on any social media platform, you are on unstable ground because in reality we are all at risk of being evicted from such platforms at any moment (and sometimes seemingly on a whim). As we see so often, Facebook is a prime example of how such companies can change their algorithms without notice, potentially rendering our carefully built marketing strategies useless overnight. Not to mention, God help us if we are somehow erroneously deemed worthy of being booted off the platform (social media jail). If this is our only source of leads or customer contact, it can become an instant crisis. And you don't think any of us would get a quick response from customer support, do you?
This is not to say that social media doesn't have its rightful place in our overall marketing strategies. It most certainly does. Just don't be confused that it is anything more than it is: rented space. And remember that even if you boast 10,000 followers, how many actually see any specific post? Not only do most social media platforms limit your access to your own fans because they want to force you to buy ads, but timelines scroll by so fast and so much gets posted that it totally depends on who is online when as to how much a post is viewed even by those who could see it. I can promise you that I personally see about .001% of what hits my timeline. I just don't have the time to be online that much checking social media.
In contrast, the odds are far better than I will see an email, especially if it is one that I have signed up to receive (meaning, it's content I am truly interested in). This is in part because it sits in my inbox ready for me to view whenever I'm ready. I suppose I'm more likely to search through email because I often "store" information here that I will want to access later, while this is NOT the case for social media.
More importantly, and to the point of the post, is the fact that you OWN your email list and your list keeps you in direct contact (yes!) with your potential customers. Meaning, if you have built your list based on high quality products and services, you will retain a healthy email list to whom you can reach out at any time and know how many are receiving your email (without being charged for ads) as well as how many respond to you. In addition, by surveying your list from time to time, you can learn exactly what they want or need and then deliver it! This means your list become priceless in terms of generating new products and ongoing revenue. And you are the sole person who gets to determine the health and engagement of your list by providing high quality services.
To all my fellow entrepreneurs who relish control over the fate of your own business...and a healthy bottom line...this is good news indeed.
P.S. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing returns an average 4300% return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States. That's right. Email marketing is not only NOT dead...it just got resurrected to divine status!
Want to learn more? Check out this post: Why You Should Start Building Your Email List Right Away.
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