Email marketing and social media marketing are two of the important components of digital marketing.
Email boomed in the 1990s, has stood the test of time, and to this day remains the preferred choice of marketers for direct marketing. In fact, in the B2B space, around 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes (through HubSpot), 59% consider email their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation (Myemma) and almost nine out of ten marketers use email marketing to distribute content organically. So it would be correct to say that email marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon.
On the other hand, a decade after the party, social networks have conquered today’s digital world. With the wide availability of the Internet and smart wearable devices, social media has conquered the digital world and captured the attention of marketers. A person spends an average of three hours per day on social media and messaging, according to Globalwebindex, 2019. Emarketer, in 2019, also ranked users on social media as 90.4% Millennials, 77.5% Generation X, and 48.2 % of Baby Boomers. As our dependence on digital media continues to grow, social media will stick with us for a long time, too.
So if both mediums are great, which one should you choose? Would it be a good idea to choose a side or to favor one over the other? Or would it be better to create a balance between the two? Let’s compare the dynamics of the two and find out which side you should pick.
The dynamics of the audience
Individuals vs masses. That’s the difference in audience dynamics between email marketing and social media marketing. E-mail is used by virtually all ages. However, social media usage varies by age, platform, and demographics. Take a look at the Facebook demographics for the United States:
- 73% of those living in an urban area using Facebook
- 69% of those living in a suburban area using Facebook
- 66% of those living in a rural area using Facebook
While everyone has an email, it is highly unlikely that they also have a profile on social media. That also on various platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. However, it would be a good possibility for that person to be on Facebook, as it has an impressive 2.7 billion monthly active users.
Therefore, you will have to consider your audience before prioritizing a channel.
The dynamics of growth
In its early days, social media had the ability to get your message across to thousands of people and grow organically. However, as time passed, this growth was blocked behind a paywall. Social media platforms searched for cash to prioritize content. You have to pay a significant amount to reach a specific audience and impressions. While there are still slim opportunities for organic growth, without strong investment, there would be no scope and consequently no commitments.
Rather, your email growth depends on your email list, which is completely yours. You are willing to email them at your own pace and time. There are no social media algorithms, no paywall, although you may need to invest in some automation or CRM for data collection and integration. The factors where the difficulties of email marketing lie; deliverables (15% of emails never reach recipients), personalization (74% of people hate irrelevant emails), content quality (47% of people open an email solely online of the matter), among others.
You should consider your growth prospect before diving into a channel. Within the evolving digital world, who knows what social media has in store for us, but email marketing has the power to stick around longer.
The dynamics of income
Social media marketing has the potential to influence people in decision-making processes, whether they are shopping, seeking health/product advice, and many other things. Another powerful feature of social media is viral stuff, even the silly stuff. Social media content can be shared countless times before it spreads around the world. While social media doesn’t directly generate income, it still plays an important role.
Marketers will attest to the fact that nothing is better than email when it comes to digital marketing channels. Each email is reported to have the highest return on investment (ROI) with an average of $ 42 for every dollar spent. Statista also notes that marketers find more ROI using email than organic or paid social media. However, it can only be sent to leads and subscribers, or it can even be forwarded. There is likely a chance that your email will go viral.
The dynamics of the content
There is a big difference between the content of both platforms. Social media favours those who keep their content quick, short, and straight to the point. Microsoft conducted a study two decades earlier in which the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds. Fifteen years later, it was reduced to eight seconds. One- to two-minute branding videos, memes, and shocking images have become central to social media. Users do not stay on social media for extensive content.
However, email gives you the ability to personalize, write longer and more attractive texts without worrying too much about the attention span of customers. They are likely to read the email content as they have time to view your emails. It does not matter if it is a newsletter, promotional or full, subscribers / prospects ingest the content of your email.
Which to choose?
The answer lies in the ability to use both together. Both should be part of your digital marketing strategy. You just have to find a time and a place for both channels. If your prospects react to extensive content and prioritize communication, reach out to them via email. If they want quick and quick answers, use social media to get them involved. When used collectively, both email marketing and social media marketing can be an unstoppable force in your digital marketing arsenal.