Email Marketing vs. Social Media Ads: The Good And The Bad

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Business owners have been changing the manner by which they promote their products and services. The days of advertising through antiquated yellow pages, newspapers, brochures and other traditional means have been overtaken by the trend of email marketing and social media. Initially, these social media platforms were intended for leisure human interactions and sharing of interests until they were subsequently used as marketing tools. This article focuses on the email marketing vs. social media ads in terms of statistics, business intent, advantages and disadvantages, and which is a better option from a marketing perspective.

The Rule Of Email

Even if there is a perception that email marketing is outdated, it is still the most widely used channel at 2.6 billion unique users worldwide. The number is expected to continue to grow, reaching over 2.9 billion by the end of 2019. It is also considered of having the most number of users out of any age group. According to the study done by ExactTarget, consumers check their email first other than all other forms of online accounts. It is perceived that these email-first individuals tend to be more task-oriented as compared to those who begin their day with Facebook or Instagram. In the same study, it was observed that 77% of consumers choose email over social media for permission-based promotional messages.

Emergence Of Social Media Advertisements

Online advertising is emerging as a natural choice for modern businesses. With the decline of the banner ad, businesses began searching for alternatives. Paid search and social are great online advertising media for leading visitors to the website based on user intent. Social media advertising helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.

Social networks are a good option for advertisers because of the advanced targeting options, reliable conversion tracking, and prevalence on mobile devices.

A Closer Look At Email Marketing vs. Social Media Ads

Here are 5 factors to consider on the topic of email marketing vs. social media in order to determine which is a better option based on business intent or requirements:

Distinct Features

Email marketing:

Older and proven form of digital marketing

Business comfort provided by the Inbox in storing the emails

Generation of leads with strong content

Reasonable pricing for smaller advertising campaigns

Social Media:

Allows accurate targeting (by location, age, gender, interests, etc.)

Simpler and entertaining copy

No cost involved to post in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Brand awareness generation

Real-time information

Target Reach

Email marketing:

One in every 5 users will open and read the email once it reaches the Inbox. It is presumed that if the email successfully generated the clients’ interest, they will expect more emails. With this in mind, it is important to update spam filters when preparing the campaigns. The distribution list should be filtered carefully and not to be overwhelming with the sales copy.

Social Media:

When posting on Facebook or Twitter for free, the actual organic reach or those who see the post is just 6%. If there are 1,000 Facebook fans, around 60 people will see the post. With this in mind, even if email marketing requires more time and resources, the results will far exceed that of the social media.

Engagement Success Rates

Email marketing:

With email marketing, the first few seconds are critical once the client reads it. It is imperative that the message and relevance of the email is fully understood. These few seconds will make or break the sales conversion although it is still the quality of the copy and validity of the offer which are the keys to conversion.

Social Media:

With so many distractions in social media, it is difficult to capture the undivided attention of a consumer. The message should be distinct and with high importance to the user. However, there are two advantages of social media posts: they have the potential to be viral and can stay much longer in the timeline. When a post becomes viral, the target reach can be ten-fold.

Conversion and Credibility

Social Media:

Social media will provide stability to the brand and touch base with fans and clients on a daily basis. The approach in social media is lighter and more entertaining and helps keeping the conversation with the audience more interactive. This in return gives the brand the credibility it needs to lead the user to more formal actions like subscribing to a newsletter, setting up an account on the website, or making a purchase.

Direct Sales and B2B Communication

Email marketing:

Email is a strong sales tool and a preferred option for B2B communication. Email marketing allows the sending of e-commerce emails with product details, pricing and shipment options. This way, subscribers are served with a direct product offer and a clear way to take an action. Company officials and decision makers communicate via email and eventually hang out on social media in their spare time. That is why it is advisable to connect with them via email.

Which Is Better? Or Both Are Good?

  • There is a time and a place for a social media post versus an email. Knowing when to use email marketing vs. social media ads to deliver a message is the key. If focusing efforts on both social and email marketing seems like a tall order, just remember how easily the two can complement each other. Cross-promotion of content across all platforms, whether emails and socials, can grow the brand, the business, and reputation as a marketer. It is not a matter of choosing one over the other, but rather create a strategy that meets clients wherever they are. In the end, the end game is sales and marketing conversion and how the campaign can influence prospects’ decisions over multiple marketing channels.
 Finally, the best email marketing and social media campaign can be more effective if complemented with an appropriate content. As with any other online marketing effort, the campaign will be more effective if delivered and complemented with a properly written content just like how emails are written. The emerging market has also generated a lucrative environment for social media management providers. One major player is the social media content specialist, $99 Social. It provides the service complementary to marketing campaigns. The service can deliver the most unique and appropriate content specially created, customized or automated for every business need.
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Heather Hart

Heather Hart

Operations Manager at $99 Social
Heather began working with $99 Social in April 2014 as a content writer, but quickly moved into a customer support role, then to Operations Manager in May of 2017. She loves exploring different artistic mediums, including copywriting, drawing and painting, website coding, and helping people succeed.

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