Email Marketing 101, Part 1

Why Email

When you think about building your site for the first time, you’re probably also thinking about your Facebook presence. After all, that’s where the people are, right?

OK, that makes sense at a superficial level. But there are two problems with emphasizing platforms like Facebook instead of your own site and your own list:

  1. Facebook owns Facebook. Building your online presence on someone else’s digital turf which they adjust to please themselves (and not you) is risky.
  2. Facebook stinks for engagement.

??Stinks” “ a bit strong, you say? Well, according to a very good engagement rate on Facebook is 1%.

One percent. That’s it. Most posts do much, much worse.

In other words, 99% of your Facebook fans simply don’t see the post, on average. Ever.

Of course, Facebook wants more people than that to view your post. And, of course, they want you to pay for that. Hello, business model.

Email lists, on the other hand, don’t stink. An average an email update, by contrast, should expect to have a typical open rate around 20%. That is at least 20x better than the best typical un-promoted Facebook post.

Put another way, email delivers twenty times more engagement than Facebook.

Often better.

Thought-provoking, huh?

Meanwhile, let’s get back to point (1) “ the wisdom of building your business on someone else’s turf. With email, who owns your email list? Why, you do. Not Facebook. Not Google’s search engine. You.

With email, you’re not engaged in digital share cropping:

What that means is that you can take that list wherever you want – and do whatever you want – with it.

Your email list frees you from third party sites, like Facebook, deciding you need to pay now to reach the same people tomorrow you reached for free yesterday.

Tomorrow, some thoughts on when to start with email marketing, if you haven’t already begun.

[This is the first article of a short, four part series on Email Marketing 101.]