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Why Email Is More Important Than Social Media

Email is so 1999, isn’t it?

Aren’t we  living in the age of social media now?

Every business or brand wants a HUGE following on FB, Instagram, and Twitter.

But does having all those followers actually translate into making more money?

Short answer: no.

Could it be that email (and by that I mean email marketing) is really where the money is made?

Short answer: yes.

Don’t believe me? Think I’m crazy?

Let’s pull the curtain back a bit and think critically about these two tools (social media and email) and why I believe email is where you should be focused.

Followers Are Bystanders, Email Subscribers Are Warm Leads

The truth about social media is that followers are bystanders.

While email subscribers on the other hand are warm leads.

Think about it – it takes little commitment to click “Like” or “Follow” on social.

A passing glance. A funny tweet or meme. Someone who clicks “Follow” is simply saying “Yeah – I want to see a bit more of this.”

But that’s all.

They stand back and watch you from a far, with little commitment or “buy in” to what your brand is all about.

Email subscribers on the other hand have taken things a whole step further – they have given you their email address.

Their email address, people!

They are basically inviting you to contact them directly.

They are clearly interested in what you have to offer because by subscribing they are not only saying they like what you do, but they want you to reach out to them with more.

This is what makes selling to your email list FAR more profitable than trying to sell and promote on social media.

Take a look at this chart.

Email marketing is the number one digital tactic for getting and keeping new customers.

Social media isn’t even in the top 3!

And this is because social media followers are bystanders and email subscribers are warm leads.

Social Media Is Renting, Email Is Owning

Building a social media following is like renting a house, while building an email list is like owning a house.

Let me explain.

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can (and do) change their rules and algorithms. They have control, not you.

Just a few years ago Facebook made a HUGE shift in their platform.

At the time if I posted something on my Facebook page, all 100,000+ fans and followers would see that post at some point in their feed.

Then one day things completely changed.

Facebook altered their “rules” so that now only 13-18% of my followers or fans will see my posts “organically”.

If I wanted more people to see it I had to “Boost” the post (pay Facebook) to show my content to my followers.

That’s right folks – I had to PAY Facebook to connect with people who had already wanted to follow me.

The result?

My web traffic to my site was cut in half in 24 hours.

That’s a big deal when you run an online business.

Fortunately I don’t rely on Facebook (or any social media platform) to earn income.

When you build your business on social media platforms you are building your business in someone else’s world. And they can change things in an instant.

Or worse – those platforms can completely disappear or lose their popularity.

Anyone remember MySpace? No?

My point exactly! That site was THE place to connect with fans.

Until it wasn’t.

You and I have no idea what new platform will come and dethrone the current kings and queens of social media. Thus rendering all of your hard work building a following useless.

Email on the other hand is less like renting a house (where your landlord can evict you or raise the rent) and more like home ownership (where you can do what you want in the house and your payment stays virtually the same).

With email lists, you own the list. You can email your subscribers anytime you like – no matter what social media platforms come and go (or change their algorithm).

You have the power to show up directly in their inbox – even if they never hop on social anymore.

And the best part – most people rarely change their email address.

All The Big Brands Know This

Ok, so if followers are like bystanders and social media is like renting, while email subscribers are like warm leads and your email list is like owning – is anyone else aware of this?

You bet they are – ALL the big brands know this and are capitalizing on it.

Think about – go to just about any major brand’s site where you like to shop and notice what happens.

A pop-up will likely appear asking you for something.

Is it to follow them on Instagram? Or to like them on Facebook?


They want one thing and one thing only – your email address!

Oh they’ll give you something in exchange of course.

25% off your first order. Free shipping. An exclusive guide or video download.

Something you want, in exchange for what THEY want – your email address.

And why are they doing this?

Because they know what I just shared with you.

In order to sell more product and grow their business they’d rather be in your inbox the moment they have a sale or new item available than hope you see them on social.

Even better, with email clients like Mailchimp these big brands can track your habits, like which emails you open and which links you click on.

All of that gives them the data they need to better sell to you.

If you want to increase your income you should think like them and do the same.

Are You Building Your List?

So now you know the truth. And hopefully you're convinced that email is more of a priority than social media.

No matter what business you run (or hope to run) building an email list is vital to reaching your income goals.

So let me ask you, have you started an email list yet? If not, what’s held you back? Leave a comment below!

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