Email vs Social Media Marketing: What You Need to Know

Social media marketing and email marketing are two great ways entrepreneurs and businesses can market themselves online.

But how Email vs Social Media Marketing differ? Here’s what you should know about these popular online marketing tactics.

What Is Email Marketing?

When a company sends out an email that’s not regarded as order confirmation or direct customer response, it is considered email marketing.

It involves personalized, mass emails to convince a lead to take specific actions such as buying a product or service.

The Good Things About Email Marketing

  1. Easy to create and launch

Traditional marketing campaigns take time to be planned, developed, and implemented; but email marketing is a different ball game.

You only need a few minutes to write and send an email through there are tactics to be implemented for the best results.

  1. Options to customize

Email is customizable with just a few keystrokes for a customized user experience. It is a powerful engagement tool when you take the time to know your target audience.

  1. An additional sales channel

Email marketing is known for being a profitable sales channel for all types and sizes of businesses.

Small enterprises use this channel to inform their buying decisions and companies use that data to generate additional revenues for their businesses.

The cost of email advertisement is very low since the company owns the mail list and there is the potential to make significant revenue with this marketing medium.

  1. Scalability

The ease of scalability prevents you from the struggle of strategic planning to reach a large/small audience.

You can send emails to just one or thousands of people with a click.

  1. The easiest way for word of mouth

Email vs Social Media Marketing

Emails are currently one of the easiest ways to grab the attention of your potential customers, including when you’re trying to expand the existing client base.

  1. A/B testing

You may not know which directions you need to take in planning your marketing campaigns when you’re just stepping in.

Email marketing gives you the option to test different marketing strategies and check which one gets the most responses. You can then put more effort into what’s working best.

  1. Brings customers to your website

Email campaigns with a clear call-to-action and engaging content help draw customers to your site.

  1. You get an immediate response

The click-through rate is high with email marketing, so you get a high ROI within a short period of time.

  1. Save your time

The automated system helps you save time by connecting with prospects on time.

You can automate email delivery for customers based on their actions such as signing up for the website newsletter. You also have the option to store and use pre-designed templates to save more time.

  1. Environmentally friendly

Email vs Social Media Marketing

There is no involvement of distribution or printing in the whole emailing process. They are less expensive and environmentally harmful compared to other types of advertising.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing harnesses the power of the different social media platforms to accomplish your marketing and branding goals.

It’s all about connecting with your customers or audiences and helping them know your brand better. The concept is highly beneficial to your business growth.

The success of your social media marketing largely depends on how well you find and make your target audience satisfied so that they really like your brand and share their experience with others.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

  1. Lead generations

Social media lets your audience express their interest in your business and products or services in an easy way.

Lead generation is a major benefit of the platform for businesses. Many social networks now provide advertising formats that are designed to collect leads.

  1. Staying on top of the audience’s mind

Email vs Social Media Marketing

A 2021 study by Pew Research Center says 73% of 18 to 29 years old Instagram users check their accounts at least once a day.[1]

53% of this age group admit that they check the platform multiple times a day.[1]

  1. Increased inbound traffic

The inbound traffic is only limited to the usual customer when you don’t market your brand on a popular platform.

Social media is a mixture of people with different behaviors and backgrounds. Publishing your content on these sites allows them to reach your business organically.

  1. Higher sales

It has been found that the lead-to-close rate on social media is higher than in other marketing methods.

Your business gets more visibility on the social platform, so it gets more opportunities to convert potential customers into actual ones.

  1. Brand authority

Email vs Social Media Marketing

Brand loyalty and customer satisfaction contribute to the authority of your brand but communication is key.

Your customers believe that you are more credible when they see your brand posted on the social platform, especially when they see both-way communication between you and other customers.

Regular interactions with your customers show that your business values customer satisfaction and is always ready to answer questions.

Customers who are satisfied with your product or service are keen to spread the word, and they regularly use these platforms to do so.

  1. Cost-effective method

Most parts of organic social media marketing are free. You don’t have to pay to create a social media profile and publish organic content.

Many may find this enough but paid promotion helps increase exposure when you like to go the extra mile and promote your content further.

Email vs Social Media Marketing: How Do They Differ?

