For some reason, there is a rather insidious and tenacious rumor that circulates through social media circles that mailing list are passé; no longer necessary for connecting with and staying in contact with fans or customers.
They are wrong! If you are considering a jump into social media and online presence, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!
I had a conversation with a potential client recently. Couple challenges.. he’s way to smart for his own good. He wants to reap the rewards of Social Media – Facebook and Twitter. That’s cool.. there are some rewards there depending upon your content, offers, and campaigns.
But when I asked him about his mailing list and content on his website, his answer was, “no one uses mailing list anymore.” He went onto explain that Facebook and Twitter are better for staying in touch because everyone is using them.
He’s been beguiled by theory over practice.
It is true that many people are on Facebook and Twitter for much of the day. The challenge is that very few of them are listening and the medium is noisy and competitive.
The pragmatics are that both mediums are not owned by you and your brand. With twitter, just counting messages today, 17 out of 20 are marketing messages.. outgoing pseudo-conversations; mostly by people who sell twitter or other social media services.. think: fox guarding the henhouse
On Facebook, the noise is slightly different and as I like to tell clients, “You are not as cute as a kitten.” You see, Facebook has a business branding element, but your messages are not directed and you have very little control over who is really seeing them. You cannot send anything directly to those who have engaged with your page.
The time driven format of Twitter, Facebook, and similar platforms, means that your message is not only diluted when it appears to people – but it is often simply not seen. Yes.. people can follow hash tags and search twitter.. but most of the people who do that are the people selling you Twitter as a marketing platform.
I’m not saying “don’t engage on those tools..” Facebook is an effective platform to share compelling content…
And there is the key! Content is still king.
A rational online presence strategy
Here is a simple overview of what I help clients understand and why the mailing list is critical.
- Social media is a burst platform with the ultimate goal of getting people to your website;
- A blog is still the best platform for publishing your content for its search engine benefits and engaging reader or listeners with your message… fully developed, non-sound bite message.
- Enough great content and a great offer or two; you earn their trust and they will sign up for your newsletter.
- An engaging newsletter with great content and you will keep their attention, engagement, and the opportunity to share your product or service without the noise and interruption found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
Get it in place and use it
Which one is right?
It probably doesn’t matter. The biggest challenge people have with their mailing list is not a lack of features but a lack of content and a regular schedule.
What do you think?