Social Media or Email Marketing: Where to allocate your Resources?

In this tech savvy era, social media marketing is one term that attracts attention of every marketer. Thus, every business group is employing its resources in creating interesting updates, posts, blogs and Vlogs which are uploaded on various public platforms for engaging customers and expanding business. In this era, every Social media marketing company is running behind uploading blogs and posts on face book, twitter and other social platforms. This is considered as one of the latest trend for reaching out a wide customer base. But what about not that hyped form of marketing strategy such as email marketing. Is it as important as social media marketing? Whether it is better than social media marketing?

Social Media or Email Marketing


For answering the above question, here is a study by McKinsey & Co. It studied how US companies gave birth to a wider customer base. In their study, they found that email marketing helped US companies acquired 40 times more customers when compared to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This is true that email marketing is better than social media marketing. But, before reaching to any conclusion let’s evaluate both the marketing strategies on different parameters.

ROI Generated

When seen from the point of return on investment. Email marketing comes out to be better than social media marketing. It is less expensive and has higher chances of customer conversion. As a result, it comes out to be a better choice when considered from the perspective of ROI. The ROI generated by email marketing is more when compared to social media marketing. On an average, ROI for email marketing is 122 per cent and for social media marketing it is 28 per cent. Thus, it is a more preferred choice of marketing. But, it is not that hyped as social media marketing.

Level of Customer Engagement

All marketing strategies are created to engage customers. Let’s see which one is better email marketing or internet marketing when seen from the point of view of customer engagement rate. The click through rate in email marketing is 3.57 per cent. On the contrary, around 0.07 per cent click through rate is achieved by making posting on social media platforms. Thus, the customer engagement rate is better in case of email marketing. 

For Reaching a Wide Customer Base

On the basis of reach, social media marketing doesn’t go that far. Viewers do not see everything appearing on their Facebook Page. In the flood of new updates, viewers do not get time to see every post upload on Facebook or other social media platform. However, this doesn’t hold true for email marketing. In email marketing, the chances to open a mail are more when compared to social media. It is said that around 58 per cent of web users check their email account as the first thing in the morning.

Furthermore, having 5,000 email subscribers and 5,000 Facebook fans is not the same case. If you have 5,000 Facebook fans not all of them will see all your posts. Only 2 to 5 would see all your posts. However, this is not the case with Email Marketing. The rate of 5,000 emails subscribers has higher chances that they will view your emails. Thus, email marketing is better when it comes to reaching a wide customer base.

Social Media Marketing is a Fun Way to Promote the Brand

Social Media Marketing is a fun way to promote the brand when compared to Email Marketing. Seeing a simply drafted mail in your inbox is a monotonous activity. This is the drawback of Email Marketing. However, this do not hold true for Social Media Marketing.  In the latter, you can organize webinars; upload facebook posts and other things to make your brand reach the masses. Viewers find such posts and interactive sessions quite interesting. Thus, as far as interest factor is considered social media marketing is better than email marketing.

Email Marketing is an Easy Process

When seen from the point of ease email marketing is quite an easy thing. On the other hand, social marketing is quite an extensive job. A lot of work goes in social media marketing. Blogs, articles and other content need to be written before it is uploaded on various platforms. Content is generated and daily efforts are made to attract more viewers to the facebook page. However, drafting emailers is not that an extensive approach. Thus, here again email marketing wins the game and comes out to be better than social media marketing.

Consumers are More Receptive to Promotional Content Sent through Email Marketing

It is a common perception, that consumers get irritated by seeing promotional emails in their inbox. However, this is not true. As per a survey, consumers are far more receptive to promotional messages sent through an email as opposed to promotional messages sent through social media platforms.  When people want to look for discounts and great deals they have only one place to go to which is their inbox.   Around 44% of users check their email to look for a deal when compared to the 4% who visits Facebook page for the same purpose.

Email marketing is better when it comes to ownership

In Email Marketing the list of prospects are owned by the company. However, this is not the case with social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and etc. In case of social platforms at any point of time your list of prospects can be taken away. As per the terms and conditions of facebook, the company is free to terminate your account as the need arise.

Email marketing is better as social media marketing has many legal requirements

Social Media has many legal requirements. Content related to guns, prescription drugs and gambling is strictly prohibited on social media platforms. However, when it comes to email marketing the rules are not that strict. In this, you only have to abide by the general law. There is no intervention made by any third party.

Email marketing is better for giving a personal feel

There is no personal touch when it comes to social media marketing. However, this is not the case with Email Marketing. In Email Marketing the viewer feels that personal feel. This does not apply in the case of social media marketing wherein you are just seeing a general post on your page.

Email Marketing is more Versatile

Email marketing allows you to design your mail the way you want. It can be technically more versatile. Also, you can upload it with interesting content.  In case of social media marketing, this is not the case. You have to follow the rules of the social media platform.

Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing are Intertwined

Although Email Marketing is more effective when compared to Social Media Marketing. It reaches to large masses, drives more conversion and has a higher rate on Investment. But, Social Media Marketing is also vital for the success of the business. You need good brand awareness so that the viewers will sign up to your mailers. Basically, articles, blogs and other type of content are written to attract readers. The readers sing-up for the newsletter when they get something valuable to read or they find the posts engaging. In nutshell, it helps new leads to discover you. Also through social media, the content gets viral depending on the shares made by the viewers. This is however not the case when it comes to email marketing.

Final Word

In the era of Digital Marketing, the word twitter, Facebook and Instragram are the buzzwords. However, the trend of social media marketing is prevalent in the current era but it cannot overshadow the importance of email marketing. Also, email marketing is a great back up against social media marketing. Facebook and other social media platforms are not closing any soon. But, there is always a risk attached. If we go back and consider the case of MySpace, then definitely there is a risk that needs to be considered. Moreover, in the recent case of Facebook in which many celebs such as Farahan Akhtar deleted their accounts and few companies even stopped their marketing campaign on facebook. This gives brand a good reason to keep email marketing as a backup.

To conclude, we can say that both the strategies should be employed. It depends upon the nature of your business and the kind of audience that you want to target.  Both social media marketing and email marketing are worth to be a part of your content marketing strategy. Thus, social media marketing services in India employs both the strategies for brand promotion. It is the era of following well-rounded approach. Maximum efforts are vested on email marketing. Along with that, due consideration is made to use social media marketing for creating brand awareness. This makes social media marketing as the backbone for email marketing. As a result, the company is able to reach a large customer base driving better conversion rates.  

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What you think is email marketing better than social media marketing? Share your views in the comment section below.

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Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra, the co-founder of Media Search Group, loves to pen down about marketing and designing. Be it search engine optimization(SEO) tips and strategies, Social Media Optimization, Increasing Engagement, and Traffic Score, Web Design and Development, Mobile Applications, Conversion/Sales, he covers it all. Been in the business for a long time, Amit Mishra knows some of the best strategies on how to expand and grow a Business Online.