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What eCommerce can Learn from #FacebookDown

If you’re part of the 45% of the world’s population who is on social media, you were most likely frustrated yesterday.

The culprit?

Facebook and Instagram were down for a few hours. This caused digital rage from the world’s netizens. For some, it was also a temporary glimpse of the world before the onslaught of these two platforms.

Recently, memes about ‘living in the 90s’ and ‘going back to the 90s’ kept going around the world wide web. Then came the rebuttals and realizations. Some commented that if we were in the 90s, social media influencers wouldn’t have jobs. They wouldn’t be living the way they do now. Digital marketers realized that their jobs didn’t exist back in the 90s.

With Facebook and Instagram down, it was an outage. It was an online riot. Users flocked to Twitter to rant. Social media marketers could not check the status of their ads and campaigns. Businesses stopped operating.

What happened to your business during #FacebookDown?

The day might have started off as another day for you.

You are part of the digital marketing team of a well-known eCommerce brand. You’ve spent the last couple of weeks preparing for the launch of a Facebook campaign.

You’re set to release the first of a video series that you’re sure will go viral. Let’s say there’s even a planned Facebook Live of an event with your influencers!

You’re hyped and excited, counting down the minutes.

Then the outage happens.

You feel helpless.

You’re at a loss for ideas.

In your mind, you’re saying goodbye to all the budget spent on the ads. The event won’t even make it on Facebook Live. Goodbye impressions and views.

This exact scenario may not have happened. Yet, the outage affected a lot of businesses. There were people planning to do Facebook Live videos who weren’t able to do so. Ecommerce businesses on Facebook and Instagram could not communicate with their customers. Messages kept failing and pages were not loading. Both buyers and sellers alike were drowning in anxiety.

Thankfully, after a few hours, both platforms were up again and the world was back to normal. Influencers started posting OOTDs and food flat lays once again. Online shops continued sharing reviews from their customers again. Brands posted new product photos and videos.

But in everyone’s mind was this question: what would have happened if FB and IG never got fixed?

Will eCommerce businesses cease to exist when FB and IG disappear? It’s not inevitable. Look at Myspace, Friendster, and Multiply. These were once social media superpowers, now buried under technology. The truth is, we never know when Facebook or Instagram will stop being relevant.

The incident actually showed how eCommerce marketing can succeed beyond social media. The truth is this: if you depend on social media alone, you will be helpless when problems like the outage occur again. Your potential leads and customers will all disappear.

How can eCommerce businesses continue operating without social media?

The answer might surprise you because it’s nothing new. In fact, it has existed since the 1970s. It has still proven its worth as the most effective digital marketing tool. This was even after we took it for granted.

Email marketing is the art and science of sending direct messages to customers’ inboxes to generate sales. It can be a simple welcome email or personalized product recommendations. It can be a reminder to check out. E-mail marketing nurtures your business by strengthening customer relationships.

An email has almost three times as many users as both Facebook and Twitter combined! This means that your business can actually reach more people. Research shows that email has an ROI of 3,800%! Plus, 72% of buyers prefer promo material in their emails rather than social media.

Using Facebook and Instagram as your only sales channel is wrong; it is not sustainable in the long run. Email marketing is always present. You can still communicate with your audience even in the event of a social media breakdown.

You see, social media is great for growing your brand in a public space. But when it comes right down to conversions and actual results, it’s email marketing that seals the deal. The right segmentation, automation, and personalization will get you the results you want.

How can you jumpstart your email marketing strategy?

To implement your eCommerce email marketing strategy, you need to set up two things: a business website and an email list. Here is a quick overview of these two important email marketing elements.

Why do you need a website for email marketing?

Your website is your headquarters. Aside from establishing credibility, it is where potential customers go to buy.

In the event of a social media outage, you can place your content on your website. It will also help you know your customers better.

What products do they look at most often? What resources or blogs are the most popular? Which forms get the most sign-ups?

Adjusting your marketing strategy according to the data available. It will do wonders as you learn how to best target and communicate with your customers.

How do you start building your list?

Building a list is one of the best things you can do to grow your business. Check this out: 81% of US online shoppers will most likely buy more as a result of emails.

To get people to sign up for your list, you must give them something valuable in return. This can be anything from discount vouchers, free content, or extra perks. Spend time in making your opt-in messages attractive and noteworthy.

Make sure you answer these questions: why should they subscribe? What will they get from subscribing? Why would they want you in their inbox?

The process of building and growing your list will be tedious but so worth it. Before you know it, you’ll be raking in the benefits of more conversions, more sales, better relationships, and stable revenue.

So, who says email is dead?

Maybe those who have no idea that it is actually the key to their eCommerce success.

If anything, yesterday’s events showed us just how vital email marketing is to the eCommerce industry.

It’s time you also harness the power of email marketing for your eCommerce business now.

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