Why Everyone’s Wrong About Social Media And I’m Right

Social media’s all the rage.

Flakebook, twatter, instablab, snagchat etc

Marketing experts are raving about social media lead generation tactics like its the best thing since turkey bacon.

I beg to differ.

But wait… this episode is not just another rant.

This time – it’s all backed up SCIENTIFICALLY.


Igor: Hi, my name is Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, the only podcast
which delivers cutting edge conversion strategies from the online trenches straight to
your earbuds. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at
listbuilidnglifestylesshow.com. I also invite you to grab a free copy of “The Wealthy
List Builder’s Survival Guide” at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival and now
once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Welcome back to another edition of "The List Building Lifestyle" with your host Igor Kheifets.
Today, I'm hosting a new friend, somebody who's an ally in a world where everybody
seems to be sold on this crazy idea that social media is the best new traffic source
for any business, especially if you're selling something expensive or selling something
that's supposedly, you know, helps people and be it whatever. Seriously, like, too many
people out there are sold on this concept that social media is the new holy grail of the
generation and if you're not doing social media you're basically an idiot. Well, today my
guest Bnonn Tennant, and there's a silent B there, is basically someone on whose
article I stumbled on kissmetrics.com and a fairly popular marketing website where
Bnonn explained with actual scientific data how email pretty much kicks social
media's ass and so I couldn't resist the temptation to give him a call and invite
him on the show. Bnonn, thank you so much for being here today.

Bnonn Tennant: You're very welcome, glad to be here.

Igor Kheifets: So, before we dive into why email kicks ass and why social media is
just a waste of time for many professionals and many marketers out there, before
we do that, do you mind giving us a quick version of how did you end up
discovering email marketing and becoming proficient at it?

Bnonn Tennant: Very quick version, I started web design. When I was in web design,
I realized that pretty much none of my customers had any kind of content to put on
their websites. And so I got into ... having a background in writing it got into
copywriting and studied direct response copywriting. Before the internet there was
this thing called the postal system, and marketers would put together long letters
and they would send these letters by post to people to get them to buy things, and
this was a very mature industry, with billions of dollars, still is with billions
of dollars, believe it or not, and there's a huge amount of research that sits
behind it. A great deal of hard data in terms of this is what to do, this is what
not to do. I studied all that, got into that in a big way, and developed that as
my primary skill set, and in the process of doing so realized that email marketing
is basically the logical extension of direct response marketing. The web is a
direct response medium. You want people to take actions. That's what direct
response is all about. It's about directly getting a response, and the logical
action to get people to take was the action of getting them to sign up to an email
list so that I could continue to send them the kinds of information that in the
past would have been sent to them by the post. That was how I got into email

Igor Kheifets: Interesting. Well, for me, it was because everything else was too
expensive. I studied the same people as you did. I mean Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert,
and they'd all done direct response and when they were putting out whatever they
were teaching it was all about direct response, but for some reason it seemed to
me that whatever they were saying about direct response and snail mail was also
true about email. Did you ever get that feeling?

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah, definitely. That was the exact feeling that I got, was
essentially direct response is just a really, really, really compact form of email
marketing, or email marketing is just a broken up version of direct response where
you get to spend more time talking to your prospect and not overloading them with

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, absolutely, and it's so cheap too. We get away-

Bnonn Tennant: It was a major draw for me. I started on MailChimp and MailChimp
was free at the time. That was a big deal.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, you can easily reach thousands of customers paying like, what
19-dollar, maybe 29-dollar AWeber fee these days?

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah, it's pretty cheap.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. What does it cost you to reach 3,000 people in direct mail?

Bnonn Tennant: I think it costs me 100 bucks a month. Oh, in terms of direct mail,
like sending by post?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah.

Bnonn Tennant: I wouldn't even know anymore. It would be a lot more. It would be a
lot more than 100 bucks a month.

Igor Kheifets: For sure, on average I'm sure you'd be paying somewhere around like
60 cents a letter or something like that. I mean, you have to pay postage,
[crosstalk 00:04:53]

Bnonn Tennant: I would think so, yeah.

Igor Kheifets: ... and stuff like that. That alone your operation costs, your
marketing cost shoots up and we're not even talking about purchasing the list and
all that stuff.

