Does email still matter?

I’ve been saying for the better part of a decade that your #1 goal as an author is to build an email list.

But things change. Especially in technology.

Instagram is huge now. Everybody is on Facebook. Except the kids. The kids are on SnapChat and whatever the hell else has come along. There’s YouTube and podcasts and thousands upon thousands of blogs.

So it begs the question…

Does Email Still Matter For Your Author Platform

Does email really still matter?

I ask myself this question all the time.

I get asked this question all the time.

After all, I don’t have any emotional connection to email. There is no email service provider cabal that is paying me to keep promoting email.

All I want is the best way for authors to get people’s attention and drive action.

How can authors build long term connections with their audience that allows them to communicate with their fans and get them to buy more books? That is the foundation of any author platform.

Sure, nothing is perfect. But what’s the best tool?

This weekend I came across a new research paper that gives us a much more up-to-date look at this question.

(this shows you what I do with my spare time)

The economists Erik Brynjolfsson, Felix Eggers, and Avinash Gannamaneni wanted to find out how important these free technologies we use — music, messaging, social media, e-commerce, online video, maps, email, and search engines — really matter to us.

They did a study asking people how much money you would have to pay them to give up each of these technologies.

So what do you think?

What was the most important technology?

Here’s each of them, in order, with the median amount of money you would have to pay people to give up each technology [1]:

  1. Messaging – $155
  2. Music – $168
  3. Social Media (all social media — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) – $322
  4. E-commerce (all online shopping) – $842
  5. Online video – $1173
  6. Maps, GPS, etc – $3,648
  7. Email – $8,414
  8. Search engines – $17,530

That puts email at 26 times more important to people than all social media. That’s even 7 times more important than all online video.

Yes, email still matters!

Every time I run a new book launch, this proves to be true. The author’s biggest asset is never their podcast or blog or Twitter following or Instagram following or Facebook page likes.

It is always, 100% of the time, their email list.

Your email list list is your #1 asset when it comes to building your author platform, and now that’s even backed up by new, fancy economic research.

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1. Brynjolfsson, Erik, Felix Eggers, and Avinash Gannamaneni. “Using Massive Online Choice Experiments to Measure Changes in Well-being.” NBER. April 2018. http://www.nber.org/papers/w24514.

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