How to Avoid Social Media Shrinking Your List

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The publicity and hype surrounding social media have led many noisy commentators to exclaim: “Email is dead!”

Not only is email and email marketing far from dead but social media has highlighted its appeal.

Email vs social media
Good email marketing is branded to complement your website, with short, sharp headlines and teaser paragraphs linking to the complete article on your website – well-researched, well-written articles that are topical, informative, and search engine-savvy. The volume required for effective social media marketing means it’s often mindless and unoriginal.

The real time streaming of Facebook and Twitter isn’t suited to saving and reading at leisure. It can be extremely difficult to find a post if too much time has lapsed. Your social media audience is likely to be far less than your Twitter follower or Facebook likers total suggests. In the case of Twitter, your actual audience is the number of people on Twitter at the time you Tweet. The competition for attention is far fiercer on social media than in email. Others may crowd your email but, for now, it sits patiently in the inbox, waiting to be noticed.

All good professional email marketing programs have integrated social media which makes them easy to share. So if your email recipients can access your email on Facebook or Twitter, why would they want to stay on your list?

The value of email subscribers
Email subscribers have given more commitment to a business than a Twitter follower or Facebook ‘liker’ and should be valued accordingly. Building a massive following on social media is one thing, taking those relationships to a deeper level where you’re actually converting them to paying customers is another. A relationship with an email subscriber can be built over time, until they’re ready to purchase from you.

Email marketing can be extremely targeted. It’s easy to mail a segment of your list based on previous message responders (or non-responders), past customers, or any other attributes you collect and attach to a record. It’s also easy to personalise, using dynamic content such as a recipient’s first name. Social media marketing can’t be segmented or targeted and, even if such things were available, limiting the number of people who can interact with your message and spread it around diminishes the whole social value proposition.

How social media is threatening your email list
There is a threat to email, which businesses should take seriously. With email newsletters shared over social networks, what incentive do people have to give you their email address if they can read your emails on Facebook?

Demonstrate the value of being an email subscriber by rewarding subscribers’ commitment with exclusive offers or content. Hold back your very best to spoil your email list with.

Businesses that replicate every update across Twitter and Facebook, and give nothing special to email subscribers, are missing the point. Each channel is different and should be treated accordingly. By replicating each message in all the different channels, you bore and overwhelm people into leaving.

How email and social media work together
Email and social media marketing are a powerful force when combined. Your message must to be tailored to each channel’s audience, compelling people to share your communication, amplify your visibility and extend your reach.

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