Email Marketing vs. Social Media
Apr 13, 2021
You’re running a small business, so I know that your marketing budget and your time are probably stretched thin. With that in mind, it probably makes a lot of sense for you to focus your efforts on one specific marketing channel rather than several. Ah....but then, that begs the question: which is better, email marketing or social media?
The truth is that while social media is busy and may seem like where things are happening, email is still king when it comes to customer acquisition and generating sales.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is definitely a valuable weapon in your marketing toolkit, but if you’re trying to generate revenue, nothing beats email— and it probably never will.
Unlike other marketing channels, email marketing allows you to keep in touch with your customers on a consistent basis.
You might simply be sending a “Thank you for subscribing" note. Perhaps you've established a system for sending Happy Birthday wishes. Maybe, as I've written about in the past, you're in the practice of sending "Love Letters" to a member of your audience who truly needs to hear from you today.
However you decide to use it, email can be an easy way to let your customers know you value them.
When you look at the effectiveness of email compared to social media and take a peek at the ROI of each, it’s pretty clear that email is the winner. By a lot.
In today's post, I'd like to share with you 18 reasons that email beats social media - hands down.
- YOU Own Your List
You have a direct route to the people and you can use that whenever you feel like it. It is important that you know what you are doing but it is under your control. In the case of third-party sites like Facebook and Instagram, you are at the mercy of their decisions. Even if you have thousands of likes, in order to effectively reach them, you're going to have to pay. You simply can’t be sure that you have free access to your followers in the future.
- Email Marketing Has the Highest ROI of All Forms of Marketing!
The most common figure I see is that email averages about $42 in return for every $1 spent.
- Email Drives More Sales
We know that 60% of consumers sign up for brand emails with the expectation of getting promotional emails in their inbox, but the same can’t be said for the 20% of folks who follow brands on social media. The truth is, people follow brands on social media but don’t actually want those brands to slide into their DMs.
- Email marketing is incredibly flexible.
Unlike social media, you’re not limited by characters and can include any outbound links you like. You can also use things like segmentation to personalize your content for specific customers based on the data you collected when putting together your mailing list to increase the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Consistent, Predictable Reach
As long as you make sure to use effective email subject lines and build your organic, engaged mailing list, you can have a reasonable idea of the number of people that are going to open and click through your emails. Social media reach is not that predictable. Some of your posts can go far and wide - if people engage with them and share them - Others, not so much.
- Email is Here to Stay
Worried that email is old news destined to be phased out? Don't worry at all. Email isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time. There will probably be more people using email than social media for many years to come. The truth remains that people check their emails at least once each day - probably a whole lot more than that! Most people check it first thing in the morning and take a glance before they go to bed. "71% consumers favor email as their first online “check” of the day." –ExactTarget
- It's YOUR List
We've all seen it by now. Social media platforms have that infuriating habit of changing their algorithms without notice, or making things pay-to-play without warning, or restricting your ability to connect with an audience you’ve spent years painstakingly building. Your email list is always your email list.
- Email is FAST
Email is a fast and effective way to reach your audience. With the immediacy of social media, you might think it would show up as the fastest way to reach new and current customers. But the truth is 21% of opened emails are opened within the very first hour of delivery. By the end of hour three, that number jumps up to nearly 41 percent.
- Build Relationships
People like to do business with those they know, like, and trust. Email is direct, making it more personal and personalized than social media marketing. Email gives people a way to easily contact you with their questions.
- Save Money to Reach More People
Email is an inexpensive way to reach people who are interested in hearing from you. You're creating an expectation and an avenue for directly communicating with them regularly.
- Higher Conversions
A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that email is a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.
- Drive Website Traffic
Email marketing can seamlessly drive more visitors to your website. It provides you with an effective and quite valuable tool to track which parts of your website and your marketing attracts the most interest so that you can adjust your future messaging.
- Spotlight Your Personality
Your best email newsletters are going to spotlight your unique personality. You get to use your own relatable human voice. Content Marketing Institute puts it this way, “newsletters feel inherently more personal — like a personal letter. Don’t waste that unique ambiance by sticking to impersonal corporate speak.” When you show up with your own voice and unique personality it helps to build rapport. You give your audience the opportunity to know, like, and trust you.
- Test What Works
A/B testing can be one of the most important tools in your strategy. You can test variations in your content, segmentation, personalization, and more. You can measure the success of any number of factors: subject lines, CTAs (call to action), copy length, image use, and more. Email really is flexible. ( and measurable)
- Segment Messages to Increase Conversion
You can slice and dice your mailing list any way you want. You have more information about the subscriber’s earlier actions. Information about what emails they open and what links they click enables you to use that behavior to segment subscribers automatically.
- You Get More Attention
Email gets more attention than a post on Facebook or Insatgram. With recent changes by Facebook, the number of people who actually see your posts in their newsfeed has dropped dramatically. Now you have to use promoted posts to have any meaningful reach.
- Personalize for Better Results
You can personalize messages (at scale) in email much more easily than on social media channels. a more personal touch is why people feel that when they get an email, it is meant just for them.
- Be More Relevant
If you’re smart about it and have the right tools, you’ll never have to send an email to a generic audience again. Instead, you can deliver highly relevant content to your audience based on their preferences and behavior.
Overall, it’s clear that, while social media has its own uses, email continues to be the most important marketing channel for businesses. I am betting that it will be for many years to come.
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