The Ultimate Marketing Face-off: Social Media Vs Email Marketing

Most of the marketers promoting their businesses online go through the dilemma of whether to choose social media, email marketing, or both. These marketing strategies may be unique, but they both give great results. More confused?

Let’s break it down for you!

What you will learn at the end of this article

• What is an email marketing and social media ad?
• Benefits of email marketing and social media promotions.
• The cost of promoting your business on both platforms.
• Which one you should choose.
• Tips on increasing audience size and audience targeting.

The Results of Social Media and Email Marketing

The primary motive of every marketer is to get results. This drives more customer engagement and conversions. However, the question is, which one is better? The surprising answer is email marketing. If you consider that on the average, one out of every five targeted marketing emails gets opened, and with a click-through rate of 3.57% while on Facebook, you can expect a rate of 0.07%. This is as effective as email marketing can go.

In social media marketing, you will spend dollar for dollar and it will cost you more than the benefits it will offer to your business. The image below shows the results of the 2016 eMarketer studies:

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The Outreach Ratio of Both Strategies

Another priority of every marketer is to get their message out to as many people as possible. Which one is the best way to do that?

Email marketing again dominates this arena. Email as a means of communication has been around longer than social media and naturally has a larger user base. For instance, more than 3.7 billion people around the world use email, while 1.9 billion people use social media. People also tend to use email more frequently than social media: it is the first thing they check in the morning before going on Facebook. With a number like that, the math is pretty simple! The subscribers will see your marketing emails frequently and the chances of engaging with users is higher.

Also, social media algorithms work differently: users don’t see every single post that you upload, as fitting such big number of news on the feed is not viable. On average, your followers see only 6% of your posts.

Social Media Makes You Go Viral

One thing that social media has an upper hand on is the possibility of going viral. On social media your posts are not restricted to your followers alone, and if someone shares your content, a certain number of other followers will see that too. This can result in far more exposure than email marketing. However, going viral is not the be all and end all; it’s also no piece of cake!

Targeted Audience Response to Marketing

Social media is far more enjoyable and entertaining than email marketing. Chatting with friends, sharing photos, and looking at videos of cute cats are some of the many fun things you can do on social media. On the other hand, email is more geared towards business.

Depending on the type of business and the age of your targeted audience, both strategies can work effectively. For IT businesses and financial companies, email is the way to go. But if you’re selling clothing and accessories online, social media is your best bet – choose carefully.

Use tools like social media analytics tools to monitor your progress on social media in order to avoid spending too much on ads that are not working. With emails, you can take out your email list and send out promotional messages. Avoid being too “salesy,” as this will overwhelm your subscribers and will turn them off. You can also monitor your email marketing with email analytics tools.

The Security Battle between Email Marketing and Social Media

When it comes to security, social media falls way behind emails. You own your email list and no one can take that away from you. However, on social media a dedicated hacker can take your account and shut down the entire account. Both platforms give you the possibility to segment your list to target specific demographics, though in addition to that social media ads offer more sophisticated options to control people who see your promotion.

The Final Verdict

With so many great advantages of email marketing, you might start having doubts about social media. Email marketing can offer you great benefits when done right. Social media has a few advantages of its own like connecting with new people, creating more brand awareness, discovering new leads, and helping to generate a longer email list. Moreover, social media is still growing and new trends are always on the horizon.

Both strategies are a great investment and you can always work with them simultaneously for better results. However, if you have to choose between the two, email marketing is a safer and better choice. Focus your primary energy on email marketing, though you can use social media or other strategies to supplement the efforts and promote your brand’s image.

Which one are you using? Share your strategy in the comments below.

The Ultimate Marketing Face-off: Social Media Vs Email Marketing
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