Everyone says “you HAVE to build an email list!”  Of course, to do that, you need a blog or newsletter… and it takes a long time to get traction (forget about results;)  That’s a BIG time and money commitment for your company.

So I wanted to share OUR experience between our email list and our YouTube channel, to help you figure out what’s worth more to you.

Here are BoardStudios, we specialize in explaining complex ideas, and producing great-looking videos.  To showcase these capabilities, we created a side-project – BookVideoClub.com – where we produce 3-minute video summaries of great business books.

Over the years, we’ve accumulated an email list of about 5,000 people.  Nothing to write home about, but nothing to sneeze at either. When we tell people, they’re generally impressed.

We also have a YouTube channel which has 26,000 subscribers.

Every week now, we publish 2 video summaries and share with both audiences.  The results will surprise you. A measly 4% of our email list watches the videos (that’s only about 200 views), whereas our videos get an average of 8,000 views.  That’s more than 30% of our YouTube subscriber base. Now, that’s not really the right number to look at, but it’s a helpful heuristic.

Generally, you should expect about 10% of your YouTube subscribers to watch your videos.  And since we’re getting 30%, that’s great news. It means we’re putting out consistently great content.

It also debunks the concern we had initially: maybe it’s not EMAIL that’s broken… maybe it’s OUR fault.  Maybe our content sucks. But then, we wouldn’t have such a high engagement on YouTube. So thankfully, that’s not the case.

Going back to the numbers, what’s our conclusion here?  I think the value of an email list is overhyped, at least to an extent.  Sure you can know much more about your email audience and you can do lots of fancy stuff with offers and segmentations.  But the value of an email list is DEFINITELY going down.

With spam filters and people getting inundated with email, what was working for email experts a year ago, doesn’t work now… at all.  40-50% email open rates were not uncommon just a year or so ago. Today, a best-case scenario is to get 20% open rate.

On the other hand, YouTube video gets much higher engagement and has staying power – that’s really important.  Nobody will go back to your email from a year ago, but many will watch your videos even if they’re a bit older.  Some of our older videos have 10, 20, 50 thousand views, even more!

That’s why we’ve become big evangelists of video content marketing!  And we want to help YOU take advantage of it. So let us know what’s holding you back, and maybe we can share tips and ideas to make it a no-brainer and help you grow your business.  Or at least subscribe to our channel to keep getting these tips, and dive in when you’re ready.