6 Reasons Why Email is Better than Facebook for Growing Your Fan Base

Facebook vs. Email for PromotionFacebook is an amazing platform for building your fan base and connecting and sharing with your audience. But Facebook should not be the only way you communicate with your fans. There are many reasons why using old fashioned email is much more effective than Facebook at growing your fan base and creating actual revenue.

Here are 6 reasons why a solid email marketing campaign is more effective than Facebook

Warning: Email programs like Gmail, Mac Mail, Hotmail etc. are not made for sending mass emails of more than 20 or so contacts. If you use a regular email program to send mass emails, most of your emails will get marked as spam and you run the risk of getting your email address blocked completely. (There are many email marketing programs available. We recommend using ListBaby, of course)

1. Email is More Personal Than Facebook

An email inbox is simply a more personal place than Facebook. Sending a personal email message is the digital equivalent of mailing a hand written letter. While sending a Facebook message is more like putting a post-it note on your friends desk or shouting across a crowded room. People often put more thought and time into reading or composing an email message. Facebook’s ads, spam, games and gimmicks make it more informal and a less ‘serious’ form of communication.

2. Email Addresses are More Valuable Than Facebook Friends

When a fan gives you their email address, they are giving you the keys to their inbox, a place where they receive their most personal messages from friends, family and business contacts. It’s a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While it seems pretty common for someone to drop-off of Facebook for a few months or longer, it’s less likely they will abandon their email account (after all, an email address is required for almost all online transactions these days.)

The nice thing about keeping an email list of fans, is that you can save it, store it, edit it, and print it out. You’ll always have those contacts. What if Facebook goes down or your page or fan list gets erased? (Yes, it’s happened.) What if everybody hops off Facebook and joins the next trendy social network? Will you be able to find all your fans again or will you simply loose touch?

3. Email Has Less Distractions Than Facebook

Facebook is full of distractions. People log into Facebook to be entertained, to watch videos, listen to music, share pictures, read news and play games.

Your average email inbox is free of these kinds of distractions, therefore you have a much better chance of keeping the attention of your readers when you send an email.

4. Email Allows You to Design an Experience

Facebook messages are pretty bland and uniform. Sure you can insert a link or a picture, but you have little control over how the text is formatted or how pictures are displayed, You are also limited by a fairly small window to display your message.

A good email marketing program like ListBaby allows you to designer templates that can be customized with your own pictures, backgrounds, colors and fonts. You can virtually send a fully designed website with live links right into your recipients inbox.

5. Email is More Actionable

The funny thing about Facebook is that people don’t like to leave Facebook. Facebook users don’t like clicking on links that take them out of Facebook for an extended period of time. After all, this is their ‘Facebook time,’ not their ‘web surfing time.’ Facebook users would rather read about what their friends are posting and doing than get redirected to an unfamiliar website.This makes it much harder to tell your Facebook fans to go to your website to buy an MP3 or download a free eBook.

Now email is different. People don’t mind leaving their boring old inbox to check out something new and interesting. You’ll often find that a well written email newsletter will have a much better click through rate than a well-written Facebook message.

6. It’s Easier to Collect Email Addresses than Facebook Friends

Have you ever put out a signup list at an event where people could enter their Facebook URL? No? Well that’s because most people don’t know what their Facebook URL is. But chances are they DO know what their email address is. For this reason it’s very difficult to collect numerous Facebook friends at an event.

A much more reliable method is to let people sign up to an email list. This gives you access to their inbox and they don’t even need to confirm you as a friend.


Do you agree, disagree, or agree to disagree? How do you use Facebook and email to communicate with your fans? Which do you think works better?

Send beautifully designed Emails with the New ListBaby email marketing Tool. Free for HostBaby Members.

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43 comments to 6 Reasons Why Email is Better than Facebook for Growing Your Fan Base

  • I couldn’t agree with this post anymore than I do especially since Facebook is becoming overran by pornographic images on the timeline and countless amounts of spam. Email lists are the way to go. 

  • Thanks Albert. We hope so!

  • I use both and have for several years. WhenI started my ezine, back in 1991, it was the only option and I continue to build my list and develop a relationship with people on it. 

    While I’m not a musician, the concepts are the same. The challenge with email though is the open rate which, for most people, has dropped off drastically over the past few years. What seems to be working well for me is a combination of email marketing, blog posts and social media and I intend to use more video going forward.

