Let's talk numbers:
There are 500 million active daily users on Instagram and 95 MILLION photos & videos posted to the platform daily.
The hashtag #fashiondesigner there are 6,658,778 posts.
The hashtag #emergingdesinger there are 197,889 posts.
The hashtag #shoplocal there are 13,603,283 posts.
The hashtag #boutique there are 13,910,755 posts.
Talk about crowded!
In addition to literally millions of people posting daily, Instagram continues to make changes to the platform's algorithm making it harder and harder for your posts to be seen even by the people following you. Ugh.
While Instagram is a great platform for building community and sharing the story/message behind your brand you definitely don't want to rely solely on Instagram to market your business and promote sales. Even with Instagram's new shopping feature, there's one platform that according to the Data Marketing Association has the highest conversion rate of all channels and that's email marketing. According to a McKinsey and Company study,sending emails to your community is 40x more effective than social media when it comes to actually making sales.
I've definitely seen this first hand. Since I’ve begun working with designers and small business owners to create and send branded email campaigns, I've noticed that when we send emails my clients are more likely to make sales directly from the email than they are from social media. (How do I know? Many of my clients use MailChimp for email marketing which has a feature allowing you to connect your store to the emails. This allows you to see which emails are making money and how much. For Instagram, I've experimented with using the new buy feature and using trackable links in the bio to see how much traffic is coming from Instagram.)
Why is email marketing so much better at selling than Instagram?
#1. You don't have to fight as hard for attention.
If you're anything like me it can feel like your inbox is always full however I can confidently say that I'm sure none of us get 95 million emails a day. Unlike with Instagram where you have to fight for people's attention before they scroll past your posts, or with the algorithm changes where they may or may not see your posts, with email marketing you have a much higher chance that people will take the time to open your email and read your messages.
#2. They want more than pretty pictures, they want to know whats going on.
Many entrepreneurs I talk with struggle with promoting their business because they don't want to be too pushy. They want people to authentically purchase their products without coming off like ads. Unfortuntely, that's just something you have to get over. Part of having a business is selling. However, the good thing about email marketing is that everyone that signed up for your email list chose to be on your list not just because they want to see your pretty pictures (like Instagram) but because they want to know more about your business and want to know what's going on. They want to be kept in the loop about sales and event so don't be afraid to share it with them.
#3 You own your email list.
Do you remember that time when Instagram went down for a few hours and everyone lost their mind? Whether you have 500 followers on Instagram or 5,000, how would it feel if they all suddenly disappeared and you had to start over? What if *knock on wood* Instagram had a major glitch tomorrow and went down for days. Or, what if you somehow locked yourself out of the account? How would you communicate with your community? If Instagram is the only platform you use to promote your business, what would you do? How would you get the word out? Just like Instagram has made changes to the platform that you had no control over, you also have no control over the future of the platform and how it affects your business. You do however have control over your email list.
#4. The people that sign up for your list are more likely to be your target customer and are more likely to buy.
I recently chatted with a local designer that was only using Instagram to market her business. She makes children's clothes and has a super modern and minimal aesthetic. She was able to grow her Instagram following to somewhere in the thousands and consistently got hundreds of likes on her pictures but when it came to sales, she wasn't making nearly as many as she would've thought. So, she decided to look through her followers and found that although her followers love her clothes and her aesthetic many of the people following her don't have kids, therefore, wouldn't have a reason to buy from her unless it was for a special like a cousin's birthday. She has tons of followers and looks successful on IG but she wasn't making sales.
Instagram is all about the visuals. It's not uncommon for people to follow accounts not because they have any interest in buying from them but simply because they like the pictures they post or find an account inspiring in some way. Email, however, is different. While someone may follow 2,000+ people on Instagram, most people are a lot less likely to sign up for 2,000 email lists. If someone signs up for your list it tends to be because they're interested in your business, want to know more and would potentially buy.
There's a reason why mega-retailers like Nordstrom and Anthropologie AND smaller brands like Everlane and Elizabeth Suzann still send emails in addition to having a strong Instagram presence.
Email marketing can be a powerful asset however even though many have a mailing list, few actually send emails out on a regular basis. Instead, many tend to focus their attention on Instagram and other social media platforms to spread the word about their business. The irony, however, is that email marketing can be far more effective than social media marketing especially when it comes to driving sales.
So, how do you get started with email marketing?
What should you send your subscribers?
How often should you send emails?
How do you make sales using email?
These are all questions I'll be answering and MORE at the Fashion Marketing Workshop on Sunday, January 14th! From 10:30am until about noon I'll be walking you through how to build the email sales funnel that could make the biggest difference in your business right now.
During the workshop I'm is going to teach you:
- How to sell to your email list in a way that builds trust and drives sales.
- How to use automation to turn more subscribers into customers
- What sales funnels are and how to create them for your business.
- How to spend less time marketing and more time doing what you do best
- Plus, a lot more!
There are still a few more days to purchase tickets to the workshop before the price goes up so don't miss out!
Ready to start the new year with more than just resolutions? Start the year with intention, purpose and a personalized strategy to build and grow your business in 2018!
Grab tickets to the workshop here