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Email Marketing: Social Media's Red-Headed Stepchild?

Guest post by Lena L. West, Social Media Strategist

  (Apologies to all the red-headed step children out there. Although I am not red-headed, I am a step child, so it's all good.)Tory Johnson.Women For Hire.Hi Res headshot

I've been a fan of Tory Johnson's for some time now. Actually, ever since I stood out in the freezing cold  to be one of the first people into her Women for Hire event in NYC (back when I was still listening to my parents pleas that I get a "real" job). I thought to myself then, as I do now, "Who the heck IS this woman to have this much centripetal force that makes NYC women even THINK about arriving early and waiting in the cold in heels?" (Not in a who-does-she-think-she-is kinda way, but in a I-want-whatever-she's-selling-in-fact-I'll-take-two kinda way.) 

Over the years, our paths have crossed, but we've never actually worked together. Well, they say 2011 is the year of massive changes and shifts and "they" might be right.

Funny thing...he he...

Some time last week, I came across information about Tory's Spark & Hustle conference somewhere on the interwebs. I looked at it and thought, "That Tory's up to great things as always. She rocks," and I didn't give it a second thought, until... two days later a colleague sent me a link to the conference, and then I thought, "Hmmm...Tory's everywhere..she's getting her hustle on (pun intended). It'd be nice to be a part of that conference series." But, due to my own abundant schedule, I didn't reach out, but I won't non-busy mind, was thinking about the possible angles.

S&H_orange_SUREPAY_LOGOI "happened" to see the logo for the conference the next day (again in passing on the web) and then later that same say, someone from Tory's camp reached out and asked me if I would speak at the conference and two or three days of detail-ironing later, I'm speaking in LA on Feb 5th and in NY in March. Wanna guess what I'm speaking about?

If you guessed social media, you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong :)

My presentation is about email marketing. Yes, email marketing. Ever since social media gained popularity, email marketing has, to some, become the acne-ridden teen at the lunchtable in high school, the forgotten sweater from last year's school shopping spree, the corner of the pie crust we don't dare eat because we have to leave SOMETHING on the plate.

As I travel around the country speaking and doing in-person, one-on-ones with my private consulting clients, people invariably ask me, "Now that I'm using [insert the name of the latest social media hotness here], do I have to keep building my email list and sending my ezine?"

The answer is HELL yes, in fact, continuing to send your email newsletter gives you yet another notch on your social media success belt. Why? Well, I'm going to go into a lot of that at the S&H conference, but the crux is this:


You're going to be hearing a LOT about this topic from me this year and the concept of proximity (and it's cousins influence and authenticity) is at the heart of a HUGE program I'm launching next month. (I'm all nervous 'n excited 'n stuff!)

Here's what: email marketing allows your company to create a proximity with your potential clients/customers that most social media efforts could not and cannot achieve. Mmm hmm, I said it. Social media is AWESOME, but it's not the holy grail, it's not the key to the pyramids. Influence is, but more on that later...

While at S&H, I'm going to be sharing a real case study of an invitation-only, HOT, woman-led start up. Not a company with 15,000 people on their mailing list, but a company that has a little over 200 people on their list. They're a client and we are taking them through the Internet marketing ropes right now and you'll get to see what's happening behind closed doors and how my company is building their email marketing from the ground up.

Wanna know who the client is? Come to LA or NY.  Holla at me if you're in the house. I want to be able to personally welcome my Lipsticking peeps.

Oh, and bring your smelling salts...there WILL be "Oprah-ish" surprises at BOTH locations. See you there! ;-)



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Glad we're on the same page!

I love the term, "digital glue". Cool.

Thanks for reading and commenting -- and for the ebook offer.


Amy Garland

Lena, I'd agree with you about the "both/and". Email marketing and social media complement one another.

They can be used to promote one another, continue the conversation (that's currently happening on either or), and they simply offer your audience a variety of options. If they'd rather receive a monthly email summary of your blog posts than subscribe to your real-time feed, they can. If they'd rather keep up with you on Facebook than receive another email in their inbox, they can. But, each should offer unique content as well.

Our CEO talks about email marketing as "the digital glue". It is the common denominator of all the social sites, and is not going anywhere! (Disclaimer: I work for an ESP - Blue Sky Factory) My co-worker just wrote an eBook on social sharing; I'd be happy to send it directly to you (so you can bypass the form - Feel free to email me - agarland at blueskyfactory dot com

Amy Garland
Marketing Manager, Blue Sky Factory



Thanks for the kind words, Chris.

It seems, though, that you're equating social media with adolescent activity only and that's where you and I differ. There are many, many *adult* professionals who use social media and they use it wisely so, while you and I both balk at the "email is dead" sentiment, I equally reject your assertion that social media is solely the realm of "rambunctious adolescents".

When it comes to email marketing and social media, it's not an either/or construct, it's more like both/and.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Great article. You are spot on with the proximity concept.

What people fail to realize is that social media and email marketing usually do NOT coincide. Yes, social media is booming - primarily for the younger crowd it seems. However, email marketing is for companies, not rambunctious adolescents; unless, of course, there is a said adolescent who just so happens to run a company. People think email is outdated. It's not; it's just about who uses it. I can't imagine how social media might have worked back in the day. I found this blog about ancient Romans using social networking to be pretty funny. And they say email is old! Ha

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