  • Email is one of the best direct promotional channel. The other one is the thelephone call. Both can provide musicians/producers a real quantity of people that will buy tickets for next show.

    Facebook is lost time and unpersonal treatment.

    Tomorrow I’ll give an international new, and I’ll beg my fans and friends not to make comments at FB, but on my Blog: FB is so ephemeral …

  • Agreed. With the rise of freemium services, ads are bombarding our craniums from all directions. Only issues I see are that even some great mailing list programs will have mail marked as SPAM and the fact that people change their email whereas Facebook, you always know they’ll get it. What do people think of using Facebook Messages?

  • Terry

    First… I am using your list baby emails threw my website and people are making comments on how much they like the look of the email. (Very cool look, I love it) The down side is I also have people saying they can’t bring in their email. (Being blocked)  I don’t know how many people on my email list are being affected this way or how many on my list that is not getting my emails. Maybe you can check on this..
    Second… I agree on using email to contact fans. I need more ideas on how to get people to sign up on it when they visit my webpage.  Help…  and thanks

  • Hi Terry,


    Probably your emails are getting stuck in some of your recipients spam filters. This is very common. Make sure you ask your fans to add your email address to their email “safe list” or “trusted contacts”.

  • Glad to be of service Omar!


    Chris B

  • Hi Jahoult,

    We believe both Facebook and Email are essential marketing tools. We use both here at CD Baby. It’s important to know your tools and know the strengths and benefits of each one. This article is basically just saying that Email is a more personal form of communication. Facebook is a more public form of communication. They are both useful.

  • Dionysios Lazanis

    i agree 100%
    facebook does not allow us to add may friends and it’s hard to advertise our album
    instead emailing is more proficient with better results

    Dionysos Lazanis

  • I agree that e-mail is a great way to get a response from people, especially if they are personalized. Rather than saying “Hey People”, you should always use person’s first name (eg.”Dear Mike”). All good e-mail marketing software will let you do that. And when composing the e-mail, imagine that you are writing to that just one person. You will get a much better response, as they will feel obligated to reply.
    Also, pay attention to how your e-mail looks. Some e-mails I just won’t read as they are either too plain or two jammed and difficult to read (Yelp Newsletter comes to mind, which I never read). Just like a web site, make your points quickly and use white space.

  • Dan

    Excellent article. Fully agree. 

  • So true! Just Deactivated my personal Facebook a few weeks
    ago because I’m finding others doing the same and since then people having been
    giving me their emails an phone numbers to find out when the next gig is etc.

  • Paul

    Great column, and I agree with the points discussed here!  On a side note, I never thought I’d be around to hear “email” referred to as “old fashioned!”

  • Crazy Cutz

    email is still the way to go even when facebook first was becoming really popular I was telling people remember collect those emails thats their personal direct line  

  • David

    You make some valid points. I use FaceBook, LinkedIn and You Tube for impersonal communication, although 1-1 messaging occurs occasionally. FaceBook can be intrusive  – eg notifications of trivial events. My You Tube (VoceVersatile) is useful with over a million hits, and I hope, supports my albums. Jango offers messaging to all fans but their comments are rare, as are those who give email addresses. The jury is out on Jango. So far I wrote an individual message to each new fan and sent circular mails every few weeks. I also offered a separate DavidKeithJ@GMail.com  for fans to contact me personally.

  • Blewis

    My e-mail newsletter has continued to be my most valuable tool for staying connected to my community of fans and friends. I try to be vigilant about posting regularly, but not pestering. Once a month seems to work best.

  • I prefer email for the resons stated, in particular because it does seem more personal.   And there’s just lest surrouncing junk to gum up the works.   Email has been the most useful means of supporting my shows and CD releases.

  • Hi Tommaene,

    If you think of a music career as a small business venture, and then pay attention to how most small businesses grow, you will see that email marketing is a vital part of most small businesses marketing efforts.

    It may not be right for everyone, but it works very well for a lot of musicians and millions of businesses worldwide.

    Chris B

  • We aim to inform as well as offer our services. Email marketing is a vital part of almost all modern businesses. This article is just a reminder to musicians who may neglect this powerful tool.

