Social Media Vs Email Marketing – How to Get More Value For Your Marketing Spend

Given an option between and email , which would you choose as a small ?

Now, for many small owners this is really a hard decision to make. Of course, with the buzz about social media, especially Facebook and its huge user base, many will readily go for social media.

But, what if I tell you that scientifically proven stats states otherwise? What if researches over the years have proven over and over again that email marketing trumps social media marketing when it comes to marketing your business!

Surprised?

You should be because that’s not what the social media marketing experts want you to believe. But frankly, many of these are only concerned with selling you that super duper program that will help you create the much desired success on social media.

But no matter what any person says, as a small business when it comes to marketing your business online you definitely want to focus on those activities that produce the desired results and not just the noise.

This is not only wise when it comes to investing your money but for the fact that you have limited time to run and grow your business.

Now, comparing social media and email marketing is really like comparing apples and oranges. There may really be any area of comparison. However, like I have just said above, when it comes to marketing your business, you should focus on results. You want to judiciously invest your limited budget on the strategies and tactics that gives the most results both in time and resources put in.

So, the purpose of this post is to help you make the best choice and, as you will soon see, get the MOST from both worlds!

Comparing email marketing and social media marketing

Social Media Poor In Turning Readers Into Customers?

This might seem counter-intuitive considering the buzz about social media marketing. But the tell-all stats are glaring.

Let’s consider a few:

1. McKinsey & Co. – This survey result in 2013 by McKinsey & Co. clearly puts email far ahead of social media in effectiveness when it comes to acquiring customers!

email marketing vs social media results

As you can see in those results, email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and combined!

2. OpenMoves.com – Recently, Amir Chitayat from OpenMoves published results for one of his clients where here revealed that the results of email marketing are more tangible and with better ROI if you are looking for leads or sales. Now, note that he uses both email marketing and social media and spends about the same amount of budget on them.

Here’s a screenshot from his results:

Email marketing and social media spending compared

Can you see that Email generated 1,192 direct transactions and 872 assisted transactions? That’s a total of 2,064 transactions standing at a ratio of 0.73.

This means, email marketing generated more direct conversions than assisted!

Social media, on the other hand, generated less direct transactions (only 173) as well as 1010 assisted conversions. This is a ratio of 0.58. What this mean is that social media had less direct conversions and contributed less to assisted conversions!

3. Getresponse.com – In it’s “State of Email Marketing 2016” report Getresponse.com reported an average open rate of 21.73% for email marketing. This is in an industry where, for example, Facebook and Twitter have an organic reach of about 6% and less than 2% respectively!

Email marketing performance as per industry - by Getresponse.com

The import of this is that if you have 3,000 email subscribers, 3,000 Facebook fans and 3,000 followers on Twitter, what you will likely get is:

  • 652 people will open your email
  • 180 Facebook fans will see your message
  • 60 Twitter followers will see your message

From each and every one of those reports, it is very clear, that email marketing far outperforms social media in terms of reach and ROI.

Now, the BIG QUESTION:

Should You Abandon Social Media Marketing?

Strategically combine email and social media marketing for better results

Does the above results mean your investment every day, posting and tweeting on the various social media platforms, is a waste of time and resources?

Not really!

I want you to take a look at the McKinsey & Co. report again. Did you notice that between 2008 and 2012 there was a 20% decline in e-mail usage while social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging had some form of increased usage?

I’m sure you will agree that that trend has not changed over the years. Personally, I believe that the slow-down in email usage is not unconnected with the increase of spam emails and the social media buzz which had led to many businesses investing in social media than email marketing over this period of time.

So, taking all these reports into cognizance, instead of abandoning social media the better route would be a marketing strategy that combines the power of both email marketing and social media.

Remember, the two insights from these reports are:

a. Email beats social media when it comes to customer acquisition

and…

b. Social Media usage is on the increase and generates more assisted conversions!

