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Don’t Get Seduced by the Hype – Use Both for Greater Reach

We all know about social media’s huge numbers – billions of users around the world. But ask yourself this, are you targeting all of them? Do consumers in Singapore want what you’re selling?

Like we mentioned in our post about direct mail, you also need to look at your goals when considering email versus social media. Are they more sales? Subscribers? Increased traffic to your website or store? Better brand awareness?

If you’re looking for a high ROI, a DMA/Demand Metric 2016 report showed email with a 122% ROI vs. social media’s 28% ROI.

As for conversion rates, email also held a big lead at 17% vs. Facebook’s 4.7% (the social media conversion rate leader). Instagram was second at 3.1% followed by Pinterest’s 2.9%. Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube all came in at under 1%.

That said, social media certainly has its benefits. Most research shows social media is great for reaching new consumers while email is stronger for nurturing leads (more on this in How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy Plan).

Keep in mind though email and social media offer different approaches. Email is a direct message to a consumer while social media provides a huge platform to potentially reach thousands – if not millions – of prospects.

Email Versus Social Media

Here’s a look at more pros and cons of email and social media marketing:

The Benefits of Email Marketing:

  • You’re not competing with the billions of social media posts and users – you’re sending a message straight to an inbox. This also lets you create personalized, tailored messages.
  • In terms of dollars, email’s ROI is big: $38 for every $1 spent.
  • Having 2,000 email subscribers is not the same as having 2,000 Facebook fans. Facebook is constantly changing its algorithms and there are too many updates to fit on news feeds. This greatly limits the reach of organic posts (they also want you to “sponsor” posts – pay for them as an ad but getting a bigger, targeted audience).
  • The overall, average open rate for marketing emails is 32% (based on HubSpot data from 25,000,000+ emails across 28 industries).
  • While email has higher conversion rates than social media, keep in mind you’re only engaging with people who’ve opted in.
  • Email is a lot more affordable than social media campaigns (and Pay-Per-Click Google ads).

Again, be careful with email…

  • Don’t inundate customers with too many emails and keep your subscriber list clean and up to date (see more on this in Email Versus Direct Mail).

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing:

  • Social media has a much higher engagement rate than email – fans and followers are more likely to share a branded Instagram post than a marketing email, letting you reach new consumers you didn’t previously target.
  • People are bombarded with brand-created ads and many of them, especially millennials, tend to consider comments and content from influencers to be more authentic.
  • Offering giveaways in social media ads is a great way to promote sharing your brand.
  • If your post goes viral it can possibly reach more people than an email campaign.
  • Measuring social media ROI is possible but each channel has a different cost structure.
  • Social media is great for growing an audience and you get in-depth targeting options.
  • You can use popular, influencer-created content in emails and on your website.
  • There are several social media agencies that can help you find the right influencer.

Watch out for Social Media shenanigans…

  • Many people trying to become social media influencers buy followers, trying to boost their appearance and influence.
  • Just because someone has say 50K followers, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right influencer for your campaign…
  • …You also need to consider someone’s level of engagement with their followers. Does the influencer have a strong relationship with his or her audience? Are their posts getting a lot of comments, shares and likes? These are important factors to consider and it’s also this engagement that helps to make posts go viral.
  • Some brands’ ads are shown on YouTube videos with content the brand could have strong objections to. With email, you have total control over the content and who it gets sent to.

Use Both Channels for Better Results

The most powerful and effective campaigns use more than one marketing channel. Look at the above advantages of each channel and consider using both to reach more consumers and create a stronger brand awareness.

  • A strong social media presence will send traffic to your website. Once there, potential customers can subscribe to your email list.
  • Running a contest or free offer on any social media channel is another great way to grow your email subscriber list. Require an email address to enter your promotion.
  • Retarget email openers with ads in their social media feeds. This is a great way to get your brand back in front of consumers. You can set this up several ways, e.g., have ads shown two days after the email was opened (see more on this at How a Retargeting Strategy Works with Email).
  • Coordinate email and social media campaigns so they deploy at the same time.
  • If you’re looking to build your social media following or get more shares, send an email that says something like “Check our Instagram in three days for a 20% off coupon!”
  • You’ll find out what people think about your products and promotions in their comments on your social media posts. Use what you learn in your emails and future promotions.
  • Make sure your email opt-in links are on all of your social media channels.
  • Put your social media buttons and branded hashtags in every email you send.

Quick Links – Here’s What We’re Covering:

What is Email Marketing and How Does It Work?

How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy Plan

The Different Types of Email Marketing

Email Marketing Advantages

Email Versus Direct Mail

How a Retargeting Strategy Works with Email

What is an Email Service Provider?


Digital and email marketing have been cornerstones of Take 5 Media Group since our founding in 2003. We’re also one of the nation’s leading compilers of consumer information and experts at building audiences based on lifestyle changes, intent to buy, demographics and more.

We then use our innovative marketing channels, that include email, social media and display ad retargeting, geo-fencing, content and influencer marketing to get your message to these highly-targeted audiences.

To find out more about us, call Take 5 Media Group, Boca Raton, Florida, 561-819-5555, in New York at 917-201-7451 or visit our website at Take5mg.com.