Subscribers vs Fans vs Followers

Marketing study came across Igor’s desk once and for all settling the debate about whether you should build your social media fan base or focus on building your email subscriber list. Numbers don’t lie.


I'm Igor Kheifets, and this is the List Building Lifestyle: a podcast for anyone who wants to build a wildly profitable email list, working from home. If you'd like to make six figures, travel the world, and help people improve their lives in the process, then this podcast is for you. I also invite you to attend a free workshop at where I'm teaching how I made $21,779.45 in affiliate commissions, by sending just 481 clicks to my affiliate link in one day.

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Welcome back to another edition of the List Building Lifestyle with your host, Igor Kheifets. A curious study came across my desk from exec Target, a company that ran a comparison between email subscribers and Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Basically what they've decided to check is how each one of these groups is responding to marketing messages, and in terms of making money and getting the sale, like what exactly is going on? Who's buying? Who's not buying? You know, what are the vanity metrics? What metrics do you know actually matter? And what they discovered is what I've been basically saying all along is that most people who buy stuff online are subscribers. And that's where most of your money will come.

For example, they've identified that if they compare people's first check, right, so the first thing they check in the morning, then what they find is that 58% of people, like online conversance people, who actually buy stuff online, they check their email first thing in the morning. Then 20% of people check a search engine or a portal site, kind of like, I'm guessing or something like that. And only 11% proceed to check their Facebook, or I would say check their Facebook first thing in the morning.

But more curious than that, what this shows is that people who are fans, meaning people who go on social media and like brands to support them, they feel that just by liking the brand, by just hitting the like button on the fan page, they've basically done their part, they've supported the brand. People who support brands through email, they don't really see it like that. They don't really consider themselves a part of a community, but they are in that frame of mind to buy stuff.

And they're called email first consumers. And here's like a direct quote from this exact study. So unlike email first consumers, unlike their Facebook counterparts, check email as their first daily online activity, have more utilitarian motives when engaging with brands. They're usually seeking product or promotional information related to your brand and are less interested in interacting with you socially, or for entertainment purposes. But be careful not to assume that they're antisocial or absent from the social media space. 39% of these consumers use Facebook daily, but their motivations for interacting with the brands on Facebook closely mirror their motivations for interacting with brands through email.

Now on the other hand, here's what they say about Facebook first consumers. So Facebook first consumers, for this group of consumers, there is a distinction between how they want to engage with the brands through email versus how they want to engage with the brands on Facebook or Twitter. These consumers are social beings by nature, drawn to the social aspects of the internet. They're more likely to engage with their favorite brands for the sake of being social, for entertainment purposes, or to support a particular brand. Then they are looking for deals or promotions only after they've got their entertainment part or creating basically handled.

Now, however, 84% of these consumers use email on a daily basis and their top one innovations for subscribing to brands are similar to those of email first consumer's promotions and deals. Facebook first consumers are more likely to share information they find online than their email first counterparts and are usually as likely to share this information through Facebook, about 40, or Twitter, 4%, as they are through email, 43%.

So, I don't know what you're hearing, but what I'm hearing from this study is that if you want to sell more stuff, you need to be using email. Because even though people do engage brands on Facebook, although that's debatable now considering the fact that less than 2% of people probably ever see your messages on Facebook when you post them, and if you ever want to get in front of people on Facebook, you have to pay for each and every single view. Otherwise it just doesn't work. And they changed the algorithm a long time ago to support this so they can make more money.

But if you really want to make sales, you better either ... Even if you're driving people off social media, you better move them to email immediately and, you know, really draw that line between people who are just social media people to the people who are also using their email. Or you're just better off focusing on email consumers because again, the keyword here is that email first. Consumers, again, I'm quoting here, they're usually seeking a product, or promotional information related to your brand and are less interested in interacting with you socially or for entertainment purposes, which is the complete opposite on what Facebook first consumers do. They want entertainment. They do want to engage with you socially, because that's what they crave, rather than giving you money.

Now again, I love interacting with my people. We have a Facebook groups where we interact, where we share and we socialize and that's awesome. But I would never do that just for the sake of the interaction, and I don't see too many people doing that either. For example, even people like Evan Carmichael who pretty much rely on social media to drive their traffic. What they do is they have a one way conversation on social media. They don't really necessarily like engage people on a high level. When Grant Cardone release a new a video, he's not checking the comment section to see what people are writing about him. He just continues to make the next video. But that's only possible when people want to hear from you, right?

