You’re on social media, I’m on social media, we’re all on social media. And if you’re not, that’s just plain foolish. But as Columbia professor and really smart guy Sree Sreenivasan said a couple months ago, the dirty secret of social media is that “almost everyone will miss almost everything you do.

But you still need to do it. You still need to engage your audience and participate in the conversation. If your organization is smart, it will drive that conversation.

But Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest are not enough.

You need to push your content directly to your clients and prospects. And the best way to do that is good old fashioned email.

The reality is that email marketing works. The Direct Marketing Association reports that every dollar spent on email marketing delivers $40 of ROI. And a survey last year showed that 35.8 percent of marketers consider email marketing one of three most effective marketing tactics.

Of course, not all email is created equal; spammy sales messages will get deleted right away. The best email newsletters provide value and thought leadership. They deliver original thinking and move the industry conversation forward. They curate information from other sources. They’re so good that people feel compelled to share them with others.

Every time we issue an email, whether for ourselves or on behalf of a client, there’s a response. Sometimes readers just say “good stuff.” Sometimes they dispute the point and we “converse” back and forth. And sometimes they say we have to get together and do business together.

Everybody already gets tons of email. But if you can create an email newsletter that people actually look forward to, that provides an oasis in the desert of crap that hits their inbox each day, you’ll be building a connection with your targeted audience. You’ll be building trust.

And isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?