I’ve noticed a shift this year in the focus of my digital marketing consulting clients. They are moving toward email. Email is kicking ass. For my small to mid-size clients, email is delivering the biggest return on costs compared to social media or paid media. Here’s why I think it’s happening.
People are sick of bullshit on social media. Social content is under fire. Facebook got run over this year by a bunch of algorithm smashing fake news sites and crappy video re-posts. At the same time, they (again) diminished natural organic content from companies who worked tirelessly to build fanbases. Now, every Facebook page manager is stuck in an infinite feedback loop where they must increasingly post algorithm-tricking, low-value content to improve reach numbers, while Facebook continues to cut page reach. The end result? Pages are in a race to the bottom in an attempt to game the algorithms, and readers just don’t care anymore. It’s a waste of time to dump thousands into trying to build organic following on Facebook.
Twitter is losing active users. After years of allowing spam bots to run the show, Twitter’s users are disengaged. They visit less. They read less. they interact less. They care less. Meanwhile, I’ve seen nothing promising about Sponsored Posts from Twitter in tests with my clients. It consistently fails to deliver conversions, and so it doesn’t get my client’s media spend.
Turning to email to turn off the noise. Turns out an email inbox is a whole lot easier to curate than a Facebook feed, Twitter feed or Instagram profile. Email interactions that are are less frequent, but highly informative have more value than frequent low-value content built to trick content algorithms.
There are awesome communities and training programs like this one, this one, and this one using email as a huge component in their community-based marketing. They are centered around passionate communities, they deliver useful and interesting information. It’s a preferable way to engage with the content you care about.
Here’s how email works best:
Add to your subscriber’s day. If you can’t do this, don’t email them. It’s pretty easy. Only email people if you’re going to give them something cool or useful. They will skip every piece of marketing unless they care about the content. Use that as your measuring stick, and you’re on the way.
Build that list. There are a lot of ways to build subscribers, and paid social is one of the best. Measure your conversion costs, A/B test your landing pages, and unless you’re going to offer something that will make people’s day better, don’t bother.
Social media content is dying. I believe we’ve reached the peak for social content focused marketing campaigns. There are too many platforms. Most are overrun with meaningless shit thanks to their content algorithms, and marketing adds to the noise. As a result, people will move back to analog communications, and email – if done right – will play a bigger role in the future.