If you're starting out, if you don't have a brand, if you don't really have like a service that people engage with, then using social media will not, well, it just will not result in a monetary gain. You'll probably end up making some friends, but I don't think that you'll end up building a business out of it, which is again, if you're listening to this podcast, you have to understand there is no other purpose to starting an online business then to make money. And this is something that most people do not get, which I'm really, really surprised because why else would you get into business? I'll give you a perfect example.

I was attending this mastermind by my friend Steve Sims and Steve, he's the author of the book called blue fishing, what he describes, how he's been pulling off some crazy stunts and getting people to meet celebrities, getting you to be a James Bond for a day, really cool stuff. So if you've got money and you want to experience something new and exciting, you can check out his book and you can probably reach out to his agency at

But Steve also has a marketing mastermind where he just puts together these really interesting groups of people from all kinds of different backgrounds. And I was attending one of these masterminds in LA several months ago, where I got to meet a bunch of people from the music industry, authors, a motorcycle racing champion, America's number one highest paid sex worker. Like a bunch of really interesting people you probably wouldn't have met in real life if you just continue to stay within the same circles. Now was it life changing? No it wasn't. But you know, I still got an exciting story to tell.

So during one of these sessions, they a proposed a hot seat. So because we've had lots of smart people in the room, you know, people figure that they should share advice with each other. And I volunteered to be the first one. So I sat in that chair and I explained my business model, and I said that I want to hit the next level of my business. And you know, people started giving me advice on what to do, nothing new, nothing that I didn't know before, but you know, still a great refresh to see what other people are thinking, especially if there's smart people, which most people in that room were smart.

Now here's the key though. At some point they recognize that I wasn't really going along. Like they recognized that I was in the hot seat, but everything they were sharing, it wasn't really landing on me. Apparently that was the look on my face. And so one of them, this really nice girl by the name of Juliet, she's like, okay, so why are you in business? Why do you do what you do?

And you know, I just said exactly why I'm in business, and exactly why anyone should be in business if they start a business. Because if you're doing it for any other reason, you're, you're basically, you know ... I'm not sure why would you do something like that. I would rather work a job.

Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content, hop on over to for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show. It really helps. Thanks.

But you know, you do it for the money. And I said it, I said, well, what do you mean why? I do it for the money. But because if you want to be financially free, if you want to be wealthy, if you want to be independent, if you want to have options in life, you need a lot of money. And the reason I'm in business, and the reason I'm like pretty much waking up in the morning and getting behind my laptop is because of the money. If I wasn't getting paid for what I do, I don't think I'd be investing as much time, energy, and effort into making my customers lives better.

And I will not, you know, pretend and sit here and say, oh, I'm doing it because I want to fix the world. No, I'm not. Because I know people are people, they will always be people, and I probably can't reach everyone in the world, but there's a small tribe of people that I can reach and that I am helping and I'm getting financially rewarded for doing so. And everyone should be. You know, there's nothing bad or wrong or, or hypocritical about saying outright and admitting that you want to be rich. You deserve to be rich. You should be rich. You should be excited to be rich. You should celebrate other people who are rich because you get an opportunity in this economy. You get an equal opportunity to become rich and make your families and your other people in your lives much, much better.

You get to do some nice things for your family too. For example, one of the first things I've done was to retire my parents, bought them an apartment. They don't have to pay rent anymore. You know, another thing that I've done, I was able to afford a bunch of really cool, you know, procedures from wife and really help her fix her self esteem. Another thing was to be able to put my daughter into private school that most people can't even fathom, like how would you go about paying almost $20,000 a year for an elementary school? Like it doesn't make any sense. They just don't have that kind of money. And you know what, even when they do come across that kind of money, what they do is they go buy a car. That's what they do.

So my point being is this, I do it for the money. And I openly stated that, I openly said, look Juliet, I do it for the money. I'm here for the money. Sure. The byproduct of that would be to make my customer's lives better because otherwise they wouldn't be coming back to buy more. And our retention rate is about a 42% and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, which is really, really high, probably highest than most companies in the industry. And she was shocked. She was almost, I mean, I've seen that the look on her face that she's going to puke, like she was appalled. Like how dare you, to want to be rich? How dare you to want to profit, instead of telling me that you're here to save the unicorns and the seahorses. Even though she herself charges people $25,000 for I think coaching, like for just telling people what to do or something like that.

After going through some, you know, thing. So my point being is that, you know, being rich or wanting to be rich is a good thing and you should strive to do it. Now here's why I told a story. The reason I'm telling these stories, because the reason you want to be in business is to make money. And if you're in business to make money, social media as your primary lead generation channel does not make any sense. Does not make any sense. Unless you have a great model to move people from social to your email newsletter or email subscription list. Because the moment you do that, the moment you handpick the ones who are willing to open your emails, that's when you will start seeing money coming in.

