How to Reach Your Followers When Social Media Fails
Zucced - Verb/Internet Slang
To ban, either permanently or temporarily, from from posting on a website, especially on Facebook or Instagram.
The internet always comes up with interesting jargon of its own doesn't it? I mean seriously Karen, WTH? You were Zucced too? OMG.
While pop culture continues to entertain us during these challenging times, it's also given way to controversy. Political back and forth has increased this election year, with people staunchly taking sides now more than ever. (I put that about as delicately as I could.)
Facebook has developed a set of Community Standards to keep things on a level playing field, or at least how they see it (again, delicate). Users are increasingly finding their posts blocked or "Fact Checked". Some Instagram and Twitter profiles have been blocked entirely when they don't meet the "Standards" according to the Social Media Police. This post isn't here to discuss that per se. This post is about how to reach your followers when you find yourself "locked out" of all things social media.
When I first wrote this post, it was intended to address Email Marketing as another tool to promote your business. I never envisioned what's been going on as of late, but here we are. Zucced.
Email Marketing is the most effective tool in reaching your customer or potential customer base. One of the points that I make is that with email, you own your list. Those subscribers are an asset - your asset. No one really stops to think about what would happen if Instagram went away - and took your 10k plus followers with it. Think about it. You put all of your eggs in that basket and boom - it's gone. Poof. There you are with your empty basket.
Well that's what's happening right now. Several of the Instagram accounts that I follow are setting up secondary accounts because their primary account has been put in InstaJail. They're blocked from posting and communicating with their followers. Not really good for business. You've got to have a back up plan outside of the social media channel people. You've got to have your own list! That way no one, other than your subscribers, can take it from you.
So follow along below as I give you once again the reasons you should be utilizing Email Marketing. Hit me up with questions and let's navigate these entertaining times together. Zucced or not, we've got work to do!
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The Importance of Email Marketing
Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam email (which is never a good marketing strategy, by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.
There are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, but here are a few of main ones:
- Email is the #1 communication channel. Did you know that at least 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis? That can’t be said of any other communication channel. In fact, over half of the population in the US over the age of 15 check their email before they do anything else, including checking social media. (Source: Optinmonster)
- You own your list. On any social media platform, your account (along with all your fans and posts) could be suspended or deleted at any time, for any reason, without notice. However, you own your email list. No one can take those leads away from you. That my friend is called an asset.
- Higher Engagement Rate: For the “Big 3” of social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), the engagement rate isn’t even 0.6%. Compare that to email’s average open rate of 22.86% and even its click-through rate of 3.71%. And that’s assuming that your social media followers even saw your post to begin with.
- Email converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 4400%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
Email is one of the most effective ways to make sales online. According to MarketingSherpa, about 60% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s list to get promotional messages and deals compared to only 20% that follow brands on social media.
Use email to connect with subscribers with relevant content.
- Engage, tell a story.
- Be authentic to your brand and your message.
- Be respectful and appreciative. Allowing someone into your email inbox is not unlike inviting them into your home. Be gracious
How to Start Email Marketing
Your email list.
You also shouldn’t just email everyone who’s given you a business card as they’re not necessarily likely to purchase from you.
Add a Call-To-Action (CTA) button on your website – SUBSCRIBE! Make it easy for people to click and subscribe. Highlight it in the top navigation bar or header; add it prominently on your home page. I like to have a CTA button in the sidebars of my sites and in the body of the content; that way they’re on every page. (Like the one below... hey subscribe while you're at it!)
Ask existing clients to subscribe to your email list. Most will be happy to hear from you as long as you don’t bombard them with emails. Back to that respectful thing I mentioned.
There are a lot of great tips and tools for growing an email list. I’ll cover that in later blog posts.
You can’t just mass email people from your Gmail account. I know it seems like the simple, inexpensive place to start, but no, don’t do it. You’ll be quickly marked as a spammer and you’ll find all of your outbound emails being blocked. Again, just no.
Effective and “best practice” email marketing requires a reputable email service. Anti-spam law is changing. In the European Union (EU), a new set of rules called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in May 2018. These new rules affect every email marketer who sends emails to people in Europe. Eventually, in my opinion, we'll be seeing rules like GDPR being implemented in the US as well.
A professional email service will give you the ability to manage your email list easily, create opt-out links and follow industry standard protocols.
The other benefit of a reputable email marketing provider is that your campaigns will be mobile-friendly. Mobile has surpassed desktop in email readership and will only continue to grow. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with a poorly designed email.
Two of my favorites are Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. Personally, at least for the time being, I’m using Mail Chimp. My larger clients are all using Constant Contact.
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. WPBeginner.com rated Constant Contact as the #1 Email Marketing service in 2019. It is also one of the easiest to use and beginner friendly email marketing services. You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.
Mail Chimp is great if you have a smaller list or you’re just starting out. Their platform isn’t as robust as that of Constant Contact’s, but it works nicely for a small organization.
Mail Chimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email.
I can help you with your email marketing strategy. From navigating email marketing providers and developing content down to setting up and integrating subscription forms into your website. And to make it easy, check out this free trial being offered by Constant Contact!
I cannot stress enough the importance of growing and maintaining an email list. And your list doesn’t have to be big to start, just start. Even if it just consists of a few friends and family. They know people… who know people. Get my drift?
For me, hey at least I know my mom enjoys reading my newsletters. Hopefully you will too.
This post was selected as one of the top digital marketing articles of the week by UpCity, a B2B ratings and review company for digital marketing agencies and other marketing service providers.
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Laura Nowak Brown
aka The West Coast Cyber Chick