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Marketing / Email Marketing

Why Relying Solely on Social Media Marketing Could Be a Disaster for Your Business

This old-school technique may not be sexy, but it offers big returns.
Why Relying Solely on Social Media Marketing Could Be a Disaster for Your Business
Image credit: tommaso79 | Getty Images
- Guest Writer
CEO of Thriving Launch
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It seems like every day some new influencer is posting about the death of email. Fancy cars, cool videos and hordes of fans have them convinced email is useless. Not only that, they want you to follow the hype and buy their new strategy for Instagram, Snapchat or whatever else is trending.

Related: How to Write Emails People Will Actually Open

As your trusted digital marketing consultant, I'm here to tell you: Don't trust the hype. Email is alive and stronger than ever. It may not be sexy, might not allow you to showboat your success, but if you take a look under the hood, you'll find email is still the champion for online sales. In fact, here is a comprehensive list of 70 incredible email statistics to make any business owner salivate and start typing up those unsexy emails to make more profits.

From the list of those salacious email statistics, one of the most notable metrics for entrepreneurs is this one from the Direct Marketing Association: For every dollar spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. I love that little piece of data, and from my own experience, in many months my return on investment has been over 1000 percent.

Since I've made a great deal of income with social media, I can't argue with the fact that it helps to create revenue, but when it comes to the hierarchy of importance, email comes first. This one tragic event of internet celebrity Felix Baum losing millions of fans because Facebook deleted his account paints a clear picture as to why building social media leaves you vulnerable. Since he didn't own the information of his fans, there was nothing he could do.

In contrast, if Baum owned the list of his fans, if his provider shut him down for some reason, he could just migrate his list of subscribers to another hosting service -- and he'd still be able to communicate with them. The panacea to being so susceptible on social media hosting sites is simple -- build your email list.

Related: The Best Days and Times to Send Your Email (Infographic)

How to capitalize on email

By now, I hope we're on the same page -- email isn't sexy, but it's worth it. To capitalize on email, you'll need to start collecting emails from your web visitors. Doing this isn't hard; it'll take just a bit of time, thought and elbow grease.

First, you'll need to place email capture boxes strategically. The first place your website should do this is in the upper middle half of your site's homepage (right above the scroll). To see an example, here's my website. On average, we currently collect upwards of 50 emails a day. If your email box is large, easy to spot and catches your visitors' eyes -- they're more likely to give you their information. Oh, and did I mention that those opt-in boxes help us generate upwards of 50 new leads on a daily basis? Imagine that, having a website that collects prospects for you -- while you work, eat, sleep and take care of the kids.

The next place to have an email capture box is at the bottom of your website, across all pages. Some examples of major brands that do this are Victoria's Secret, Eddie Baur, Ralph Lauren and O'Reilly Autoparts, just to name a few. Another way to capture emails is through a pop-up on your website. Yes, I said it, install one of those annoying pop-ups on your site. I know that as a user you hate them, but the data is clear -- pop-up email opt-in boxes work. It's for this reason that companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Virgin use pop-ups.

Related: 24 Email Marketing Stats Every Business Owner Should Know (Infographic)

What to offer so web visitors give you their email address

When it comes to creating eye-catching and compelling email opt-in boxes, I advise you to focus on building highly targeted offers that your visitors would want.

A straightforward offer you can make is a discount. In fact, according to data collected in the National Email Client Report (in conjunction with eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions and others large corporations), 38 percent of users give their emails in return for a discount. If you're a business, the lowest hanging fruit to collect your visitors' email is by offering a discount code that requires users to give you their email.

If you don't want to offer a discount or it's not something you believe is right for your industry, there are other options. In my case, since I work in the world of consulting and information-based products, I offer free trainings instead. Similarly, you could offer your visitors a guide and video series that helps with the problems you solve. The goal is simple: Offer visitors a good reason to give you their email and later follow up with an offer for them to make a purchase -- but before you can send them inbox offers, you'll need their email.

If McDonald's, O'Reilly Auto, Virgin, Polo Sports and just about every other multibillion-dollar company is using email to increase business, isn't it time you did, too? And I hope your answer is a strong and definitive yes!

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