The big marketing advice today is that “you must build your list.”
By “your list,” they mean your email list. Email is touted as the best way to market. But is it really the best way?
Here’s the case for email. Let’s say it’s the year 2006 and you have a massive fan base on the social media network MySpace. Every time you promote a new product on there you make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A few years later, Facebook came along and you hear crickets on MySpace. You promote a new product and you barely make enough money to feed yourself. Now you wish you had the email address of every one of your fans. They’re not checking your MySpace page anymore. And without their email address, you have no way of contacting your fans directly.
Email marketing works because email is one of the few places people check every day for updates.
That means email marketing will remain effective as long as you can count on people to check their email every day.
Other channels that can be just as effective in reaching your audience are:
- Text message marketing
- Telephone marketing
- Direct mail marketing (though this is less effective today, when people change their physical addresses more often than their email addresses)
These are the only ones I can think of. Do you know any others?
But the problem with the alternatives—text messaging, telephone calls, and direct mail—is the higher cost in resources. They are also more “in your face,” which may anger many people.
So maybe email really is the best way to market today.