“I want to do a business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege, not a transaction.” – Andrea Mignolo
Two of the tools integral to digital marketing strategies are Email marketing and Social Media marketing. Email is a tried-and-tested communication method which has been around for the past few decades while social media applications are relatively new entrants in the digital world. In contrast to the durable email, only a few social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) have found acceptance and survived while many have slipped into oblivion. The very fact that even to sign up for a social media account you need an email account shows how fundamental email is in your transactions in the digital world.
The needs and challenges faced by a marketer when using the two methods are varied and diverse. While each marketing method has its own strengths and drawbacks, they also share some similarities.
While social media is finding increasing traction with each passing year, email has shown what is meant by the saying ‘old is gold’. Surveys have shown that email still outscores social media on a lot of counts when it comes to marketing in the digital arena.
Let us take a detailed look at all the ways in which email marketing tops social media marketing.
According to an estimate, on Facebook, your posts only reach an average of 6.4% of your total followers. Email, however, boasts an impressive 18% global open rate—and that doesn’t even take into account those who read your subject line and your pre-header text but don’t open the email.
Subscribers who open and read your emails are a lot more focused on learning about your messages than those who scroll through your posts casually on their social media feeds. Emails enable greater engagement, education and conversion of subscribers than can be achieved via social media.
Email has shown that it has endurance. It’s been around for the past several decades. Social media platforms on the other hand could be a ‘flavor of the year’ – as can be seen in the cases of several apps and applications which fall out of favor shortly after being all rage for a while.
Social media marketing can be more expensive since the creation of content for promotion needs a bigger team, more time and effort. Added to that, competition demands that you design your posts in a more attractive and eye-catching way than your opponents. All this means additional costs.
Email is much more economical in these aspects.
Email marketing results in a much higher ROI than any other form of digital marketing.It is estimated that email generates $38 for every $1 spent—an astounding 3800% ROI. Social media comes in at a distant second place with an estimated average ROI of 28%.
Let us talk of preference. More than half of internet users (58%) check their email first thing in the morning—before looking at Facebook, doing a Google search, or even checking the weather—and almost 9 out of 10 email users check their inbox at least once a day. With numbers like that, the odds that your subscribers will see your marketing emails are pretty good.
One of the primary goals of marketing is to reach the largest section of customers as possible. Here, email is a clear favorite. According to an estimates that 4.1 billion people worldwide use e-mail. By contrast, Facebook, had roughly 2.8 billion monthly active users at the end of 2020.
What follows are the results of a study to find out what Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X think about email. For business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions, an overwhelming 74% of people chose email as their preferred communication method. Only 24% of people chose social media ads as a preferred method for B2C interaction. Another study showed that just 9% of people prefer to be contacted by brands on social media.
A simple fact like how users of social media need an email account for registration and password reset ensures that there will always be more people using emails than social media.
Once you send out a mail to the subscribers on your mailing list, the mail stays permanently in their mailbox – unless the user deletes it. If the users want to read that message again, they just need to go back their inbox. However, a post on social media gains the users’ attention on for the duration they are browsing it and it is a lot more complex to access that post once again at a later time. This means that the message/content in an email can have greater retention in the minds of users when compared to those on social media posts.
Email provides greater security than social media. An email account and your mailing list are yours for good. You have complete control over both. Whereas a social media account can be a bit shaky; your account can be deleted/shut down by the service provider any time and it can nullify years of your effort within an instant.
You can tailor an email to reach specific set of customers by designing it with the apt headline and nature of the content. You can have a better idea of how your emails impact the subscribers and achieve the marketing aims. In contrast, in a regular social platform, you have no control over who sees your posts or to find out how effective they are.
Both email and social media are here to stay. An ideal marketing strategy would be one where the strong points of each tool are put to use and each of the two methods supplement each other. Since email is a clear winner when deciding between the two marketing tools, it is only logical that marketers concentrate their efforts in utilizing the strengths of email marketing to the optimum