Email vs Social MediaI’m not breaking new ground here, but I think it still needs to be said. When compared with Email, Social Media doesn’t deliver the traffic that most people want for their websites

You’re probably thinking Facebook is taking over or that Twitter is quickest way to build traffic but that’s not what the numbers and the experts are saying!

However, let’s make one thing clear before I get stuck into it – I’m not saying you should ignore social media, just make it less of a priority. Focus more on Email.

Why is Email so effective?

Every single person who has social media has an email address, but not the other way around. Also, what happens if suddenly Twitter or Facebook disappear and go out of business?

You can’t backup your ‘Likes’ and Followers, but you can always save a backup of your email list.  Straight away that’s something you can own and take control of.

But there’s more to it than ‘what if Facebook or Twitter go out of business?‘, chances are slim that will happen anytime soon.

Let’s look at a few statistics:

  • The amount of people online using email these days is 94%, social media is 61%. (source)
  •  75% of all adults prefer email as their preferred marketing method (source)
  • In regards to Commercial use (spending money) Email still sits around 75% (depending on the age group) usage, whilst Social media ranges from 1% to 4% (source)
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of email marketing (source)

Think about social media like Facebook or Twitter…

You login to your account throughout the day and other people’s posts or tweets appear on your feed. Slowly, some posts fade away in the nothingness at the bottom of the page.  This is if you happen to be online when they appear – you may not see them at all.

In many cases if you’re not online at the right time you’ll miss a lot of updates.  So what if you’re the page making the update? Your audience may not even see what you post!

Here’s an example, I have a Martial Arts movies Facebook page with 5,500+ likes.  The less popular posts only reach roughly 300 people (the stuff no one is interested in) whilst the popular posts reach 1000 – 2000 or so people.  A virally popular post may reach the full 5000 or more!

A case of Facebook under performing

A case of Facebook under performing!

So a post has to be pretty exceptional to reach the same number of people as my fan base a lot of the time – before they even click to investigate it.

Social Media is made to be social, it’s like going to a party and catching up with friends.  You chat about your life, movies or music – you don’t go to buy something! Email is still personal but more focused, proving time and time again to drive more traffic and reach more customers willing to spend money.

What about email? Once that email lands in someone’s inbox, it will sit there until it is opened or deleted. It doesn’t disappear. This is pretty awesome as most people will receive less than 100 emails a day – that’s pretty slim compared the 1000’s of Facebook posts or Twitter tweets that buzz straight through their feed unnoticed.

Email has less competition to get noticed by your readers and won’t disappear if you’re simply not posting at the right time. It’s no lie, studies have shown that email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter (more info on that here) for reaching your audience.

Other Marketers agree, Email is where it’s at.

You can take my word for it but you don’t really have to.  Sure I’ve linked to studies and other articles above, but what about other highly successful marketers? Here’s what they’re saying.

Derek HalpernDerek Halpern of Social Triggers:

“If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot”

Derek focuses on building his Email list as a main priority.  He has built his business around email whilst barely promoting any social networks on his website.

Derek’s website Social Triggers is one of the most popular and respected marketing blogs in the world.

Mike DunlopMichael Dunlop of Income Diary:

“Build an email list from day one.”

Michael Dunlop is a guy who was making 100 grand a year online with websites by the time he was 20 – he’s all about list building on his website Income Diary.

Mike found that having a simple popup grew his list exponentially. So he created Popup Domination to streamline the process and get more email subscribers.

Natalie SissonNatalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur:

“The money is in the Email list”

Natalie Sisson lives a life most would dream of – travelling and making money from her laptop.

She has tracked the purchases on her website, Suitcase Entrepreneur, and discovered that Email is the top referral of buying customers.  Email makes up 56.8% of all of her sales…  Social Media was 4.3%.

How to take advantage of Email and create ‘The Email Catcher

Promote Email more, promote social media less.

‘The Email Catcher‘ is the name I give this layout I’m about to describe to you. While I gave it a name, I didn’t create it – it was inspired by many blogs I frequent who have similar layouts and massive email lists (a big hat tip to Derek Halpern above).

I’m not quite that original! :)

First and foremost, remove all of the useless clutter from your design and minimize Social Media boxes.  Have some share buttons at the bottom of a post and icon link to your profiles somewhere on the page.  That’s it.

Social Media, in my experience, is better for searching within to drive people to your website. Don’t waste a website visitor by trying to send them back to Facebook Page or Twitter Profile.

Here’s what we’re going to add instead:

A feature box on your main page

The Feature Box on Jason Ferruggia's Fitness Blog

The Feature Box on Jason Ferruggia’s Fitness Blog

The feature box is a large rectangular box that showcases the benefits of subscribing and offers a small form for visitors to enter their email. It takes up a lots of screen space and cannot be missed when you land on the page – which is why you don’t want it on other pages.

If you have a feature box on a blog post it will make the information the user is after harder to find.  Not a good idea.

Since most fresh website visitors land on a blog post, adding a feature box to your main page catches emails by being the first thing a visitor sees on the next page they visit. It’s well documented that new visitors often go to the homepage of a website after reading an article they liked – so give them the option to subscribe!

Since they go looking for what else you offer, offer them something enticing in exchange for their email!

Optin forms on your about page

About Page Opt In

About Page Opt In on Social Triggers

The next most popular page visitors look for after reading an article is your about page.  Curiosity often leads a visitor to this page to see what the website is about and who the writer really is.

It’s simple, tell your visitors why they should visit your website and then show them a small optin form.  Put a form in during and at the end of your about page.

This technique does wonders for many websites and should not be overlooked!

At the end of a blog post

Add an Opt IN at the Bottom of your posts

The Opt In box at the bottom of my posts

Once again, you’ve won a visitor over with your writing so it’s time to put a nice little email form below your content.

When people finish reading an article they often start to search elsewhere for something else to do.  As mentioned above, some go to your home page, others to your about page, but some may see that email form at the end and be primed to subscribe.  So put it there for convenience!

 Finally, at the top of your sidebar

Notice the Opt In box on the right sidebar - WebDesignerDepot

Notice the Opt In box on the right sidebar – WebDesignerDepot

Sidebars aren’t noticed that much, but when they are people usually start at the top!

You guessed it, if people start at the top then you need to pop an email subscribe box in that place.  It’s dead easy to do and will be the first email opt in form that’s displays on your website in most cases.

Those are the four main elements of ‘The Email Catcher’! 

Then send out some Emails!

Of course, you need an email service to get started.  You can start with ConvertKit as it allows you to sign up 1000 subscribers before you start paying anything. You can’t complain about free!

I run through the complete process of setting up mail list here, you can also create a design using the ideas above using Divi, which I also created a ‘how to’ video for.

Then once or twice a week send out an email promoting your website’s content.  Remember though, email is a very personal medium so keep it classy.  Don’t bombard people with links, instead offer some real value so they stay subscribed.

People sign up to your email because they believe you can offer them something, so don’t let them down!

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