Why email, not social media, is king of building relationships

Editors Note: This is the first in a series of posts by guest author Danny Brown.

Remember when social media first arrived on the scene, and how it was lauded for the way it now gave customers a voice to connect with the businesses they buy from?

And remember how, as cool as it was for customers to have that ability, it was even cooler for the businesses that embraced social media?

Not only could they talk to their customers – from support to complaints, pre-sale questions to after-sales service – but they could also build personas, customer identities, profiles and more from which to market far more effectively.

For a while, it was awesome. And then something changed.

Due to the noise of social media customer interactions were being missed. Would-be advocates were being missed (or worse, ignored) as businesses struggled to keep up.

The problem with social media 'success' is it's impossible to scale to 100% meet the needs of your customers.Click To Tweet

As social media became more popular and businesses became less agile, a discord was struck, and things have never been the same since.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

The Cost of Scaling

One of the reasons a lot of businesses (and entrepreneurs) struggled to keep up with their customers on social media is cost and time.

While it’s true you can choose from a selection of free tools to help you manage your social media accounts, these quickly become limited when you start to gain a larger audience.

What used to take maybe an hour a day could now take a full working day to manage. If you want to try and keep on top of that, you’d need to start thinking about more features on your engagement platform of choice, as well as more staff time to actually manage these accounts.

Free suddenly starts to become not-so-free suddenly starts to become damned expensive.

Faced with the choice of rising costs or scaling back and taking the risk of missing out, many businesses – reluctantly – have gone with the latter.

The rising cost of social media for business shouldn't mean you need to leave your customers in the dark.Click To Tweet

Social media has become an afterthought, and communication between business and customer – existing or potential – has suffered.

Replyable can help bring that communication back.

The Beauty of Living in Your Inbox

For years, we’ve been told: “email is dead”. And yet, according to numerous studies and reports, email is anything but dead. Consider this:

  • The number of email accounts is expected to grow to 5.59 billion by 2019 (an increase of 26% in current numbers).
  • 72% of US online adults send or receive emails by smartphone weekly.
  • 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make purchases…. as a result of emails based on shopping behaviors and preferences.
  • 42% of businesses say email is one of their most effective lead generation channels.

These statistics*, and more like them, confirm that, far from being dead, email continues to be one of the lead communication channels when it comes to both customer preference and business effectiveness.

Which makes perfect sense. Think about it – we live in our email inbox, for some very simple reasons:

  • It’s convenient. Given most email providers support responsive emails, we don’t need to be tethered to a desktop for important updates.
  • It’s instant. Emails can pretty much be answered anywhere. No firewalls, no social network downtime, no internet connection, no distraction by pictures of kittens.
  • It’s conversational. No restriction to 140 characters. No rush to get a tweet or a Facebook status off; instead, a measured response that can highlight each point in the sender’s email.
  • It’s informative. We start to see nuances in the language and humor of a sender’s ongoing emails, instead of missing that from a quick social media update.

Simply put, email actually delivers on the promise of being in control when it comes to delivering a  great experience for your customers, as opposed to the sometimes empty promise that social media can offer.

Email actually delivers a better customer experience than social media.Click To Tweet

And, if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur who’s experience how little control social can offer when it comes to managing expectations, you’ll love how Replyable brings that control back through our awesome email engagement platform.

We’ll be digging into this in future posts, including how blog comments aren’t just for blogs, and how email conversations from content can start your business on a completely new and more effective path.

Ready to take the jump? Sign up below to make sure you don’t miss any of our posts, and feel free to talk to us about how Replyable can help you regain control of your goals through the simple act of comments and conversations.

*email statistics: source

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