Influencers, social media, Tik Tok, it’s all the rage, right? But while you weren’t looking, something peculiar happened: Email got sexy again.
Yes, old-fashioned and boring email. That stuff you spend hours answering every day. That email.
Did you know that the email newsletter platform Substack announced it was raising an extra $65 million? It is the favored platform of superstar journalists and companies who want to trade info by email for subscription dollars.
The New York Times recently restricted its employees’ personal newsletter activities. That’s because every superstar reporter is the NYT’s equivalent of a morning show. And if that morning show can spread its content without needing the NYT mothership then there will one day BE NO NYT mothership. The audience is everything, and if you have the direct connection to the audience then you don’t need a middleman. You don’t need Google or Facebook. All you need is email!
As I reflect on this I am reminded that the average Christian station – commercial or non-com – has precious few listeners on an email list. And most of those are either donors (which total to maybe 4% of your Cume) or contest players (which likely total to even less).
We are surrendering our best connection to the largest fraction of our audience: The one that comes to their inbox.
Remember, while you can reach your entire weekly cume at least once via over-the-air programming – 7 days, 24 hours a day – 168 hours in total – and take a full week to do it. Or you can send out an email and theoretically have it done in a few minutes. Then do it again and again and again.
And while your over-the-air content is ephemeral – it is literally gone in the air – your email sticks around until the listener hits DELETE. It is, in other words, an opt-in ad, a promotion, an engagement device, an invitation to listen once again.
How hard do most Christian stations work to grow their email lists? Honestly? Not very. But in a world of pricey social media and even pricier outdoor, the cost of email is virtually FREE. What are you waiting for?
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: What do I send them? Well, let’s flip that around: What do they want? Why do they listen to you and what can you send them that provides more of that in more ways? How, in other words, can you provide more value to your audience by reaching them via email? The more value you provide, the more email signups you’ll have, and the more that engagement is likely to translate to listening.
Sometimes the most important things are the most obvious and the simplest. And yet, they’re still the ones that get away. It’s not too late to fix that. Ask yourselves: What is your email strategy? How can you dramatically grow your email listener list? What value can you provide that will turn occasional listeners into regular ones and regular ones into raving fans?
President of Mark Ramsey Media
Mark Ramsey is president of Mark Ramsey Media, strategic research provider to many Christian music stations including K-LOVE, AIR1, KLTY/Dallas, WPOZ/Orlando, KTIS/Minneapolis, and many others. More information about his services is at http://mrmchristian.com. Sign up for FAITHBRIGHT, his weekly email of smart and actionable ideas for Christian broadcasters here: https://goo.gl/2hJMCG. Reach him at 858-485-6372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.