  1. Statistics

Number of users

Facebook has more than 2.91 billion active monthly users. [2] The appeal of social media is easy to see when you add in the active users on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many other forums.

However, the platform stands no chance against email marketing for sheer reach. The number of email users is higher than what Facebook and Twitter have combined.

Customer reach

Another important factor is that organic Facebook posts only see 0.07% engagement but the email marketing open rate is 21.33%. [3,4]

Even click-through rates are significantly different (3% for email and 0.5% for Twitter.)[5]

Retention rate

80% of retail industry professionals say that email is the best driver for customer retention.

Only 44% of companies find social media an ideal tool for retention. [6]

Other important statistics

  • The click-through rate for email is 3% while it is around 3.17% for Google ads [5,7]
  • 64% of people find basic ads annoying and intrusive but the majority of consumers feel comfortable seeing email messages [8]
  • Only 8% of online ads get customer attention. Emails get far better to reach and have the power to grow loyalty [9]
  1. User preferences

72.2% of survey participants prefer to use email to communicate with brands and 67.6% of them are teenagers. Another statistic says that 58% of users check emails before they do social media.

80% rely on social media for content marketing while 85% of B2B marketers implement email marketing. [10]

  1. Engagement level

a. Engagement metrics for social media

Social media is the leader in the customer engagement department. You have more opportunities to create customer-oriented content here.

You can create a funny video that provokes a reaction or share a relevant tip that someone will find useful enough to share with others.

Social media management platforms use metrics like comments, likes, and shares to help you know what type of content is the best to get audience response.

You want to use that information to build the best social media strategy.

b. Engagement metrics for email

Emails don’t have most of these engagement metrics. You have the option to forward an email to another contact but the nature of privacy makes it difficult to assess and optimize. 

Your best option for engagement through email marketing is the subject line. An attention-grabbing and enticing subject increases the chances of your audience opening and reading the mail.

  1. Reaching level

Social media allows you to reach a wider audience than what email does. The best social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have millions of users that may fit your ideal customer profile.

There are new sign-ups every day on these sites, so the potential to reach more people with a good social media strategy is virtually limitless.

Hashtags help you reach out on social media more effectively. You want to use social listening tools to find niche hashtags related to your products or services and include them in social media posts.

This will enhance your visibility with the platform users who already have an interest in the type of content you create.

  1. Targeting

You have the option to segment your email list according to specific demographics. Paid social media posts also allow you to control who can see the promotions and who cannot.

The only exception here is the organic social media since they almost have no targeting potential.

  1. Driving sales

It has been found 44% of email users check their inbox to find deals from companies that they know of but only 4% go to Facebook for the same purpose.

The purchase rates reflect these decisions. 60% of consumers purchase a marketing message that they get via email. Only 12.5% of social media users like to purchase from social media posts. [11]

  1. ROI

The number of customers acquired by email marketing is 40 times more than what Facebook and Twitter do combined. [12]

Examples show that social media is more responsible for assisted conversions whereas email is for more direct conversions. The conversions generated by email are three quarters more than by social media.

Email is easy to deploy with great conversions and it costs less so the ROI will always be better.

  1. Security

Email beats social media with its superiority in security. You own your email list that no one can take away but that’s not the case with the list of your social media followers.

Another small risk of social media is it may shut down your account. You need to have an email list even if your main strategy is social media marketing.

Email vs Social Media Marketing: How Do They Work Together?

Email marketing helps keep your focus on loyal consumers and strengthens relationships with them. These are helpful when you want to provide top-class marketing to your audience.

You give your subscribers new opportunities to engage with your products, services, and content by including links to your social media profile in the marketing emails.

Email vs Social Media Marketing: Which Way Should You Approach?

Social media is the ideal choice to grow your audience and encourage fans to turn into email subscribers. You then want to use email marketing to nurture those leads into paying buyers.

Social media is also a great option when you want to expand your reach. Use email marketing to drive sales from those reaches.


1. Is social media marketing taking the place of email marketing?

Ans: Both are important in their rights. Social media platforms are essential to launching new products while email marketing helps remarket those items.

2. Is email marketing more effective than social media?

Ans: One thing that makes email marketing more effective is the lower cost compared to social media. It also helps build authentic relationships with the leads, converts and nurtures those leads, and offers a high ROI.



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