Bnonn Tennant: Absolutely. The list itself could be thousands. You try and
convince someone that they should spend the 60 cents, sending an email to someone
and they'd laugh in your face. The ROI is just so much higher.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, and eventually I feel this will happen. I mean, somebody will
come in and try to tax email although it's gonna be very difficult for them to do
so, but right now and for the next couple of years I don't see that happening, and
I feel that email, just like you, I feel that email is pretty much the best way to
get your marketing messages delivered and read because ... and you mentioned this
before we got on this call, you have some interesting stats and data about

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah, absolutely. Attention is obviously the key to selling
anything, because if you can't get someone's attention, they're not gonna even
know you exist. I saw an article in "eCommerce Quarterly" a little while back, and
obviously these stats change over time but this was pretty recent, which shows
that email users are about 14 times more likely just to see your message in the
first place and that's because platforms like Facebook and Google obviously limit
who sees your posts in the first place. They target based on specific criteria.
But also even when people get those impressions, they see the ad on their screen
as typically there. A lot of the times it just gets completely filtered out by
their brain, they don't even notice it.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, there's a [crosstalk 00:06:36]

Bnonn Tennant: If you send someone an email in their inbox, they have to deal with
it one way or the other. They can delete it but they have to decide what they're
gonna do with it. It can't just be part of a feed that disappears and is never
seen again.

Igor Kheifets: What's this concept, ad blindness, I think, when you see something
so many times that eventually your brain learns to block it out, and you don't
even pay attention anymore?

Bnonn Tennant: It's a fascinating thing because it happens not just with
advertising, it happens with a lot of things on the web. A great example is a
study that I saw by Nielsen Norman Group where they got a website, which had a big
central carousel area, so you know those big kinds of big top of the page moving
images type thing, and it had in it a promotion. It wasn't an ad in the sense of
advertising something outside of the website. It was essentially a promotional
image for a special, which was happening on the website itself. And I think it was
fridges and they got a bunch of people and they said, "Look, we want you to find
promotional fridges. We want you to buy a fridge on this website, find a cheap
fridge." Not a single one of the people that were looking at that website actually
saw that promotion. It was right there in the prime real estate of the screen, and
none of them saw it. It went into their eyes but it didn't go into their brain
because their brain filtered it out before it reached any kind of conscious
processing level. It just said, this is an ad, don't look at it, look for other
information further down the page.

Igor Kheifets: Incredible, incredible.

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah.

Igor Kheifets: So, you're saying that email, compared side by side, dollar to
dollar, if I email somebody versus me posting on my timeline and this post
appearing on their timeline, 14 times more likely is my email to make it into the
conscious processing of my prospect.

Bnonn Tennant: That's right. Well, 14 times more likely that any given prospect
will see it. If I recall correctly the data that they were using was purely in
terms of actual objective impressions. These bits of data appeared on the user's
screen essentially. The 14 times more likely is just in terms of whether it'll
actually appear on their screen. It's not even in terms of whether they're going
to register it at all. When you factor in the issue of banner blindness or ad
blindness, it gets significantly worse, because obviously people, even once it
appears on their screen, if it's in a social feed then the chances are very good
they're just gonna scroll by and not notice it.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. There's something people always forget when they try to
convince me or they try to convince other people that social media is the best
thing ever and that as a marketer you kind of have to use it, is that they forget
that these companies make money by selling advertising.

Bnonn Tennant: Right.

Igor Kheifets: When you post something on your feed, if you go on your personal
feed right now on Facebook and you post the message, less than 6% of people will
actually be able to see it on their feed ever, unless you bump it and then it's
like what 30%? Still, you're never reaching everybody.

Bnonn Tennant: It's just a fraction of the people that you'd wanna reach.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, and even the media, such as Instagram where it doesn't get
sort of cut like that where everything appears there, think of the amount of stuff
that basically is being thrown at your prospect all the time. Just constantly.

Bnonn Tennant: It's like those university billboards where you're trying to
compete for space to get people to notice that you've got some event happening and
someone else comes along, tears down your ad and sticks up their own. It's just
like that.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. Yeah exactly like that. Let's get to some data because this
is really fun. This is what really caught my eye. And it was one of the rare
occasions where I've seen someone not just make a claim but actually back it up
with some data. I'm talking about the study that you've presented where the
evidence from the study by exact target, you know subscribers versus fans.

Bnonn Tennant: Right.

Igor Kheifets: That study said that about 60-68% of people are subscribers means
that they get at least one promotional email one permission based. Well this is
another one. By the way this is another big point why in my opinion email is
always going to be dominating social media because email is permission based.

Bnonn Tennant: That's right.