    Chris B

  • Lisa Bernstein (Lisa B)

    I’ve been using Listbaby for years and like it. I haven’t switched over to Listbaby 2 — I didn’t want to risk screwing up what has been working for me, even though the orginal Listbaby currently doesn’t offer sophisticated design templates or stats on who opens the mail. (I can embed pictures and play with fonts with the original Listbaby; however, it can be glitchy, as often what I’m seeing in the email window doesn’t quite match the spacing, etc., of what’s sent out — so I have to test and retest it as I adjust for this…. ) Can anyone tell me about their experience in making the switch? Just how “beta” is Listbaby 2 now? 

    On the Facebook/email issue:  yes, I echo the comments here. In summary, it’s good for blasts, spreading the word, and expanding community — and I like the “likes” to my personal posts and the back-and-forth with others — but I have NOT found it a good platform for selling music. That said, I never set up a Facebook store as I use only my personal Facebook account right now, as I feel it’s better for building a voice there. Thanks, Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

  • Guardians Of Dust

    Your article is great and thought provoking. I agree Facebook will at some point be ‘replaced’ with something else, and people will move on without leaving their new ‘address’. So definitely best to collect emails to keep in touch. However, you will find most pseudo ‘fans’ on any social networks are not really fans, yes they did like your music at some point, but music just like anything else is very disposable these days. The real question is: how do you retain your fans’ loyalty? Keep them interested, give away freebies, try to be accessible, and above all, put on great shows. They’ll be proud to tell their friends about you and to take all the credit for having ‘discovered you’ first.Comments welcome, I feel this discussion is at the core of any musician’s marketing.
    Dan – Guardians Of Dust

  • Rub-a-Dub

    On the other hand it is much easier for friends to find you on Facebook and subscribe to your updates than it is for fans to end up on your website and subscribe to your mail lists (even if it’s on your home page and as simple as typing your email and clicking once).

    Often times at live performances tons of people sign up on email but most of them won’t give any information aside from their email.  Ideally you could get their location to email next time you play a show nearby.  Has anybody had this issue and do you have any suggestions on how to improve?

    On Facebook one can track location and lots of other things about each individual fan.  By grouping Facebook fans into lists based on where they live one can notify fans only when they’re coming near by where they live (instead of bothering them with every single event like most bands do).

  • Zoe

     We use both, each has its advantages. On FB you can post an event, invite people, update to  your heart’s content. As for the other comment- I HATE phone calls! (You don’t know where I am, what I’m doing, or even if I’m awake.) We always send an e-mail message for upcoming events, and whenever we play I (the manager), sit at the merchandise table and encourage people to sign the e-mail list and usually get a few, so over time it has built up. When on tour, it is useful to post on our FB wall that we are in the area, and we always get responses. As for MySpace, I loved it at the beginning, and believe that the main reason it has failed is because it felt threatened by FB and tried to imitate it, It should have remained faithful to its mission!

  • I Would NOT agree that facebook is less of a distraction than e-mail! My peers vouch for this too, I’d say. Facebook is very distracting and arguably designed to do so!

    We’re talking about two different fields here. Generally, people use Facebook for close/d circles whereas email can be used for broader communications such as newsletters. It’s good to have both. And Twitter ;)

  • Anne

    I appreciated the content and the comments by other musicians below;  I personally like to send e-mail, it seems cleaner and more direct….

  • Tonyhurdle

    Beautiful…. I’ll always thought that and people told me I was “old fashioned” and  not in step
    with the new grooves of communication.Thank you so much for this article.

  • Mary

    …so why is emailing this article NOT an option? but F like and F send is? Seriously, thanks for the free tips! I appreciate how succinct they are too.

  • Ha. Good point. Well, we did recommend this article in an email, but an email share button is a good idea. I’ll look into it.

    Chris B

  • real4stine

    Forgive me but it sounds like you’re advocating for email a little more than is realistic.  I believe it does still have benefit but to the extent you show.

  • N O Vativemusic

    Man, You’ve just changed my plans into going deeper into an email campaign.

  • Alyssa Staub

    reading this information i am so happy to convey that i have an incredibly gud uncanny feeling.i discovered just waht i needed.i will give a glance on constant basis.

    i will bookmark your websites and take the feeds also.amazing information.

  • Great info! Thanks! Now, if I could only get all my email addresses to my ListBaby!

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