Email Will Out-Live Social Media

“So what’s the next big thing online to get the word out?”

The singer from a popular hardcore band asked me this recently. They’re no slouch, with 5+ albums and a few European tours under their belt. But most smart bands are always looking ahead, no matter how big they are.

Years ago Facebook worked great, but now they charge you to reach all your “Likes.” Twitter is fun, but have you looked at your analytics to see how many people who actually see your updates? Toss in Snapchat, WhatsApp, Vine, Instagram, YouTube – what works? What’s the easiest way to reach your audience? What will work next month?

Email. Email will work.

Two amazing statitiscs:

According to this report from the Radicati Group, “there are three times more email accounts than Twitter and Facebook accounts combined.”

Chances are 99% people of your last gig had an email address. Think that many people were on Twitter or Instagram?

When your main “getting the word out” message is via networks that some people – believe it or not – aren’t using, you’re talking to a brick wall. Telling your fans “Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!” means nothing to people who aren’t on either.

And from Campaign Monitor, “you are six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet. 

Seriously – look at your analytics! Amongst the barrage of marketing messages, pleas for clicks and RTs and “share this” – this is 2015! It ain’t gonna get better in 2016, folks.

And yes, 10’s of thousands of social media followers looks great. But take a look at the Bit.ly links of some media outlets (by adding a + sign to the end of the URL); some have six-figure followers and can’t even get 1% of their audince to click a link. If less than 1% of your fans are clicking, what’s that make the other 99% of your followers?

If you’re looking to magically convert your 10,000 Twitter Followers and 50,000 Facebook "Likes” to email subscribers, good luck. Remember, if you’re “fortunate" to have 1% of your fans click on ANYTHING (let alone a link to join an email list), it’s going to take months to grow your list from your social media following.

But you should start doing that now. Remember, MySpace was the #1 music site online in 2006 and now it’s gone. Do you think we’ll still be talking about Twitter and Facebook in 2020? There’s a chance we might not, but you can be sure that email will still be around.

And those “Likes” may not be.


Seth Werkheiser is the quiz master of metal trivia at Skulltoaster. He’s also the founder of some music sites you may have heard of, including Noise Creep (2009) + Buzzgrinder (2001). He’s anti-Facebook, anti-clickbait, and anti-growth hacking. You should most definitely follow him on Twitter. Yes, right now.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.