As creatives, we focus a lot on social media to engage with our fans. And why? Because it’s immediate. Because it’s widely used. Because it’s social.
And social media is wonderful. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. It keeps you regularly conversing with a your fans and followers.
But even social media has some pretty staggering limitations that are holding you back.
Where social media falls short, emails lists reign supreme.
Now wait, don’t go deleting your Facebook or Instagram accounts! Keep up the good work you’ve been putting in there, but start an email list, too.
No really, start that email list.
Honestly, do it.
Here are 5 reasons why you’ll really wish you started it yesterday:
1. You have control of your email list. You don’t have control of your social media accounts
Pretty much every major social network gives users the illusion of control. But in reality, all the social networks use clever algorithms to determine what content you actually see on your feed.
How does that hurt you, the artist? Let’s look at Facebook as an example.
Say you have 10,000 likes on your Facebook fanpage. Even though 10,000 people signed up to get your updates by clicking the “Like” button, the majority of them will not see your content when you post it – even if you’re posting multiple times a day.
Why? Because Facebook takes into account many factors when deciding if they’re even going to promote your content to your fan’s feeds.
While they say that they simply want to inform users and make Facebook a better place on the web, you ultimately are not in control of your profile, and you’re not reaching everyone who liked your page.
To add insult to injury, you have to purchase Facebook ads to get your posts to the top of someone’s feed. (Even then, your paid posts aren’t necessarily going to reach all of your fans or expose you to many new people.) This makes the whole experience closer to pay-to-play, rather than nurturing organic growth that builds lasting fan relationships.
Your Facebook fans are people who already like what you’re doing and want to see more from you — they proved that by hitting your “Like” button. But those 10,000 Likes could easily be an email list of 10,000 people who actually get to see your updates and grow closer to you and your art.
2. Talking to your email list keeps you from fading away
You already know that communicating with your fans on a regular basis is important, and that social media isn’t always the most effective or reliable way to keep in touch with them.
When you talk to your fans through email, it’s much harder to fade away into the flood of their other commitments, conversations, distractions, and daily demands of life. This is because you’re there in their inbox as often as want to be: monthly, weekly, even daily. You want your emails to become an exciting routine for your fans.
Now, that doesn’t mean that your email will be the only one in a fan’s inbox. Depending on how subscribe-happy they are, they could have tons of other businesses reaching out to them regularly through email. But someone’s inbox isn’t going to punish you based on some robot rubric that determines whether it’s “relevant to the receiver’s interest.” Yeah, the receiver is interested! They signed up to receive your emails in the first place! So send them emails consistently and frequently.
Keeping up with an email list keeps you front of mind with your fans. Here are some great ways to start converting social media followers over to your email list.
3. You can sell to your list
This is a biggie. Email lists aren’t just about sending newsletters and updates. You can sell to your email subscribers.
When you market to your email list the right way, it can become one of the most effective sales tools you have.
Sales can feel slimey, but think about it like this:
What is an email list, essentially? It’s a curated, self-conscripted group of people who love what you do, who want more of it, and they’ve given you to the go-ahead to talk directly to them. That means you have a wonderful opportunity to present your subscribers with items for sale that they would absolutely love to purchase. Nothing slimey about it.
Your email list is the most powerful for your business when you utilize smart marketing and sales funnels with your subscribers. Here’s a great example of an email funnel. It’s very simple and easy to customize to your needs.
4. Email is highly personal
Email is not as formal as it used to be. A few years ago, you only needed an email address if you were an employee at a company or if you were looking for a job. Email was reserved for professional correspondence and the occasional chain-letter from your crazy aunt.
These days, email has gotten a lot more casual and a lot more fun, AND, you guessed it, highly personal.
Our inboxes are private. We don’t publicly share the content of our inboxes like we share statuses or photos on social networks. It’s our “personal space” on the internet, and you’re hard won to gain access to it.
So if someone has signed up to receive emails from you, they’re giving you the opportunity to talk to them in a very direct, very personal fashion. It’s not something to take lightly. Your subscribers are giving you a lot of trust, which is necessary to grow authentic, amazing fan relationships.
5. Email lists can do a lot of work for you while you sleep
Remember that sales funnel stuff from #3? Here’s where it starts to get magical.
When you automate your email marketing, it runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is working for you when you are not working.
You don’t have to commit hours and hours each week to updating your email list like you do your social media accounts. Ain’t nobody got time for that. You’re already pulled in lots of different directions. Automate your weekly updates, your sales and marketing funnels, your blog posts, anything you can (within reason) and watch your list get happier while you make some money in your sleep.
Bonus: How to start an email list from scratch
More on this to come! We’ll show you how to start your email list from 0 and grow it full of happy, invested fans who cannot wait to hear from you. Stay tuned.