Marketing with Email vs. Social Media – Which Produces The Best ROI?

Darren Gordon

Jul 09 2018

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In today’s world, the available avenues for marketing and promoting your business are numerous. In the past, all you could do was use print material and hope that your message would reach a majority of your target market. Conversely, now you can conduct effecting marketing with email, newsletter, company websites, and social media networks. Every channel provides its own unique set of advantages. However, not every business can afford to invest in all of them. Moreover, it’s also a good practice to prioritize some of the channels over the rest depending on the historical response and/or conversion rates. On that note, in this article we will talk about two of the most used marketing channels: email and social media in the bid to figure out which one produces more ROI (return on investment) for a business and why.

Is marketing with email still pertinent?

Even though there are many posts that suggest that email is dead, it’s anything but. Around 74 million emails get sent every year and this fact alone can substantiate the preceding statement. Another noteworthy fact is that 86% of business people still prefer marketing with email over all other communication channels when it comes to discussing professional matters.

Similarly, social media marketing is also one of the strongest marketing tools available to any business in the modern world. Fifty seven percent of all global content sharing occurs through Facebook, whereas Twitter accounts for 18% of the remaining chunk. This goes to show just how vital overused social media is.

Some statistics to get things started:

According to a comprehensive report compiled by Optinmonster, email has around 2.6 billion users whereas Facebook has 1.7 billion (Twitter has 313 million). The report also indicates that around 58% of people check their email before anything else; 11% of people check Facebook and 2% of people check Twitter. Some other thought-provoking statistics are:

  • 97% of people use email at-least once every day; 57% of people say the same for Facebook and 14% for Twitter.
  • 77% people believe that email is an acceptable conduit to receive promotional messages from; 4% say the same for Facebook and only 1% for Twitter.
  • 45% of people use email the most for sending personal messages, whereas 12% use Facebook the most.
  • 44% of customers check their email to see if a company has a new deal. However, only 4% use Facebook for the same purpose.
  • The inbox placement rate or organic reach of email is 79%. On Facebook it’s between 1-6% and on Twitter it’s between 1-30%.

We can see just how easily email outshines social media when it comes to most of the key aspects of marketing, customer-reach, and conversion. Let’s now take a look at some of the other important factors that juxtapose the two channels:

1. Number of users

We saw above that when it comes to number of users, email takes the cake. Even though Facebook stands tall at 1.71 billion users, it doesn’t even come close to email’s 2.6 billion user base. It might seem that in the next few years, the number of active users might drop, but in reality, it’s the opposite that seems forthcoming. The number is expected to reach 2.9 billion, come the end of 2019. It goes without saying that by providing a greater number of users to reach, email provides a business with more opportunities of engagement and prospective conversion.

2. Usage

ExactTarget’s research on digital marketing reveal that 58% people turn to their emails for their morning dose of technology before anything else. 20% open a search portal, 11% check Facebook, 5% go to a news site, and 3% browse their company’s website. Additionally, 91% people claim to use email daily. This goes to show that if you want something to reach your target customer base at any cost, then you don’t have a better choice than marketing with email. If you haven’t got any email marketing solution then now is the time to make a deal with one of the best email services providing companies out there.

marketing with email social media

3. Driving sales

The general impression regarding sales pitch emails is that they’re an unwanted nuisance. However, the ExactTarget report referenced above reveals that 77% of surveyed people believe email to be a suitable channel for companies to send promotional emails. Conversely, not many people think that social media networks are great options for the same purpose; 4% for Facebook and 1% for Twitter. This is a very important indicator of email’s supremacy. If a person detests reading about promotions on Facebook and Twitter, then there is a very small likelihood that they are actually going to be converted into purchasing customers. Additionally, the report mentioned that 44% people look for any new deals from a company from their email. Conversely, only 4% go to Facebook to do so. It can be hence considered a pragmatic decision to invest in a best email service if you haven’t already.

4. Reach

Due to the online sharing traditions and the “things going viral” phenomenon, we might tend to believe that social media has a greater reach compared to marketing with email, but that’s not what Return Path’s report tells us. Email makes its way to 79% of the recipients whereas Facebook’s organic reach is at a meager 1-6% at the moment.

5. Sharing

Around 57% of all content shared around the globe gets put out there via Facebook, whereas 18% is accounted by Twitter. Email only accounts for 4%. The difference is massive and it’s understandable as well. Social media websites are built to provide users with a sharing platform whereas email doesn’t share the same characteristics.

Final word

To say that marketing with email is a thing of the past would be a massive travesty. Email is still a dominant marketing channel and it certainly provides a greater set of benefits than social media channels. So if you still haven’t reviewed multiple email marketing services to find the best one to create your own email campaign, then do it right now!

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