As a small business you can actually have more value for your marketing spend by combining the two. By so doing you create a win-win situation for your business marketing. You simply need to:

1. Use social media to grow your email list – Your potential customers are already socializing on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. All you need is a well designed strategy to move them over to offers and build a list to help you turn them into customers.

I advise that you download this Facebook marketing guide for small businesses.

2. Use email marketing to boost your ROI! – You’ll need an email list management service like Getresponse.com to do this.

For a detailed guide on how to put this strategy together I encourage you to read this post:

“The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!”

Bonus Read: How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!

Conclusion

These reports on social media and email marketing are indeed an eye opener for small businesses who wants to use social media marketing for their online promotions. One thing that is clear from these stats is, social media is not the right channel if you expect short term rewards in terms of revenue or profitability. On the other hand, to use email marketing you will need to understand what permission marketing is all about.

Simply posting updates about your business on social media and broadcasting marketing/sales messages through email will not help you achieve your business goals. A carefully crafted marketing strategy, as outlined in this report (Click here to download!) is what will help you do the magic.

So, what do you think? Are you having great success with your social media marketing as against what this research report states?

About Chadrack

Chadrack Irobogo is a web entrepreneur, blogger, business coach and author. He's a vastly experienced online marketer and runs a digital marketing agency where he helps local businesses drive valuable online leads. On this blog he shares business strategies and proven marketing tactics that delivers tangible results for SMBs and enterprise bloggers.

View all posts by Chadrack →

10 Comments on “Social Media Vs Email Marketing – How to Get More Value For Your Marketing Spend”

  1. I don’t understand how people still advertise email-marketing, it just doesn’t work,
    i have read tons of posts about email marketing, got a bit excited over it and decided to give it a shot, they sent out about 90 000 emails to a very targeted audience according to the service filter and database, 90 000 emails, i said worse case scenario at least 1 or two people would be interested in the content of the email, at least 1 or two persons out of 90 000, lol but no,
    myself i would never click on promotional email, for me email-marketing is spam and out-dated and should be even banned, i leave my inbox unchecked for a couple days to return with 200 emails. email marketing is a joke.
    whatever you think your strategy should be like or how hard it’s gonna be, social media is always the way to go!
    many thanks and Best wishes!

    1. @Mitch,

      It’s obvious why email did not work for you. You must understand that email marketing is not the same as “mass email broadcasting.” Email marketing is about permission marketing. You will need to build a list and nurture it to be responsive. Buying email contact from some email merchant and sending out email broadcast with the hope that some will click and buy your offers is a recipe for failure. That is not what I’m advocating here. You will need to learn the basics again before you can really say if email works or not.

  2. Social Media Marketing is not like email marketing. We should have an understanding of permissions. A good strategy is required in Social Media Marketing. If it is done without planning it cannot produce desired results.

    1. @Huntington Beach Chiropractor,

      You’re definitely correct on that. If you are not ready to put in the sweat you mustn’t expect any good out of email marketing.

      Thanks for joining the conversation.

  3. What I recommend depends on the client and where their business comes from. I only have one client where we seriously work on their Facebook presence, because most of their business comes from real estate brokers, and that’s where they are in our city. But for many others, I recommend email newsletters. After all, a 17% opening rate is MUCH better than an 3% rate. And at least you know your emails reach everyone (or almost everyone) who subscribed to them.

  4. Thanks for the blog. Email is a more effective in the communications channel than social networking sites. The Social media, potential is much lower than using email lists. Social media channels are great for outreach. Thanks a lot.

  5. Thanks for the blog. Definitely, I agree with your statement. Small businessmen who are making plans to promote their business online will get a great info reading this blog. I think email marketing is more beneficial to most of the small business

  6. Thanks a lot. But I think social marketing is quite important in this competitive world in order to get a good traffic for your small business in every nook-n- corner of your Society

  7. Over the years, email marketing has done amazing progress.
    Now there are various techniques are involved in email marketing such as Creative Templates, online quiz competition, Affiliate program intro. Etc. and need not neglect social media as well because it is also good for promotion.
    We are promoting our e-commerce business through both ways.

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