In today’s social media-heavy world, it’s easy to forget that sometimes, we need to get back to the basics. Now, don’t get me wrong – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever your preferred social media outlet (or outlets) are so very important to growing your brand – but you can’t just leave it at that.
There’s a common misconception out there that email is dead; we often make the mistake of thinking of it as a prehistoric version of Instagram. As brands, we need to stop thinking of email as an outdated version of today’s social media and start thinking of it as its own entity that can work magic for brand engagement. You need email and other social media platforms to complement each other, not replace each other.
The truth is, not only is email alive and well, it’s a MUST for your personal branding journey. And here’s why:
First, Let’s Look At The Numbers
Not only is email not dying, it doesn’t look like it’s going to die anytime soon. Statistics show that by the end of 2018, people will have sent and received an average of 281 billion emails per day and this number is expected to climb to 333 billion in five years’ time. That’s a whole lot of emails!
According to Statista, 82% of people check their email at least once a day, which means you can reach your audience quickly and efficiently every day. In fact, of this sea of emails, over 50% of them are read and sent on mobile phones – what better way to reach your target audience than to send them messages right to their pockets, 24/7?
And don’t worry about being annoying, because research suggests that most people read a majority of their emails and don’t mind frequent emails as long as they are relevant, interesting, and specific to their needs.
OK, so we know that emails are alive and well and that they can be extremely far-reaching. But why can’t we just use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram?
1. Emails Give The Right First Impression
Having persistent email campaigns for your personal brand shows the world that you are an established professional. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are all hugely important to the face of your brand, but having an email campaign opens up a more direct line of communication between you and your fam.
Most people regard email as a more serious method of communication. Internally, this means that people are more likely to respond to emails than any other kind of media. It also feels more personal to get an email straight into your inbox – straight to your pocket if you’re one of the almost 50% of people who check emails on their phone – than it feels to see a publically posted Instagram post that elicits responses from every single one of your thousands of followers.
2. Emails Make it Personal
While we’re on the topic of personalization, let’s talk email segmentation.
Email segmentation is used to send content relevant to each individual subscriber. Look at your email list and the people on it. Now, pretend you’re trying to set up seating arrangements for a wedding – all of your guests are there because they love you; that’s their common ground. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to seat your rather conservative grandparents with your friends from your rebellious college days. Think of email segmentation in the same way: all of your followers are following you because they love what you have to say, what you represent, and what your goals are. However, some of your content may be more relevant for some than others. Take a gander at your email list and divide it up into smaller segments so that you can better accommodate the specific needs of all your subscribers.
That being said, don’t take it too far! You always want to make sure that you are showing your true, authentic self. Don’t use email segmentation as a way of telling people what they want to hear and promote your brand in a false light. Be you! The last thing you want is to have followers who don’t like you, they just liked the false illusion you sent them. Be you, be real, be true. Customize the emails, not your values.
3. Emails Promote Brand Awareness
Every single time you send out an email, you are promoting your brand. It enables you to put yourself in front of a daily audience and spread awareness about your content. It alerts followers of new content, whether it’s a new blog, promotional offer, or Instagram post. It’s your way of directly contacting your followers about your brand.
The key to instilling brand awareness is persistent and regular communication. Compile a monthly newsletter that includes your most successful content from that month. This gives your subscribers an extra chance to keep up with your busy brand!
Pro tip: Try building an automated email series that keeps your brand fam at arm’s length.
If you are constantly building your email list, you are constantly promoting your brand awareness. Creating an automated email series is easy in MailChimp (my preferred email creation platform and its FREE!).
4. Emails Are Cost-Effective
The beginning of your personal branding journey is an incredibly exciting time. But, as fun and exciting as this time is, it can also be extremely stressful – especially when you’re working on a budget.
The price of headshots, website domains, and marketing can really start to pile up and be a huge cause of stress for new personal brands. In fact, I know too many people who are afraid to make the leap into branding because of the fear or the cost. While using email won’t eliminate other costs, it allows you to cut expenses where you can.
Email campaigns cost nothing compared to some of the other advertising and marketing methods at your disposal. While there are plenty of email creation platforms that are absolutely free, email marketing sees an average of higher return on investment (ROI) than both social media and direct mail campaigns. In fact, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. That kind of return on investment is priceless.
5. Emails Give You Valuable Insight
Every time you press send on your email campaigns, you’re generating incredibly valuable insights on your subscribers – your tribe. Don’t leave all that outstanding information to collect dust.
The primary indicators of a successful email campaign can be found in the open rate and click-through rate. Let’s make it really clear:
Open Rate: n. /ōpən rāt/
The percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened your email.
Click-through Rate (CTR): n. /klik THro͞o rāt/
The percentage of subscribers who have clicked on at least one link in your email.
The process for sending an email used to look something like this:
Step One: hit the send button.
Step Two: hope for the best.
That just doesn’t cut it in today’s world. The old days of having no idea if our emails were opened, read, deleted, or sent straight to spam are over. Now, we now have the software to let us know when someone opens our emails, clicks on the links, or opens the attachments!
Utilizing tracking tools and email analytics can help you build consistently better campaigns in the future. As you absorb what works and what doesn’t, you can tailor your emails to grow your CTR and open rate and eventually, expand your email list.
6. Emails Give You The Control
Though everyone on your email list may follow your brand on social media, active email communication gives you a way to contact your tribe should something go askew on social media.
Technology and social media algorithms are always changing. Remember the days when EVERYONE was on Facebook? Today, Facebook and its users have no street cred with the younger kids. So what if, in five years from now, Instagram (or your social media platform of choice) becomes obsolete? What will happen to your thousands of followers that took you years to build? Without email, you may find yourself without a way to reach your tribe.
As we’ve seen, the presence of email is expected to rise, so if you keep an active line of communication through email, you won’t have to worry about a social media platform falling out and taking your brand with it.
7. Emails Don’t Have to Be Boring
Emails don’t have fancy filters like Instagram or Snapchat to keep the content exciting, so why use email at all? The thing is, a lot of people associate emails with work and boredom, so they don’t think about how they could possibly be used for engaging interaction with your tribe.
Let’s bust that myth. Innovative email builders have a huge selection of layouts and designs, allowing you to customize your look. You can use gifs, images, colors, and fonts to make your email campaign match your brand and let your followers know that your emails are just as engaging, relevant, and you as any other form of social media.
Emails don’t just have consist of boring text and a signature – customize the look to your brand and pair it with an authentic message, and you’ll be golden.
Great Email Builders for Personal Brands
Email is such an important part of your brand, a part that too many people tend to overlook. But you’re in luck; you’ve got hundreds of email builders at your disposal. Here are just a few of the top email campaign builders out there with both free and paid features. Check them out and let me know what you choose!
In today’s competitive world, developing each element of your personal brand is essential to creating a lasting impression. The misconception that email is dead stems from the belief that all email is today is unwanted content or spam. But if you keep your emails personal, to the point, engaging, relevant, and promotional, it can be the missing link you were looking for to help you reach your brand’s next level.
Let me know how your brand is using email to communicate with your tribe on Instagram: @themodernmami!