It's no secret that social media is in a downward spiral. Twitter's future is rocky. Meta just laid off thousands. Instagram is trying to be TikTok, and people are getting hospitalized for trying TikTok trends.
If you've been relying on social media for your Catholic business or ministry, the time to rethink that strategy is now.
Here are three reasons why email marketing is vastly more valuable than social media:
Like the things of this earth, your social media followers are going to go away.
If social media went offline for good, your audience would have no way of contacting you. All of those relationships you've poured hours and hours into building would be gone in an instant.
I can't emphasize this enough: You OWN your email list. Once someone gives you their email address for marketing purposes, you can market to them until the Second Coming.
Want to switch email providers? No problem!
Taking a break? No big deal!
Say something Meta would deem controversial? No impact to your reach!
Email marketing puts the control of your marketing back into your hands, not the whims of a tech giant.
Though dated, a 2012 Hubspot blog post shared that 43% of small businesses spend 6+ hours on social media per week. And that was before the rise of Reels and TikToks.
So you could spend 5 hours+ each week creating content for social media. Or, you could spend 1/2 to 1/4 of that time creating an incredible newsletter that doesn't have a character limit or require a master's degree in graphic design or video editing to pull off.
That means more time doing what God actually called you to and less trying to keep up on the latest trends.
And who doesn't need more time?
3. Conversion rate
Let's just start with deliverability. If 6-10% of people see your social media posts, that's really good reach. That's just eyeballs on your stuff - not likes, not clicks, not sales.
Your emails, on the other hand, will get delivered to almost everyone on your list (we use ConvertKit, which boasts 99% deliverability). And with average open rates in the 20% (we personally get 50-60% open rates), your emails are being seen by vastly more people.*
But okay, your post is magically seen by your social media audience - how many of them are going to take action?
The statistics are not clear because of the variability of what constitutes a conversion (the marketing kind, not the bringing souls to Jesus kind), but the general rule of thumb is social media sees less than 1% conversion rate while email can garner 2-5%.
It may not seem like much of a difference, but if you have 10,000 social media followers and 4,000 email subscribers, that's the difference between 100 sales (social) and 200 sales (email).
And when you factor in the time spent to get each of those conversions? Email is the clear winner.
*Of course, that depends on how many people you have on your email list. It's easier to get social media follows than email signups - but it doesn't have to be.
Listen, I love social media. It's great for brand awareness and getting in front of a lot people easily and for little to no cost.
But if you want to really develop an audience for your business or ministry to convert them (from a marketing AND spiritual sense), then you need to prioritize email marketing.
Stop spending time getting followers for yourself and cultivate followers for Christ.
Need help growing your email list? Let us help you! Check out our new St. Andrew Leads Package, designed to lead others to your work so you can lead them to Christ.