Igor Kheifets: Right? I mean we're not talking about spamming people. We're
talking about having them opt into your list so they're asking for it. Nobody's
asking for ads on their feed, they just deal with them because they have to. That
study said that 68 or 60 % of people are getting permission based emails and
they're basically buying things through or studying marketing messages through
that. And about 32 or 30 something percent are fans, which means they liked or
commented on the brand on Facebook.

Bnonn Tennant: Right.

Igor Kheifets: And so you remember the difference in the actual ROI for those?

Bnonn Tennant: I don't actually remember the difference. Enlighten me.

Igor Kheifets: Cool. The ROI difference was crazy. And here's the primary driver
behind it. Email subscribers, they were actually buying things. There was an ROI
to measure. Facebook fans were not, and psychologically speaking what happened was
the Facebook fans were supporting the brand by liking it, while the email
subscribers were purchasing from it, which brings us to the point you made in that
article that email is a buying media.

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah. It's transactional. And Facebook isn't. You don't go to
Facebook to buy things.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah exactly you go to Facebook to what, to escape when you're
bored, when you're procrastinating.

Bnonn Tennant: Exactly. It's a escape. Whereas email tends to be ... I mean you
can use email as an escape as well but email tends to be business medium for

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, I mean, here's how it works for me, and this is just how I
process things, I guess. When I'm not sure what to do in my business, when I'm not
sure about what the next step to take and what the next task in my list is, I go
on Facebook when I'm doing nothing.

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah that's right. [crosstalk 00:12:59] isn't it. I wanna
[crosstalk 00:13:02] open a new tab and go to Facebook.

Igor Kheifets: Yes it is very addictive and it's worse if it's one of those tabs
in your home page too. When I'm out with my kid, you know, with Erica you know,
she's playing in the playground, I automatically, I don't even consciously
process. I just plug my phone and get on my Facebook feed. It's very addictive,
it's too addictive. It's like gambling. I think it was a study done about it by
the way, that somebody figured out that the same part of the brain or some hormone
in the brain is being triggered or injected when you check your feed as the ones
that are being triggered or injected by alcohol, gambling [crosstalk 00:13:45]
something like that. I mean, it's crazy. Now, with email, the way ... Like when I
go and check email is to see if there's a business going on. In other words, like
I go and I check email because I'm expecting you know for somebody to email me
with something important. I go and check email to see if there's any sales that
came in while I wasn't looking. I go and check email to see if there's any
customer support issues, right? Email is just a different frame of mind.

Bnonn Tennant: It is, which is why you see the other studies, which don't have
quite such dismal outcomes for social media. But they still say email is four
times more effective than social media marketing so for, as I recall it, a 2016
study, for every dollar that you spend on email marketing, you'll get 38 dollars
in sales. And this is just an average. Think about this. Most people suck at email
marketing. That's the honest truth. They are not very good at it, and yet they can
still make 38 times ROI on a dollar. If you actually get good at email marketing,
that figure goes up astronomically. It's an insane number. And the same study
showed that email subscribers were over four times as likely to buy than social
media followers. You're going to be cutting your ROI at least by four times if
you're just focusing on social media and it's not like social media doesn't have
any benefit. You know if you've tapped out email marketing, sure, go social
because there's still money there. But why on earth would you start with social
media when you can start with that?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. Another great point you made before we got on the call was
the simplicity of email.

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean social ... Not only is the ROI so
much less, but you have to do so much more work to get there. It's just not an 80
20 approach. It's the 20 percent. It's the 80 percent of work that produces 20
percent of the results, instead of the 20 percent of work that produces 80 percent
of the results, which is what email marketing is.

Igor Kheifets: Yes, so bottom line-

Bnonn Tennant: And all these different tools, all these different platforms with
these weird quirks, like you mentioned to me that uploading ads at midnight gets
you better response than uploading them at noon. Why would that even matter? Why
would you need to worry about that kind of thing?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. But you know like with social, even if you do figure it out.
I mean, think how difficult it is to figure it out. Email is just one channel, and
there's only one thing you've got to do just write and send them. Pretty much you
can send them automation sequences but that's not really email related it's more
like behavior related. With social, you know just on Facebook alone right now, if
you go and start an ad, you have all these different options, awareness ad, lead
gen ad, video ad, and you know, link ad, conversion ad, et cetera and then for
each one of them you have like a gazillion different placements. You got the
desktop placements you've got the mobile placements and then for each one of those
you have categories like, is it a feed? Do we do instant articles?

