It is time to harvest on Facebook

Since the spring of 2015 Facebook marketers have been on a downward spiral of being able to reach their fans both organically and via promotions. In 2018 the issue is going to get horrifically worse.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook this week, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri said “I expect that the amount of distribution for publishers will go down because a lot of publisher content is just passively consumed and not talked about. Overall time on Facebook will decrease, but we think this is the right thing to do.”

The biggest losers will be you, the publisher. You will now have to fight even harder and pay even more for your content to show up. If it isn’t content that the users can comment on and their friends want to comment on, then you can forget it.

So what should you do?

My answer might surprise you. Return to email. Email marketing has remained relatively the same since it first started in the 90s. You are still in control of your list. You own everything. Everyone who you hope the emails goes to gets it. (Email Marketing nerds don’t get righteous with me here about deliverability and open rates). In fact, good emails still go viral.

So how do you “return” to email? Well for starters do a quick audit of where you have followers, friends, and fans and compare that against your email list. And for the purpose of this exercise feel free to just compare numbers. Let’s say you have 50k Facebook fans, 2500 Twitter followers, 1500 Instagram fans, and maybe a few hundred folks opening your Snaps. Well, how big is your email list? 2000? 5000? My guess is that it probably isn’t 50k like your Facebook fan list. So consider a strategy to get people from your social media accounts to your email list.

1. Make it worth their while.
Why should someone join your email list? Is there any benefit? Do you even email out? Do you constantly push products and services so the emails are boring, predictable, and useless?

2. Follow the AAA of email writing.
Make it worth Anticipating — send stuff regularly
Make it worth Appreciating — send valuable stuff regularly
Make it Actionable — send valuable stuff regularly with a link to more valuable stuff.

3. Make it easy to sign up. 
Ask every website visitor to join. Give a reason every week to join your email list on every social platform with a link to do so.

4. Change your thinking.
Facebook isn’t as magical as you think it is. Email is more magical than you think. Nearly every super successful b2c marketer I know makes damn good revenue from email. Hell if Amazon and Apple rely on email so should you.

5. Build a funnel.
I would keep your email funnel simple. 
-Use social media to drive people to email sign up form
- Have a bribe/gift someone receives when they give their email. Gifts are better than discounts.
- Have an opt-in (sign up) form that is easy to use and gives clear instructions if they need to go check their email to verify
- Make sure they receive the bribe ASAP hopefully on the next screen, if not, via email.
- Have a simple 1–3 email follow sequence that gives value and helps them navigate your company
- Send 1–3 emails a week as a “newsletter.” Give value. Teach them how your product or service can make their life better. Even better, show them. (Remember AAA)
- Use an email service provider like Mailchimp, Aweber, or Constant Contact, to make sure you are following the CANN-SPAM Act rules. 
- Monitor all of your numbers and adjust to make more effective.

I don’t think there is any reason anyone reading this can’t gain 5000 email list subscribers in 2018 if they follow these rules. I have found that the value of an actively engaged email list can easily range between $1-$10 per subscriber annually. That means that this could add $5k-$50k to your 2018 revenue.

I will be going live today at 3p on Facebook on my personal account to discuss these changes. I’d love to have you join the chat.