I have always been intrigued by Yoyodyne.
Yoyodyne is a company that Seth Godin built a few years back. The company was based on the concept of “Permission Marketing”, and they used Email as their main tool.
These days, Seth hardly talks about tactics… but I have heard him saying that Email is his favorite tool.
Even though I started my career as a social media marketer and worked in that field for many years, Email Marketing became an obsession in the recent past. As I went deeper inside this rabbit hole, I realized it’s true power.
While I won’t make a lot of friends saying this, Email Marketing actually kicks social media’s ass when it comes to creating meaningful relationships… and creating customers.
You see, there are a few flaws in “Social Media Marketing”.
For some businesses, Social Media Marketing might work in getting attention. Social media could play a big role at the top of the funnel. A restaurant’s Instagram page, for example, might lead to a walking customer. Or if someone is looking to buy a real estate property, seeing an ad on Facebook might lead to conversations and eventual sale.
But what about building relationships?
For brands that seek to build meaningful relationships with their customers, social media is not ideal.
To start with, social media is noisy.
The competition between brands to reach users is fierce. There is always a limited amount of content that a social media platform can show. In order to deal with this noise, every platform has its own algorithm. This algorithm will play be a few thousand rules and prioritize the content based on a few parameters.
In other words, the organic reach on social media platforms decreases as we speak.
And what do we do when the organic reach decreases?
Paid ads, baby. Paid ads.
Pumping money into paid ads can definitely get us some attention. But what happens when everyone starts doing paid ads?
Yep, you guessed it right.
The cost of paid ads starts going through the roof.
It is time that brands start re-assessing the platforms that they use. It’s time that they ask a few hard questions. Why are we on the platforms that we are using? What problem is this platform solving?
For how long will we stay at the mercy of these platforms? For how long will we keep migrating from platform to platform?
A brand that cultivates deep relationships, and communicates with its target market, is the brand that wins.
Email Marketing allows you to create and nurture such relationships.
Email marketing also gives brands a chance, to reach their subscriber’s inbox every day. Imagine the power of having conversations with your subscriber every day, with a guarantee that your messages will reach them. Can social media guarantee this?
It’s not just the frequency, but also the intimacy.
How would you confess feelings for a girl that you have a crush on if you had only 2 options – Email or social media? I hope the answer is the former.
Email conversations are personal. When a user comments on your social media post, he is aware that the whole world is watching. He hesitates to open up.
As he is conscious, he will play it safe… and leave a comment that does not taint his image. This restricts intimate conversations.
As an aside, I feel that a lot of trolling takes place on social media, just because the trolls want attention. Although I don’t have any research to prove it, I am almost certain that the trolling that takes place in emails, is much much lesser in comparison with the trolling that happens on social media.
Anyway, the point is that email gives your audience a chance to open up … and have real conversations, simply because Email is a private platform. The user knows his message is being seen by you and only you. This relaxes him and allows him to open up.
Marketers and entrepreneurs will agree with me that these conversations are important. Feedbacks from your target market are important in so many ways.
Email Marketing also allows you to tag customers. For those, who might not know what tagging means – an Email Service provider like Convertkit, Mailchimp allows you to categorize your users into different buckets. For example, out of the 1000 subscribers that a fitness brand might have, 200 might be really interested in a vegan diet. When these 200 subscribers have been tagged as people who are interested in being vegan, you can create a separate series of emails, only for these people. Isn’t that be wonderful?
Despite all these points, brands have still hesitated to move from spraying information on social media marketing to building deep relationships through email marketing.
I can only be optimistic about this change in the future.