Bnonn Tennant: It's extremely complex.

Igor Kheifets: This is too freaking time-consuming.

Bnonn Tennant: In all fairness, we are comparing apples to oranges to some extent,
because obviously advertising platforms are not the same as just plain
transmission platforms where you're just speaking to people, but that kind of
demonstrates the point again is why would you focus on something that's so
complicated, when you can just focus on something simple that has a much higher

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, that is true. That is sure. I mean we do compare apples to
oranges but I guess the goal, the ideal outcome that I have for this interview and
for this episode is to help our listeners to determine, which media is the one
that's going to give them the 80-20 right, as you mentioned, like social media is
not 80-20. Now there's another issue with social media that I don't see anyone
talking about, but that I know at least based on what my customers shared with me,
you know, that exists is that social media seems to be a younger folk media.

Bnonn Tennant: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You know that's probably true. I don't know
if I've got any stats to specifically quantify that because obviously with
different social platforms you do get different demographics. But it's definitely
true that social is used more by younger people. And I think, possibly email is
used less by younger people. But the thing is with social ... if you've got people
getting into email sequences, if email sequences are how you sell things, then
it's not as if young people don't have email. It's just that they tend to
gravitate more towards social, whereas if you're trying to sell something that's
across a wide range of age groups, it doesn't make sense to focus on social, when
a large proportion of your buying base is going to not be using it. If you've got
young people on email and social, and you've got old people only on email, again
use email.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And you know the aspect, Bnonn, you're referring to is
becoming a social media superstar, because if you are to use social advertising,
you need to have a social presence, which means you will have to eventually do
videos and kind of interact ... Right. For older folks it's really more difficult
to be that, because a social media superstar is somebody who shoots lots of
videos, is constantly active on social media, is present. I mean, the only
exception to that rule is pretty much Grant Cardone who lives on social media.

Bnonn Tennant: It's exhausting.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And let's be honest. He's actually famous. I mean the dude
has written lots of books and naturally he's going to have a large social media
following and he's going to engage people through the social media.

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah. I mean, [inaudible 00:19:14] looking at something like that
to judge what the average person should do. He's just not average.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah that's true, that's very true. In addition to that by the way,
you mentioned that younger people tend to gravitate toward social and less so
towards email but they do have email. First thing, of course they do because you
need an email account to create a social media account. I mean, you can't
otherwise. That's why email will always be larger than social media. Anyone who is
like ... You know, recently there's been a lot of talk about Facebook hit a
billion or something like that. Right? And it's like, "Oh my god, email has it a
billion a long time ago."

Bnonn Tennant: Because there are about five billion email accounts in the world at
the moment.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah that's crazy. That's one. But number two, even younger people
use email especially when it comes to A, transactions and B, important stuff. For
example, when I'm communicating with my lawyer or my accountant, it doesn't matter
what age I am. I'm going to be using email, because a counselor doesn't say-

Bnonn Tennant: Because you want to be able to go back and you want to have a
trail. You know someone sends you an invoice, that's going to go to your email
because that's where you can find stuff again later.

Igor Kheifets: Exactly. Amazon still uses email. I mean if you order something on
Amazon, you need an email account [crosstalk 00:20:37] receipts and your shipping
details and information stuff like that. All that stuff is still kept in the email
and it's not going to go away anytime soon. If you're in business to make money,
right, email is the media.

Bnonn Tennant: Yeah I mean in that article that you read I compared the ... well,
the numbers in terms of raw size to a bowl of rice. You've got a full bowl of rice
with the mail and then a couple of grains on Facebook and another couple of grains
on Twitter and the situation hasn't really improved since I wrote that. That was a
couple years ago now.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah.

Bnonn Tennant: And you'd think, "Well okay, you know, Facebook and Twitter have
gone bigger." Well yeah, but so is email. Facebook has about 1.2 billion daily
active users. That's a lot of people. Twitter has about 100 million, that's not
that many compared to it. But you know it's a lot, but then you think, "Okay. All
the tweets that are sent every day amount to about, sorry, not just all the
tweets, all the Facebook and Twitter posts combined make up about 0.2 percent of
the number of business and consumer emails that get sent into every day." That's
how many business and consumer emails there are. It's just an astronomical number.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, but because it's visible, people don't seem to-

