Question: Is Email Better Than Social Media (For Filmmakers)

What the heck does email marketing for filmmakers have to do with making a movie?

A lot, actually.

And I am going to get to that in a second.

But before I explain the importance of email marketing for filmmakers, it is important that you understand something.

When I first got into filmmaking (which was like over a decade ago) – Things were much different. Back then, we actually shot on film. There was cool filmmaking stuff like pre-sales deals and negative pickup deals.

And as filmmakers, all we had to do was focus on making a movie.

Come to think of it, this was before email. . .

email marketing for filmmakersBack then, we would make a movie, get into festivals like Sundance, garner a gazillion dollar check and level up to a Hollywood career.

The distributors would handle the movie marketing. . .

That was their job, right?

At least that is how we all thought.

But things have changed for filmmakers.

Look, if you would have asked me a decade ago what skill was most important to filmmakers, I would have never thought I’d say that learning how to market your movie is essential.

Back then marketing was handled by the distributor.

I’m here to tell you that your success as a filmmaker relies a lot on your ability to grow and engage an audience.

Much of this will happen through growing your email list.

And believe me, I get it.

The last thing we want to do is add yet another hat to our growing collection.

 “Email marketing for filmmakers? I thought I was just making a movie…!?!”

Okay. I understand your confusion.

But those days are over. Watch this video to find out what I mean:

Did you watch the video?

In it, I talk about some things that movie distributors don’t want you to know.

You see, a lot has changed since the days of DVD. Take a look at the music industry or the publishing industry. What happened with iTunes and The Kindle?

Things changed.

So if you’re making a movie, you should be wondering how to reach people who care.

But before we go there, a little context. Why am I talking about email marketing when I should be talking social media?

Good question.

Why Email Marketing For Filmmakers Trumps Social Media

As a filmmaker, you can’t attend any filmmaking event without overhearing somebody talk about the importance of social media. Everybody is debating which is better.

Is email marketing dead? Is social media where you should focus your efforts?

Everybody is talking about building a tribe. . .  


You gotta grow your following. .  . 

Ugh. That sort of talk is silly. Everybody KNOWS you need to engage your audience.

But most filmmaker fail to tell you HOW to grow and engage your audience.

Seriously. . .

People throw around audience engagement ideas with ease, pretending in a large part that the TOOLS are what matter.

But this causes confusion.

Should you use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Vine and also execute a Reddit AMA? Which tool is best for you and your movie?  And what about email?

Why Email Trumps Social Media

When making a movie, I’m sure you have all these questions. (And if you don’t, you should!) The good news is, these are some of the questions the folks from Film Courage asked me in the following filmmaking video.

In this video, I share some ways to engage your audience.

It is based on my experience with my first feature film.

As a filmmaker, you have the opportunity to share work that sparks emotion.

You have the ability to change people’s thoughts and ideas. And you have the ability to be your true self. But your talent will mean nothing if people cannot find your work.

This is why it is vitally important to make a memorable connection with everyone you meet.

Some Thoughts On Social Media

The reason I focus on email over other social media is access.

Trying to break through the online, conversational noise is challenging. Email cuts through some of that clutter. And to reinforce this thinking, here are some facts about other platforms:

  • When you post to Facebook, only a small percentage of people see your stuff.
  • Most people who “LIKE” a page never return.
  • When you Tweet stuff, your tweet is only seen for a few seconds.

Email trumps social media because it serves as a private, direct line to a real person.

By real person, I mean YOU.

You’re not just some reader in a vast ocean of faceless readers.

And neither is your audience of email subscribers. They follow you because they LOVE your work. They are giving you permission to share with them.

These are people who have dreams, desires and ideas worth sharing. And it up to you dear filmmaker to make sure you always remember and respect this.

But most importantly, they have problems that need solving.

If you provide them the thought provoking, interesting and entertaining movies – Your email subscribers will love you for it. They will not only watch your current movies, but they will contribute to your crowdfunding campaigns, help spread word of mouth and follow you for all movies moving forward.

If you want to become a filmmaking success, you must build your email list.

This isn’t based on fiction. It’s a fact.

After working professionally in VOD film distribution for the greater part of a decade, I know there are a lot of movie marketing and film distribution tips that would help you.

I am going to share a lot more about internet marketing for filmmakers in the coming weeks. But if you’d like to find out more about the movie marketing and film distribution, you may benefit from checking out my newly updated, How To Sell Your Movie System. Click here.


  1. Nigel Sizer says

    A long time ago in a galaxy far away…(but that’s another story)…Seriously, though this is spot on Jason. I think there can be too much time wasted on unproductive cyber gossip via twitter and face book. You will often hear up and coming writers & film makers moan about how much time they have wasted on social networking when they should be writing or production planning. A good tip is to limit yourself to 5 to 10 minutes twice a day…and may the farce be with you…

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