Now the challenge with that as well, another challenge I kind of stumbled into many, many moons ago was that I noticed that when I drove traffic off of Facebook ads, these people did not open emails nearly as often as other people who are already conditioned to subscribe to emails and that was a huge, huge barrier for me because I couldn't really make the followup work.

It didn't matter the subject lines that we're using or the email autoresponder I was using. It was really, really difficult because these people just wouldn't check their email. Now I would accept that if these were like 17 year olds because 17 year olds probably don't check their email first thing in the morning, but if you're 18 and older, you know you tend to check your email, especially from the moment you start, you know, looking for jobs and submitting your resumes and really just having a little bit more of a serious communication about your life, rather than just old party and sharing and social. Because at some point you make that transition in your adult life or from your teenage life to your adult life. And when you stop caring as much about parties and about social and you start building your own life, you start taking care of yourself. You start striving to build a castle if you will. And that's the moment you start checking your email more often. These are usually the people who are even willing to spend money in the first place.

So if you're in business to make money, if you're in the business to profit, if you're in business to generate revenues and make sales and get customers, then social media makes less sense than email, and it only makes sense if you find a way to move people from social to email. And again, if you want to find out more about this, just visit and look up the study that's called subscribers, fans and followers. Okay, or just Google it. They also call it the digital morning report, because you know, again, the way they break down these consumers is by, what did they check first thing in the morning. If they're subscribers, they check their email. If they're fans, they checked their Facebook. And if they're followers, they check their Twitter.

And by the way, Twitter is like the worst. Twitter is mostly used to stay, you know, informed of what's going on with other people or maybe what's going on in the news. Facebook is used generally to share photos and stuff. But email is still the main way that people use to connect on a personal level, be it business or personal. Again, most Facebook, Instagram or any of these social media platforms, it's a shallow platform. It's a very shallow surface level sharing. You know, email is where you see people opening up, and when you have deep conversations with people, obviously besides having a one on one conversation or maybe a phone call, you know, email is where people will put in more confidential and private information. You've probably even seen people use this little footer that says this email's confidential, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So people are like that.

And the funny part is that, for example, for individuals between the ages of 15 and 17 still 60% of them still check email first thing in the morning, right? According to this study. Now as soon as people hit 18, so 18 to 24 that number goes to 95%, meaning that they still check their Facebook and Twitter and stuff, although less, but still the usage of email goes up from the moment you hit 18, which is what people don't get. Sometimes, you know, I hear people say online, well you know, if you go to a high school and you ask the kids what's their email, they won't even know what to tell you because they probably don't have one.

Well for one they probably have one because they needed to register a Facebook account or Instagram account with their email. And even if they did not do it consciously, they still needed like an Apple ID or a Google ID to sync their phone and stuff like that. But even if we kind of overlooked that, what do we need to remember is that the moment people hit 18, their mindset changes completely. Or maybe not exactly 18, maybe 21, maybe 24, maybe when they graduate from high school. But the moment you go to university for instance, like you start using email way more often, because you kind of step into adulthood and you become a part of some board or committee or whatever.

You got like, basically you got shit going on in your life, and now you need an email. So next time anyone tells you that social media is where it's at, really just question everything they say, because social media, maybe it offers that appearance of movement, and it offers it excitement of, oh, there's life happening over there. But people don't go there to buy stuff and that's the big distinction. People simply do not go there with their wallets. They leave their wallet at home and they go to visit their social media platforms. When they visited their emails, they visit email with the wallet in hand. Big difference, huge difference. You can build a whole business out of it. Trust me, I have. So that concludes another episode of the List Building Lifestyle. I'm your host Igor Kheifets, and until next time we chat, have a good one.

Thank you for listening to the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous episodes, the transcription of today's show, as well as other exclusive content at Also, don't forget to claim your free seat at the workshop I'm hosting this week, where I show the two step system that made me the top affiliate for people like Ned Baysac, John Crestoni, Richard Legg, Michael Chaney, and many, many others. In fact, on this workshop, I'm going to show you the exact approach I take whenever I promote an affiliate offer, the exact offers I promote, as well as how I was able to make over half $1 million in commissions using my small list of just 18,000 people, promoting a weird type of product that almost no one else promotes. All that is yours at So go ahead, claim your seat right now and I'll see you there.

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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