We like to think of marketing like the back row of a chessboard. These are your strongest pieces, your digital marketing platforms, capable of the most movement at once. The king is Facebook and by its side is Twitter, the elegant, fast-moving queen. Strafing these two are the rook and bishop, which represent different social media platforms, depending on your business: Instagram, Pinterest, or even LinkedIn. The knight, however, is your email list, and it’s the only piece able to jump over others.
OK, we’re done with the chess metaphor, but this is meant to prove a point. Social media is a strong marketing tool, but both large and small businesses should be continuing to try to gain email subscribers. Here are the reasons why.
Clicks Are Better Than Impressions
The thing about solicited emails is that you have to interact with them. Even if customers are moving them directly into their trash bin, they still see the subject line and your company’s name before clicking a box.
In signing up for an email list, customers have effectively given you permission to send them things. Even if they’re not reading them from top-to-bottom, they are likely opening your emails because they’ve asked for them. They want to see what’s new with your company.
People Prefer Meaningful Communication
Email marketing campaigns allow for a softer approach to advertising; your message doesn’t have to stand out from others on the screen. Once someone opens your email, they’re ready to receive your message. So now that they’re listening, you can choose your voice.
Email campaigns allow for a lot of creativity. You can include multiple promotions in a single message; products, blog posts, event listings; whatever you want your audience to know about. If your reader sees one thing they like, they’ll likely be open to see what else you recommend. Emails are the perfect platform to cultivate your brand identity, too, and build a relationship with your subscribers.
The Algorithms Can Be Beaten
Social media feeds may not show 100% of your posts to 100% of your audience. Some social feeds function on chronology (like Twitter), while other focus on relevance (like Facebook). Both ways can limit your reach. However, an email list allows you to strafe past changes social media may make to their algorithms. Everyone on your list gets an email, not just the people who are online at the right time or who have friends liking your posts.
“When you give up communication to your customers through Facebook or Twitter you are now at the mercy of [those platforms] allowing you to talk to your customers.”
An email list gives you a marketing channel that is your own. No algorithms, just communication.
You Can Create A Community
Creating a great email blast (or eBlast) allows you to flex your creativity, too. This means strategizing fun incentives to retain your subscribers. This could mean offering exclusive discounts, expert advice, sneak peeks at new content, etc. This may even mean asking for your customers’ input on things, like in helping to choose a photo for your next podcast logo (those of you on the Green Cup Design email list know what I’m talking about).
However you decide to play chess with your marketing channels, be sure to remember your knight. It could be the piece you need to win.
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