Being online is now a de facto requirement for almost every business. Yes, there are exceptions but in the main everyone needs to have an online presence. That said when faced with the major outage experienced by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp just a few weeks ago what do you do? In this blog, I’m going to share why you need a Plan B and why you need alternative ways of communicating with your customers.

I was largely unaffected by the outage but that’s probably because it was late afternoon UK time, but it could have been different. Many companies use Facebook and Instagram as their main form of communication using Lives and so on to stage events and share offers etc. So what is the alternative if someone switched the social media lights out? Do you have one?

We saw lots of memes that day showing a mass exodus to Twitter and LinkedIn but seriously it could happen and to any platform. If you’re completely focused social media, then you’re making a mistake. You need an email list.

Before I go any further this isn’t a case of email replacing social media. You need both. You have probably heard a lot of people say email is dead. It’s not worth wasting your time. It doesn’t work. They’re wrong. There are four billion daily email users (Hubspot). If you don’t have an email list then your priority should be to start creating one. Here’s why:

You own the list

The recent outage proved how heavily we rely on social media to get to our audiences and that they can be taken away at any moment and you can’t do a thing about it. With an email list, you own the contacts. So long as you have the consent of the people, you’re emailing then you’re good to go. In any case, they can unsubscribe if they choose to. Don’t worry about this it’s very normal. If people unsubscribe then they wouldn’t have bought from you in any case. Think of it as a very effective filter.

Low cost

Email marketing isn’t expensive. All you need is an email marketing platform to host everything on and you’re there. I use Convertkit but there are plenty of others including Mailerlite, Sendinblue, Mailchimp and Active Campaign. Many of these have free offerings and if you at the beginning of your email list build then I would go for one of these.

Captive audience

Campaign Monitor reports that 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. Are you one of them? Your email list is a list of people that want to hear from you and so you can be really targeted with your message and offer.

Track your success

With email marketing it’s easy to track how successful your emails are. How many opens you get, click-throughs and so on. It’s not as easy to get so granular on social media. You can really pinpoint what’s working and then refine if required.

Gain feedback

Perhaps you’re creating a new product or have an offer that you want feedback on. Your email list is the perfect platform for this.

Have I managed to convince you? You would think I’m promoting the email platforms but I’m really not. I’m telling you because it’s important. Don’t run the risk of not having easy access to your audience and make a start on your email list today.

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