The Secret Behind Why E-Mail Lists Will Always be More Effective than Facebook Ads

1/3rd of small businesses start with less than $5K while a whopping 77% use personal funds as their financing method, which is why entrepreneurs are getting wiser on how they spend their marketing dollars. Despite the power of social media marketing, statistics show that Facebook ads lack in producing high ROIs for businesses, whereas email lists remain to be the most influential business generators.

At the beginning of a company’s life when financial stakes are high, there’s no secret that money can dictate a startup’s success rate.

Yet, for both new and mature businesses, there are two key practices that can safeguard them from bad investments.

1. Determining the value of both Facebook Ads and email lists.
2. Straying far away from the allure of “free data.”


Why Email is the Top Business Generator

An email list is more effective than a Facebook ad because it provides full ownership to its creator. This is why closed platforms like Facebook, hate email. Email is an open source, democratized marketing channel that Facebook must compete with to get consumer’s marketing dollars.

Though both channels can be effectual, and for some businesses, Facebook ads may provide critical targeting that can’t be accomplished via email campaigns, email consistently provides a better ROI.

 The novelty of the infamous email wore off in the early 2000’s, but despite being seen as a primitive technology, it continues to deliver a very high ROI.

Email can allow entrepreneurs to build or purchase their targeted list and fully own it. Thus, having much more control over the “I” in ROI.

No longer present are 3rd parties, like Facebook, focused on maximizing their profit at the business owner’s expense. Instead, emails work as beautifully open channels that foster direct messaging with target audiences at a low cost. They can also create pitches that result in twice the interest without being charged for every lead.


Facebook Charges

With Facebook ads, users will always remain subjected to fluctuating costs.

Facebook can raise the costs of their leads, the more effective they are found to be and/or the more demand they have.

However, because Facebook is a closed platform that charges a premium, they can set a controlled environment designed to walk clients through the process, whereas email requires just a tad more knowhow.


Compiling an Email List

When buying or compiling an email list, creators should cover their grounds for getting and implementing data that results in successful email marketing. Learning the basics for running high ROI email campaigns is a must.

Key points include:

  • Not being too “spammy.”
  • Getting clear on your message.
  • Having a call-to-action.
  • Using a dedicated domain.
  • Partnering with an appropriate email service provider (ESP) for your list (purchased or opt-in).


Be Vigilant

Ensure your purchased list comes from a vetted source. For example, Facebook has great targeting information because they are highly knowledgably about their target consumers (so the list you purchase, is your targeting stage).


Using Free Data

“Free access” to B2B contact lists will come at a cost. In exchange for the ability to siphon that company’s business e-mail contacts.

What does this mean for the entrepreneur? There may be competitor access and legal issues—fines or administrative headaches from authorities.

Never accept offers for “free data” from data brokers in exchange for allowing them to scrape your email list.


How You Can Maximize Your Profit

 In conjunction with resisting the allure of free data, both email and Facebook can both be effective on their own.

You can also push emails into Facebook to target adds to those specific contacts and use Facebook ads to grow your email list. When importing emails into Facebook for targeting, it typically produces a 50% match rate.

This means Facebook will be able to match the email you are providing to a Facebook profile and push your ad to that person about 50% of the time.

So, there’s no need to pick one or the other and using both together can be more effective then apart.


About the author

Sky Cassidy, CEO of MountainTop Data and co-host of the If You Market podcast, is a data and B2B marketing specialist. MountainTop Data has provided data services for B2B marketing for almost two decades, including data cleaning, data appending, data maintenance and email campaign management services. It was the first company to guarantee the accuracy of its licensed data and business emails. 

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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