Email and social media marketing can be akin to apples and oranges. They are difficult to compare in rating performance, and each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. As such, both channels serve different purposes in the creation of an overall marketing strategy.
Ultimately, everything in business boils down to ROI and the cost of opportunity. Investing more in “Plan A” if it makes more money than “Plan B,” is the most practical approach. Identifying the channel that better suits a company’s purpose, however, isn’t always “easier said than done.”
Advantage – Email
Reach – Everyone has an email, but not everyone has a presence on all particular social platforms. Email is an integral component to creating said social platforms.
Recent algorithmic changes on Facebook has put the brakes on organic post outreach. Today, the average open rate for email is 21.73% compared to 6% or less for Facebook. This is merely an average open rate which can improve exponentially with better subject lines.
Higher conversions – Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel – including social and search. Going by statistics email marketing campaigns can see as much as 50 to 100 times the click-through rates from Facebook and Twitter. Marketers believe that the biggest reason for the highest conversion rate for email marketing is the ability for list segmentation and the customization of messages. Nowadays, you can deliver highly targeted messages based on subscriber behavior.
The Cost Factor – Email is less expensive, easy to deploy and thus results in better ROI. Assuming the email has quality design and content there’s a greater chance for conversion. In general, building an email list can be simpler than generating a social media following.
Advantage – Social Media
Higher Engagement – Most can agree that social media has a much higher engagement rate, and opportunity for a business or individual to leave lasting impact on an audience. Social media is the most “live” and holistic way to curate a following, and when done with finesse that following can turn into a loyal customer base.
Traction and Opportunity to Go Viral – Even though initial posts across social channels may not gain optimum traction, if even just a few followers, share, repost, or retweet content, there can be a multiplying effect. On the other hand, most people who open emails rarely forward read content. Also, content shared on social media can go viral; resulting activity can leave lasting impact for months.
Establishment of Presence– Your branding, logo, and your face is visible on social media channels. The opportunity to create an image or leave an impression is huge in social media. It’s something far harder to achieve with email marketing.
Better Accountability – We have better access to information on social media. Nowadays, social media channels provide access to internal and external data that can be utilized for highly-focused advertising. You can easily target on the basis of geographic demographics as well as psychographics–which allows for optimum audience segmentation.
So, when it comes down to email or social media marketing -why not both?
Email marketing is effective in direct conversions, while social media contributes more to assisted conversions. Social media functions as a mid-funnel channel that engages an audience. Eventually, you can drive more conversions with email.
Obviously, there are plenty of reasons to combine the two methods to achieve better results. Utilize both, leverage their unique strengths, and be sure to allocate your resources the right way.
For more information click here: The Future of Digital Marketing