Bnonn Tennant: [inaudible 00:21:52] email's dead. I still think there are people
who think that email's dead. Email marketing is going away. I said, "No, it's
not." In fact, I just saw an article on Entrepreneur magazine by Amy Osmin Cook.
Here it is, where she talks about three reasons that email campaigns remain the
best marketing tool. This is quite a recent article, and I mean, she says herself,
you know I used to think that email was dying and it just isn't. It keeps getting

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And then the more it gets bigger the more transactions happen
online, the more the e-commerce-

Bnonn Tennant: That partly because mobile phones have actually made emails so much
more accessible. If you think about how ... you know you're going to use social
media on the go on your phone, but you use email as well. If you want to buy
something, you can do it while you're on the train, you know, waiting to get from
A to B.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah for sure, for sure. I mean mobile has become a big part of the
traffic industry that I come from. Yeah. Cool. So, Bnonn, it was a pleasure
interviewing you. And before we wrap up, do you mind sharing with our listeners
what is your expertise, like what's your number one super power, in case they want
to work with you?

Bnonn Tennant: Why should [crosstalk 00:23:00] listening to me the first place?
Well in terms of what I do is I started to do freelancing, I still do some
freelancing, so working with small businesses and helping them to more visitors
and customers. And that primarily revolves around ... It started out with building
websites and then I realized people don't need websites, people just need a page
that will get their customers into an email sequence. Email sequence is what I'm
all about and I write a lot of emails. I write a lot of opt-in pages, landing
pages, sales pages, that kind of thing. Not a huge number of other kinds of pages
typically, but I'm also, as well as doing freelancing, I'm also working as the
creative director of an agency called Superhuman Sales now and we focus less on
small businesses and more and large tech businesses and basically doing the same
thing because no matter where you go, you'll find especially I think that, it's
probably true I'd say, that small business owners tend to be a lot more savvy with
marketing than a lot of these tech businesses. A lot of the customers that we get
they come to us and they've got some great referral marketing going, you know,
they've been doing a lot of kind of word of mouth a lot of on the ground sales,
all this kind of offline stuff and they just haven't got a clue how to do online
marketing, even though online marketing has been kind of where I would've assumed
everyone was getting most of their sales for the last 10 years. Just enormous
potential for these people to really increase their revenue just by doing some
basic stuff, which when you show it to them they think it's magic. And I don't
know, it doesn't seem like magic to me because I've been doing it for a long time,
but in terms of people who have been working with big sales teams and not really
worrying about the online stuff, it is kind of magical that you can automate so
much of the sales journey, the customers' content journey, and basically massively
increase your revenue without having to increase your sales stuff at all. That is
kind of magical for them. That's what I do.

Igor Kheifets: All right. You basically write copy-

Bnonn Tennant: I write pages-

Igor Kheifets: [crosstalk 00:25:04] You create automation sequences, email
sequences, so if anyone wants an email sequence written for them for their
business opportunity, for their e-commerce website, for their coaching, or
consulting practice you can help.

Bnonn Tennant: I can help. I worked in fairly ... I wouldn't say I work in fairly
specific niches, but more that I don't work in some other nations, so I don't tend
to work with coaches very much. I don't really work in the health or wellness. I
don't really work spirituality. It's more the kind of technological, objective
stuff that I do. I'm quite good. I guess one of the main things that I'm
particularly good at is turning what one of my customers referred to as dry, dull
stuff into sparkling copy that people actually want to read. That kind of
messaging is obviously very important in terms of actually getting people to buy,
being able to translate this fairly dull stuff that could be turned into technical
manuals. Taking that and turning it into words that other people actually want to
read and understand. That's kind of what I do.

Igor Kheifets: Interesting. Okay well that's a really valuable skill. Anyway, guys
if you want to find out more about Bnonn, and how to work with him, if he's
willing to accept you, then go to informationhighwayman.com. In one word,
informationhighwayman.com. It's a pretty slick website. A fairly exciting copy. I
actually got ... I subscribed to the blog as well. Very, very engaging. Very
engaging writing for sure and just lots of fun to read. So, Bnonn, thank you so
much for devoting the time today to share with our listeners why email kicks ass
and until next time we chat, have it good.

Thank you for listening to The List Building Lifestyle Show, make sure to
subscribe on iTunes or Google Play to never miss an episode because who knows just
one conversion tactic we share on the show might double your list and double your
business. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at
listbuilderslifestyleshow.com and don’t forget to claim your complimentary copy
of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival Guide” at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival .
This is Igor Kheifets until next time we talk, have a good one.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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