The Power of Building an Owned Audience

Rented vs. Owned Audiences: What To Focus on in 2024

Are you tired of having to keep up with the latest algorithm changes and adjusting your social media strategy every few months?

Imagine having a direct line of communication to your most loyal followers and fans — no confusing algorithms, no barriers, just a guaranteed spot in their inbox every time you have something important to say.

That’s what it feels like when you have an email list… an audience YOU own, but, unfortunately, most creators are “renting” their audience, rather than “owning” it.

Let me ask you a question…

Which would you rather have? 10,000 social media followers or 10,000 email subscribers?

The Power of Building an Owned Audience

I know my answer, and I’ll tell you why…

Owned vs. Rented

Creators, entrepreneurs, and business owners are often faced with the decision of where to invest their time, energy, and resources to reach their audience effectively.

And for nearly any online business, the lifeblood of its growth and sustainability is reaching more people and driving traffic to a website or landing page.

The question then becomes “Where is the best place to drive traffic?”

There are two primary types of audiences you can drive traffic to:

  1. Owned audiences

  2. Rented audiences

Here are some examples of each:

The Power of Building an Owned Audience


  • Newsletter

  • Website

  • Blog


  • X/Twitter

  • Instagram

  • Facebook

  • LinkedIn

At any point, Mr. Zuckerberg can put the kibosh on all of your efforts and delete your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The same is true for every other rented platform.

Relying solely on social media platforms for your business leaves you vulnerable to changes in algorithms, platform policies, and user behavior.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent years building your audience and growing to hundreds of thousands of followers… it could be gone in an instant.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Let’s get into what it means to “own” your audience and why it should be a focal point of yours this year.

The Power of Owning Your Audience

Building and owning your audience in the form of an email list provides you with two crucial things…

  1. Stability

  2. Control

It puts you directly in the driver’s seat.

Here are a few benefits of having an owned audience:

The Power of Building an Owned Audience
  • Direct line of communication: You can write up a message and get it directly into the inbox of thousands of people within an instant. Just released a new update on your site? Draft up an email and send it out to your users.

  • Sense of community and relationship building: An owned audience is more than just a list of emails. It’s a community. You’re able to go deeper with your content and stories, building trust and brand loyalty with your readers and biggest fans.

  • Segmenting and more strategic messaging: Communication is about sending the right message to the right people. With an owned audience, you’re able to segment out the different types of subscribers you have and craft a tailored message based on their actions and/or behavior.

One of the most important benefits of an owned audience is that it gives you full control over distribution.

And in the world of building online, distribution is one of your most valuable assets.

The Value of Distribution: What Is It? And Why Is It Important for Your Business?

What is “distribution”?

Distribution is essentially the process of making your products, services, or messages available to your customers or audience.

When you’re running a business, it’s important to have an awareness of the many different distribution channels and to know which ones are most effective for generating revenue and repeat customers.

Let’s compare two of the most common forms of distribution below:

The Power of Building an Owned Audience

The stats above are the results of driving traffic to landing pages or websites and show comparisons between email and social media.

Let’s discuss them further:

The Power of Building an Owned Audience
  • Open/View Rate: This is expected. People are on your list because they opted to be there. On social media, there’s no guarantee that you’ll reach your target audience.

  • Click-Through Rate: As one of the most important metrics to track, clicks drive sales and results for your business.

  • Conversion Rate: A drastic difference here is in conversion rates. Even a 1% higher conversion rate could mean  thousands in revenue for your business.

  • ROI: In terms of ROI directly related to efforts on your email list, for every $1 you put into it, you can expect $36 back.

  • Maximum Reach: While your social media reach is virtually unlimited, a high-quality email list tends to yield better results, regardless of how many people you’re able to reach.

When comparing numbers as they relate to the performance of your business, an owned audience in the form of an email list drastically outperforms efforts on social media.

Future-Proofing Your Business

No matter what the future has in store for the different social media platforms, you can rest easy knowing your email list is something you own and have complete autonomy over.

Let’s travel back in time to March 6, 2024.

Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all experienced outages on the same day. The platforms were down for hours, leaving creators helpless and in a panic.

If you experienced this, you likely remember how vulnerable you felt.

To avoid ever feeling the helplessness that most creators did on that day make it a focal point of yours to build an audience that you own.

Start building your email list today with beehiiv. It will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Here’s why:

  1. beehiiv’s pricing is designed for growth. You can invest in building your email list as you grow on beehiiv –  and not the other way around.

  2. 3D analytics, segmentation, automation, survey polls, and so much more are needed to help you make the most of your owned audience.

  3. The best support team is ready to help you out if you feel stuck.

Happy emailing!

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