Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Social Media Alone: The Importance of Email Marketing

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Whether you’re an online business pro or you’re just getting started, you’ve probably heard some chatter about email marketing.  

If you read the phrase “email marketing” and you think to yourself, “Girl, I’ve GOT this!”, then this post is not for you.  If the main focus of your website and social media presence is to grow your email list, then this post is not for you.

On the other hand:  if you’re thinking, “I’ve got a rockin’ Facebook group and a killer Instagram page!  Why the heck do I need to worry about an email list?!”, then keep on reading, sister!  This post is written just for you. I’m about to share why email marketing is crucial to a successful online biz.

Reason #1 why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone: You don’t own your social media followers

Let’s just get this one right out in the open:  You do not own your social media followers. This bears repeating:  YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS.

Sooo… what exactly does that mean to you?  

It means that at any point in time, any given social media platform could decide that your content doesn’t conform to their rules or standards.  

For example, maybe you post something on your Facebook business page today.  When you check back tomorrow to see how your post is doing, you suddenly can’t find the page.  You do a search for it, and it doesn’t seem to exist.

Later, you find out that Facebook has deactivated–or worse, deleted–that account.  In some cases, you can file an appeal with Facebook and have your page restored. It is not, however, guaranteed.  

What do you do?  How do you reach your followers?  Do you even know who your followers are?

Reason #2 why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone: Social media platforms can break or disappear

Does anyone else remember that day about a month ago when Facebook and Instagram were broken?  [Side note: does anyone else remember thinking, “Is it just me?! Did Facebook delete me?!” …not gonna lie, totally wondered that until someone else confirmed they were having the same problems!]

I remember trying to post a reply to a comment on one of my posts…  and I couldn’t. Facebook kept telling me to “try again.” So I did.  I tried again… and again… and again, to no avail.

Later, I tried checking Instagram.  Nothing would load. My profile?  Couldn’t view it.  Posting?  Not a chance!

I couldn’t post to the Facebook groups where I am a member…

…or to my Facebook or Instagram business accounts…

…or to my own Facebook groups where I’m an admin.

Kinda scary, right?  Yeah, kinda.

But did I panic?  Nope. Why, you might ask?  Because I have an email list, of course!  I was able to send an email to my list to share with them whatever it was I was trying to share that day.

Oh, let’s also mention:  No social media platform is guaranteed to stay around (or to stay relevant) forever. Friendster.  Google+ (possibly the only thing that Google hasn’t done well! No offense, Google. We love you!!!).  MySpace. Need I say more?

Reason #3 why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone: you own your email list!

First and foremost:  email marketing is important for your biz because you own your list.  Let’s repeat that: YOU OWN YOUR LIST!!!

Once someone signs up to join your list (legally, of course–we’re not spammers!), no one can take that email address away from you.  Well, okay, let me rephrase: no one other than the owner of each individual email account can take any of those email addresses from you.  Of course, if an email account owner decides you’re not providing valuable content, she can unsubscribe at any time–but until that point, that address is on your list, and YOU OWN YOUR LIST!!!

There are a variety of email marketing providers out there to choose from, like MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, and ConvertKit.  All of them allow you to export your list to an Excel spreadsheet.  

Why does this matter?  Let’s say that your email marketing provider closes its doors without any notice (unlikely, of course).  Should that happen, you can take your exported list to another provider and never lose a second of access to the folks on your list!  Awesome, right?

Reason #4 why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone: your email content will be seen by a bigger chunk of your audience

Recently, I’ve heard several people in some of the blogging groups I’m in talk about how email marketing is dead and that social media should be the primary focus for bloggers.  This makes me sad to hear (refer to reasons #1 and #2 above as to why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone).

Yes, social media a big, important part of online marketing these days–don’t misunderstand me!  I spend a lot of time focusing on my social media presence, and it’s a huge part of my list-building strategy.  


By some estimates, only about 10% of your followers will actually SEE your posts–notice I said “SEE” and not “engage with” your posts.

OptinMonster found that less than 1% of your social media followers actually engage with your post.  Whaaaaat??!!!  Less than 1% are going to “like” or comment on my posts?!  Yeesh.

On the other hand, you can expect 20% email open rates and an almost 4% click-through rate for links in your emails (based on the same study from OptinMonster).  While neither of those numbers sound great, that certainly is better than less than 1%!

Reason #5 why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone: you’ll get more sales from your email list

Let’s be real:  it means a lot more to have someone sign up for your email list than it does to have someone like your business page, right?!  

Think about your own personal habits:  it takes a lot less thought to “like” your friend’s iguana-sitting business page on Facebook than it does to sign up for her email list to keep up with the latest trends in iguana care.  Right?! Right.

What does this mean for you and your business?  This means that anyone who signs up for your email list is already going to be more invested and more interested in receiving content from you–they’ve already determined that you have something of value to provide.  

According to OptinMonster, this also means that the folks on your email list are 3 times more likely to purchase from you than are your social media followers.  THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BUY!!! Don’t forget that!

Time for a recap: social media vs. email marketing

Let’s revisit the 5 reasons we’ve covered here why you shouldn’t rely on social media alone and why email marketing is so important for a successful online business.


  1. You don’t own your social media followers.  Your account can be deleted for seemingly no reason at any time–without an email list, how do you get back in touch with your peeps?
  2. Social media platforms can break or go away.  If one of them fails (whether temporarily or permanently), how will let you let your followers know where to find you afterward?
  3. You own your email list!  No matter how many times you change email marketing providers, you can take your list with you each and every time.  It is YOURS! Don’t abuse it, of course–ain’t nobody got time for spam. Just remember that it’s your list, and no one can take it from you!
  4. Your email content will be seen by a bigger chunk of your audience.  While social media may be more fun because we can “see” the engagement, your social posts still likely aren’t receiving as much attention as your emails.
  5. More sales, baby!  Email subscribers are more likely to buy from you.  Plain and simple. If that’s not enough motive to grow that list, I don’t know what is!



Are you convinced that email marketing is important to growing your online biz?  Have you already implemented email marketing strategies in your biz and your website?  I hope so!

We’ll cover tips to help you grow your email list in another post, but for now, you can check out my free workbook where I cover the first 5 steps I take with all my clients.  Step 4 is all about creating a lead magnet to get people on your list!  

If you liked the tips I’ve shared here, please share it with your friends and biz besties to make sure they’re on their way to growing their list and increasing their sales!

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