With the growing use of social media, you may think this would result in the decline in the importance of email as a marketing tool. But on the contrary, email marketing is bigger than ever and is still one of the most effective ways to generate leads and close sales.
Though social media is great for brand awareness and when used right, for obtaining leads, email trumps social media in many areas. Here are my top 10 examples where email marketing is more effective compared to social media.
1. Not everyone is on social media
I know shock horror but not everyone uses social media. Looking at the Social Media News in April 2018, approximately 60% of the total Australian population is an active Facebook user (which is the most popular social network). That means 40% of Australian’s don’t and that is a substantial chunk of people.
People may find it too time consuming, a waste of time or maybe they did use it but decided not to anymore. Whatever the reason, a sizeable number of people don’t use social media and they could be a part of your target audience.
2. More people have an email account than a social media account
Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s a whopping 2.9 billion.
Not everyone is on social media but almost everyone who accesses the Internet has an email address (often more that one). Email has been around a lot longer than social media and it’s used for more things (such as work and personal), so naturally it has a bigger user base.
3. Emails are usually delivered, opened and read
It is way too easy to miss posts and tweets but emails are delivered straight to your inbox. So if you have managed to get people to sign up to your mailing list, you have less competing messages. Plus the open rate is a lot higher when compared to social media.
Just think about how quickly people scroll through the posts, pictures and message on social media – if you don’t capture their attention in two seconds you have lost them. With emails you have a more captive audience and people usually take more time to go through their inbox.
People also tend to check their email more frequently than social media. In fact, more than half of Internet users check their email first thing in the morning – before looking at Facebook, doing a Google search or even checking the weather. Almost 9 out of 10 email users check their inbox at least once a day. With numbers like that, the odds are that your subscribers will see your marketing emails more than your posts or tweets.
Also a very important point – people can save emails to read later on. But how difficult is it to find a Facebook post or tweet from a few days ago – good luck!
4. The rules keep changing with social media
With Facebook Zero which I discussed in my previous blog, the organic reach of Facebook posts have dropped – in some cases dramatically (unless some money has been put behind it).
With emails, you have greater control as to who sees your emails and when. It is very unlikely there will be big changes that will adversely affect your emails being sent and read.
5. Emails have a higher conversion rate
Emails have been around for almost 50 years. People are used to emails that contain business information and special offers as it happens all the time. If they have subscribed to your email list, they even expect it.
People use social media for social reasons. You rarely get on Facebook with a credit card in your hand ready to buy something. They are in a different frame of mind and this is often why people generally don’t respond as well to a social media sales push compared to emails (which is why you need to make your social media ads look more like a social share).
6. Emails have a higher return on investment
Sending out emails is one of the cheapest forms of marketing you can do. However you may find yourself having to fork over a lot of money in the long run for people to hear about what you want to say on social media.
Of all the marketing strategies you can use, email marketing has one of the highest ROI. A 2016 direct marketing report had the median ROI for email at 122% with social media only 28%.
8. Emails can be more personal
When it comes to emails, you have a lot more control over the content and design. Also you can put a lot more information in the email. In the case of social media sites, you are stuck with the limited capabilities of the platform you are using.
In addition to this, there are a number of restrictions of what you can and can’t say on social media (I have lost track how many times I have had to change a reference to “losing weight” in a Facebook ad). Worst case scenario your social media account could be suspended. Emails don’t have such a restriction on the content and you can segment your lists and send out different messages depending on your audience.
9. Developing relationships
With emails, you can control who sees what emails. You have your email list and you decide what you send out, who sees the message, and what day and time the email goes out. And based on how they respond to your email, you can send follow up emails to capitalise on their behaviours and interests.
With social media, you have much less control as to who sees your messages (if they see it at all). You run your ad, define your audience and hope your message gets across to the right person.
Think of emails as a phone book of your friends and social media more like a casual acquaintance. Email is the first step towards building a customer relationship database. It will help you nurture the leads, get the sale and hopefully create repeat business and build loyalty.
What I have always liked about emails is that you can test different versions plus you can track results a lot better. With most email systems you can see who has opened your email, what links they have clicked on, who forwarded the emails and so forth. With social media, you have no idea who saw your ads unless they comment on the ad or contact you directly.
So as you can see, emails have a lot of advantages over social media. This is not to say you should forget about social media. It should still play an important part of your marketing and it is great for reaching new people and branding. Though not as exciting as social media, emails are a very powerful and effective marketing tool for your fitness business.