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Did you know that the first ever email was sent 50 years ago in 1971? The Guinness Book Of Records credits Ray Tomlison, an American Computer Programmer with sending it and although it wasn’t in common use until the 1990s it’s a system that plays a part in just about all of our lives.

The social networks we all use for work and our personal lives are quiite young by comparison; Facebook launched in 2004, Twitter was 2006, Instagram was 2010, Snapchat was 2011, Linkedin 2002 and for Tik Tok it was 2016 – realistically will they all exist in 20 years even in a different format?

Social networks are fantastic, they enable us to connect with current and potential customers across the world opening up new marketplaces, creating new businesses and even new industries. BUT and it’s a big BUT you will never own the list of followers or connections and you ultimately don’t control who on your list sees your updates.

If your social network of choice closes down suddenly how do you connect with your audience? And remember, nothing is too big to fail – Bebo anyone?? Also, what happens if you even unknowingly break a rule and find yourself suspended or worse locked out of your account with no right of appeal – this post from Facebook explains more. As does this one from a business owner who found themselves locked out of Instagram and had to start over again!!

Technically social media is free but for many years the free or organic reach (number of people who see your post) has been on the decline because social networks are businesses that need to make money and they want your ad spend. Factors such as the accounts your followers interact with, the times or days they choose to log in, whatever else appears on their feed and ultimately what the algorithm dictates determine who sees your latest updates and no business owner can change this.

However, if you’ve built up a list of email subscribers you control it – you decide when to email them and what to include in that email and if you’re using the right email software you can even see exactly who opened your email and whether they clicked into your website.

Email is not without its flaws, you do have to comply with legislation and be mindful of the content in order to not be picked up as SPAM with an email provider but with an average email open rate of 18% (2020) compared to 5.5% organic reach on Facebook (2020) not to mention the fact that you can see who specifically engaged with your email doesn’t it sound worth a shot?

There are many ways you can grow an email list including via sign-up forms on your website or social media, in exchange for an offer (discount, voucher or downloadable), and if you have the infrastructure in place you can collect them from your customers too – with their consent.

Ultimately every single person on your email list must have given their consent to be included in your email marketing list, using the right software they can check a box or click to activate a sign-up via an email which records what IP address they signed up from. As a business owner you must have a trail that confirms where you secured their permission to have them join your list and a receipt from a company you purchased the list from is not the proof you need. Such lists can be purchased in many places but those on the list haven’t given express consent to hear from you about your product or service so should be avoided at all costs.

There are many types of emails that businesses engage in such as Newsletters, Product/Service Updates, Company Announcements, Transactional such as those for Online Stores and each and every once has a place which we’ll cover in a future post – make sure to stay tuned!

This year there are estimated to be 4.1 billion email users worldwide with some 319.6 billion emails predicted to be sent daily in 2021!!!!!!! Isn’t there a place for your list whether it’s 100 or 100k in those 319.6 billion emails today?

If you’d like to learn how to get started on email marketing at The Marketing Shop we can help you with options for software, campaigns designed to grow a list, creating the content or training you to do it for yourself. Get in touch with us at tel 087-2785818 or by email debbie@themarketingshop.ie if you’d like to learn more. Alternatively, go ahead and book yourself in for a complimentary consultation at a time that works for you.

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