List building and email marketing may be considered “old fashioned” and even “un-sexy” compared to social media. The rallying cries of “Email marketing is dead!” are ringing out all over the social media world. But you probably need to know that these cries are simply inaccurate. They are also hurting the bottom line of those businesses who listen.

List building or social media isn’t the question. The key is to use them both, together, to maximize results for your business. List building and email marketing provide your business with the most direct line of communication for turning leads into sales, which is why the smartest entrepreneurs have no intention of giving it up any time soon.

Social networks are great. I like to use them. You can find me on FacebookTwitterLinkedin, and Instagram (IG QR) at any time.

We believe that if you are asking, “List building OR social media”, you are asking the wrong question. I use both. I still focus most of my marketing on list building and email marketing. Why?

Social networks thrive on the sharing of good content, and your only real job on social media is to give people something to share.

When people see something on your social media site, some will like it and click it to learn more. When they do they have just told you something. What did they tell you? They are saying they value at least this particular piece of content.

When they get to your site, your job is to continue communicating with them on that topic. When it comes to ongoing communication, email is the best choice.

Email marketing helps you avoid just another update in an overcrowded Twitter stream. An update they may very well miss. Email allows you to stay in front of your audience.

When your information is on social media, it can get lost on the page with a lot of other posts. When your information is in an email that the reader asked for, you have their attention.

This is why so many successful entrepreneurs focus on list building and email marketing.

Still not convinced?

Look at the data.

In order to convince you that email should be your top priority when it comes to communicating with customers, look at the statistics and data and see how and why email marketing and list building lends itself to better engagement.

Email is More Popular than Social Media

According to a recent study by Ipsos, nearly 85 percent of people who use the web will use email, compared to only 62 percent who use social networking sites.

The key difference to note here is that all social networking sites were included in that 62 percent, which means that each individual site has far less of an audience than you think.

Email is universal, widely used, and still the biggest place where business is conducted online.

Worse yet, by using multiple social networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest), you are dividing your audience across multiple platforms.

Compare that to list building and you can quickly see how email marketing can be very powerful as a single focused distribution channel for content and updates.

Email is Made for Business

One thing to remember when evaluating why social media updates, ads, and even promoted posts are so ignored is the fact that you are competing with fun and games on social media.

When the average user logs into Facebook, they want to see new pictures from last Friday night (so they can un-tag all the evidence), updates from family members who are out of state, political debates, and witty status updates from their friends.

Not only does email trump social media in both quantity (more users) and quality (better engagement), email marketing was simply made for business.

Email as a communication channel is personal.

As consumers, we are therefore naturally more receptive to things in our inbox. We guard our inboxes much like a mother wolf guards her pups … because they are filled with things we choose to see.

This more intimate method of communication lends itself to more honest discussions and decisions. This is an important reason why people will always be “warmer” to being sold via email, and just another reason why email will always beat social media when it comes to marketing.

When Facebook went down, we knew they would fix the issue. We did not panic. We were not afraid of losing a ton of communications we needed. When our email provider goes down we scream blood murder. Why? We need those emails. We areafraid we will lose an important communique.

When social media is experiencing problems all I do is log in to my autoresponder and launch an email campaign to generate sales while social media works out their issues.

Which do you prefer in your business, List Building or Social Media?

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