Getting the word out in Corona times

So I live in upstate New York and right now businesses are just starting to open up.

Out of all the states I think we’re taking our sweetest time, but more retail shops and more office-based businesses are finally opening up after months of being shut down.

And the one thing they’re all doing is they’re all trying to get the word out that they’re open for business.

I drive past restaurants with big signs out front shouting from the mountains that their dining room is now open. Breweries are posting photos of their open patios. My barber, after being shut down for two months, slid into my DM’s to let me know I could finally schedule a haircut. 

The funny thing with all this is all these businesses are using every tool in their toolbox to get the word out, except using an email list.

I think I only got one email from a local business saying they were now open. But nearly all of them are either using the tired and true offline methods, or exclusively relying on social media.

And even the local breweries that I frequent, that built their businesses with social media, don’t email their own customer lists.

And it’s not like they don’t have access to peoples’ emails. I’ve placed several online orders with some of the breweries near me.

But when it comes to them announcing that they’re opening their patio, releasing a new beer or a new can, they do it all through Instagram only, which is a dangerous strategy.

The bad news is if you look at other businesses right now, they cant leave Facebook fast enough. Big companies like Verizon, Coca-Cola and more have all come out and stated publicly that they ceased their ad spending on Facebook. Probably because Facebook is a complete dumpster fire and the big Fortune 100 want to take their money elsewhere.

I recently remembered a Dan Kennedy seminar I watched on video a few years ago. In the video, he talked about the time when he thought about buying a bookstore in downtown Phoenix where he lived.

In his words, the only thing that was a complete dealbreaker was the store didn’t have a customer list. So if something happened that was out of his control, there was no way to contact his customers.

And today, there are still roadblocks. Sometimes they’re physical, but there are virtual roadblocks too. Years ago, Google unleashed the Kraken with its penguin update and pushed a lot of sites off Page 1. YouTube also has its army of censors ready to demonetize any video that isn’t family-friendly.

Going forward, you can’t rely on social media, platforms of any of their algorithms. If you have an audience, you need to take steps to move them from a platform to a list that you own 100%.

If you can export your list, back it up on a thumb drive and take it with you, that list will always be in your back pocket. If you’re on a platform, as sexy as it might be, you need to plan a potential exit strategy before you get pushed off.

John

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty