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Email vs Social Media

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Wendy Schollum
Email Marketing

While social media continues to wow the marketing world with its sexy new engagement and measurement tools, it’s important not to forget about the importance of more traditional forms of digital marketing - like the humble email marketing communication.

If your target market are businesses or consumers over 34 years old, then recent studies show that email marketing is still the most effective way to break through the daily digital overload and deliver a message to your target market.

An eMarketer study, released in late 2010, revealed that email marketing is still the primary digital marketing tool used by most businesses.  It went on to show that 86% of the surveyed internet users use email to share content (only 46% used social media channels, such as Facebook) and in every age group (except for 18-24 year olds), users showed a clear preference for email communications over social media channels.

These statistics (when coupled with the raft of studies that show the increasing interest in, and use of, social media channels) have left some business owners and marketers scratching their heads, trying to work out just how email and social media fit into the new digital marketing landscape.

Just like any other form of marketing, which tool you use comes down to your intended outcome or overall goal.

If your goal is to provide added value, quick responses or interact with your consumers in a less personal way, then social media is the right channel to use.  The ability for consumers to post ideas, thoughts and responses to your business social media profiles allows you to respond immediately consumers – providing an “added value” communication channel.

However, if your business relies on direct sales, your aim is to build a more intimate ongoing relationship with your consumers, or you want to increase the impact of your marketing through limited release communications, then email marketing is the best medium to use. 

Using email marketing’s bulk personalisation and interest categorisation tools, you can tailor messages to specific email recipients (giving the impression of a more intimate understanding of their requirements), while only sending out a communication once or twice a month makes them more anticipated and less likely to be overlooked (as a barrage of social media posts in a feed can be).

So, when considering what cost effective, digital marketing mediums your business should be investing in don’t make the mistake of overlooking the tried and true email marketing communications in exclusive favoritism of the shiny new social media options available.  Instead, a business often does best with a mix of both.


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