What you don't know about social media will hurt you
The worst thing that you can do for your business is believed the lie that email is dead. Relying on social media for your business growth is actually doing the opposite. It’s killing your business. I’m going to share a few myths and facts, all data-backed about social media versus email marketing so that you know exactly what’s happening in your business when you choose social over email.

I’m Christina Ethridge and I help solopreneur business owners transform their email list into loyal customers. And a while back, I was at an event and someone shared with me that ever since their social media following had become substantial, that they no longer bothered using email marketing. They believed that email was dead and now they just post on their social channel about their business and it was working for them.

So they believed. They had continued to grow. Their followers were engaging and responding and they felt it was just going to continue to be an upward climb. I tried mentioning several things to them that I’m going to outline in this video for you, including that they were likely missing out on double to quadruple the amount of sales and revenue that they should be getting because they weren’t leveraging their email list.

Their response was that their open rates were always pretty low, less than 20% on average. So email just wasn’t worth it. Besides they believed their generation doesn’t even use email anymore. So what’s the point? I’m going to give you an update on this person and their business later, but for now, let’s hit on some of those things that I brought up to them.

Myth number one, “social media engages better than email.” The fact is, is let’s just compare the reach on social versus email. Facebook has a 0.09% reach. Instagram has a 1.22% reach. Twitter has a 0.045% reach. So what does that mean? It means that social media on average has a reach of about 1%. Now email has an average open rate of 18-24%.

So basically social media has a one out of a thousand reach – one out of a thousand people see what you post on social media. Email has a 180 to 240 out of a thousand reach – out of a thousand people. When you send an email, do you see the drastic difference between these two? Just that alone is a reason to let’s get people onto your email list.

Myth number two, “email is dead.” The under 40 crowd doesn’t use email. Email’s dead, the under 40 crowd does not use email, but the data shows that this is a lie. It’s a myth perpetuated by people who have an opinion, but they don’t have the data to support their statements. Across all demographics – email is the most preferred channel. When you dig into it by generation, there was a slight dip with millennials – and I mean slight – but an uptick with gen Z.

So in other words, across all generations, email is their most preferred channel. Why is email so greatly preferred over other communication channels? Because email feels the most personal to people, which means that you need to be personal in your connection with your email list.

Myth number three, “email isn’t worth it. It just takes up time and doesn’t pay off.” Email has a 4200% return on investment. That’s a 42 to one. That means for every dollar that you spend on email marketing, you’re going to see a return of $42. I’m sorry. If I saw a return of just $1 for every dollar that I spent, I’d still use it, but this is a 42 to 1 return on investment.

Myth number four, “social media is where you should invest your time. It’s where everybody hangs out.” See social media is rented space for which you do not have a lease. You have nothing. You have nothing. It’s rented land. With email, you own it. Invest in your own real estate.

With email, you own the data versus your social media following it’s owned by the platform, not you and you can’t do whatever you want with your following. With email data, you can do whatever you want with it.

Myth number five, “I have control over my social media. I can just post and reach my people.” Well, actually, you have zero control and you can and will at some point be censored or shut down, or the platform will close at any time for any reason, without warning or recompense. Remember this is rented ground that you do not have a lease for.

You’re using it for free, which means you’re kind of a squatter and you’re at the whims of the platform. But with email, you actually control it. Even if for whatever reason, the software that you’re using to send your email quits working, you’ve still got your list and you can move it to another software or do it the old-fashioned, manual way. You can’t have your list taken from you because you actually physically own it. You can have your subscribers, followers, likers taken from you. See what you need to remember is that your email list is the most lucrative, AKA valuable, asset of your business.

It is the most lucrative asset you have available to you. It’s your moneymaker. It’s your powerhouse, it’s your saving grace. These are your people wanting more of you, buying your products and services. Now remember the person that I shared with you at the beginning of this video that stopped using their email because social media was better. Fast forward eight months from that conversation that I had with them, I actually got a message from them in a panic, asking me for help with their email list.

See their main social media channel had shut down their profile one day – had shut down their profile one day into their biggest launch of the year. They hadn’t been using their email list. And when they started sending out emails to compensate for the loss of their social media channel, their email account got blocked by their email marketing service provider.

Why? Well, because they had an overabundance of spam reports. And why did they have an overabundance of spam reports? Because their email list was stale. They hadn’t been growing or adding to it or emailing it for almost a year. And then they started slamming their list with “Buy this! Buy now!” emails during the launch. That’s a quick shutdown. What ended up happening is that their biggest launch of the year, which should have been double or even triple their previous launches actually came in at an 80% drop from their previous launches. They didn’t get their social media channel back in time. And because they hadn’t been communicating with their email list, they weren’t able to email the people that they had previously gathered.

They had the list, but because they hadn’t been communicating with it on that platform, they couldn’t do it any longer. And in their case, they couldn’t just transfer to another email marketing service platform because their list didn’t qualify under the CAN-SPAM Act because they hadn’t been emailing it for over a year. Basically, these were considered cold emails and they didn’t have permission to email them.

Additionally, their ability to run social media ads was shut down. And because their main social media channel profile was shut down, they weren’t allowed to run ads. They were screwed. But the fact is, this was their fault. It was their fault for relying on rented ground without a lease and not building and maintaining an owned asset – also known as their email list.

Fast forward, another four months, they had gotten their social media profile back, but noticed a significant drop in engagement. When they finally figured out was that their audience – or what they had finally figured out was that their audience had started moving over to another social platform that this business owner wasn’t present on. And now they’re working to rebuild on yet another platform.

And they’re working on focusing on their email list, building and connecting with people on that level more than on social media. They finally got the balance right. They essentially had to start from, like from scratch again. Had they kept building their email list and kept communicating with it, the loss of the social media profile would have been a minor inconvenience rather than the major wreck that it was.

So please ignore the “email is dead” or “social media is better” blather and focus on building your email list and communicating with it. Drive your audience from your social channels into your list. Own the future of your business. Don’t rent it. And if you want to know what your emails should look like, so that your people open, read and respond to them, download the perfect email template that I created for my eCLUB members. It’ll get you going on a fast and easy path with your email marketing.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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