Email still Is King

By OctaneGo, July 20, 2011 | Tips & Resources

You are online on Facebook chat and a pop up appears from a friend. You can’t ignore it. It reads, can you please like this page and then like this picture for a random competition that I wish to win. Like I said, your friend sent it to you, you can’t ignore it and hence you are obliged to like it. And the company who thought of this annoying tactic does earn one more like, but at what cost? At the cost of that user (in this case you) never coming back to that page or even bothering about it. If you had to pick one, what would it be? A Facebook “like” or an email address? ”

Given a choice between a qualified email address and a “like” of our Facebook business page, we would prefer to choose the email address. If you are thinking that why would we even opt for a like over an email address just because we are an email marketing company, we will tell you here is why:

1. To Like or Not to like is NOT the question
Let’s get one thing straight; we are not against social media. Getting thousands of “Likes” and driving potential customers to your page is undoubtedly good stuff but the real value comes in your ability to inspire them to action past the “like”. Even thought many people say that social media is interactive and is a two way process, it really isn’t so when you actually come to think of it. You may have thousands of followers but might end up having only tens of customers, and this isn’t a joke, it is reality. Rest of the community of online users are there under your sphere of influence but when you come to think of it, it takes a second for any user to skip a post while you spend hours thinking about what to post next. And we are pretty sure that even you as a user today must have liked hundreds of pages, but you can probably count the number of pages on your fingers you yourself ever take a second look at or bother about for regular updates.The majority of Facebook “likers” may never visit a page they must have once liked. It’s up to you to inspire your Facebook fans to further engage and join your community, which is not the case for email.

2. An email is more personal
This is one area where an email scores highly over social media. At the fundamental level itself an email is more intimate and personalized. It helps a company to form and nurture a relationship with its customers and usually a long one at that. As an email marketer you have complete access to tools that let you know your click through rates, conversions, analytics, the works, etc. Using that information you can design even more customized newsletters for a particular set of your customers, a technique known as segmentation and targeting. A post on a social networking website on the other hand is open to everyone, people who like your page and even people who don’t or haven’t yet liked it. It does become difficult to differentiate between customers and potential customers or random users on the web browsing your page.Therefore your post must be general in nature. Email-1, Social Media-0.

3. Trust
An email sent out over regular intervals of time helps to builds trust in a consumer’s mind. Also the way you obtain even a single email address requires more hard work and effort on the part of an advertiser than the effort it takes to obtain a single like or a follower. Having said that, the returns speak for themselves. Since a user signs up to receive your newsletter and takes out five minutes from his busy life to know more about your company and its offerings, you know for a fact that he is a genuine customer and one that you shouldn’t let go away with just a like and never treat again. From the first click of the “subscribe” button they are making a silent statement of trust. It’s up to you what you do with that trust. You really can’t say the same for a user who just liked your page a few days ago but you cant seem to track later on.

So the bottom line is that every time you might send out an email to your client list, the chance of a conversion of a prospective customer into a customer is higher when compared to a like or a follower. Therefore one can’t say with certainty that every time you put out a post on a social networking site, you will make a sale, although some of your followers will like that particular post. Just to make you feel comfortable about social media and its relevance, our next weekly blog will be on the integration of social media and email marketing. But for now, we hope you are convinced that email is still king :)

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