Email Marketing vs. Social Media – Who Is the Winner?

Should I invest in email marketing or social media marketing? Which one is more crucial for higher ROI? Is email marketing so twenty years ago? Does the invention of social media has changed how digital marketing works? These are some questions people often ask when it comes to email marketing vs. social media:

With so many digital marketing channels available nowadays, it has become overwhelming to choose the best. The debate of email marketing vs. social media marketing has been going around for some time now. But it is not easy to declare the one winner.

It might seem like social media marketing is the clear winner due to its popularity and influence, but that is not the case. The number of emails sent and received each day exceeds 300 billion, which means email marketing is still relevant and here to stay.

Today, we will dig into the email marketing vs. social media debate to see which one performs better.

Email Marketing vs. Social Media at a glance

What is Email Marketing?

3.9 billion people start their day by checking their email. More than 60% of customers prefer to receive marketing emails from their favorite businesses.

Email marketing is all about targeting your audience and customers through email.  Providing valuable information helps to drive sales, boost conversions, and increase revenues. Email marketing is an ideal channel to achieve your business goals.

You can use the email marketing channel to build a relationship, boost brand awareness, promote your content, generate leads, market your products, and nurture leads.

Benefits of email marketing

Email is not dead yet. It is the marketing channel that businesses use to build an authentic relationship with customers. Here are some benefits of email marketing:

  • There are more than 3.8 billion email users. If you are looking for a proven way to reach customers, email is the perfect place to get started.
  • Email generates more return on investment (ROI) than any other marketing channel. FYI, the email marketing ROI is 3800%.
  • Two-thirds of customers buy from email marketing messages.
  • Email is 40X more effective at acquiring customers than social media marketing channels.
  • No policy or security policies can image how and when you can reach out to your customers.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is all about promoting the content to the targeted audience on social media channels. It includes Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. You need to tailor the content based on the social media channel you are using.

Tailored content helps you reach the targeted audience, boost brand awareness, build community, and drive sales. Social media marketing allows you to target a broader audience. The number of active users on social media channels exceeds one hundred million per day.

As new features and platforms emerge daily, social media marketing continues to evolve.

Benefits of social media marketing

There are several reasons why your brand should use social media marketing. Here are the most beneficial benefits:

  • Increased brand awareness: Social media is proven to boost brand awareness by driving up engagements. Social engagement includes the comment, likes, shares, and save. Social media optimization also helps to drive traffic straight to your website.
  • Better leads and conversion: Sharing and promoting your products on social media is an ideal way to improve lead generation, boost conversions, and increase sales. You are advertising to the people who have opted to engage with your business.
  • A lasting relationship with the customers: You can interact with your social media followers through posts. Respond to their questions, comments, and message. Providing them the help they need will help to foster your brand relationship with the customers.
  • A closer look at the competitors: Using social media gives you a better understanding of what your competitors are doing. You can know the products they are promoting, the campaigns they are running, and their social media tactics. It will help you to improve your social media reach.

Email Marketing vs. Social Media – Comparing the results

1. Return on Investment (ROI)

When it comes to email marketing vs. social media, ROI is the primary factor. Email marketing ROI is $38 for every $1 spent. That’s why 90% of marketers prefer email marketing for lead generation.

Companies track their social media marketing ROI, and it is a bit complicated. That’s why social media is an ideal tool for soft leads (bringing the email addresses). It makes email marketing a clear winner for better ROI.

2. Engagement level

Interactivity is the real deal for higher engagement levels. If a platform is interactive, it provides more reasons to the customers to engage with the brand. Social media is an ideal platform to increase engagements.

People spend most of their time on social media tagging people/brands, liking and sharing posts, uploading content, and engaging with their favorite brands.

It is an area where social media marketing outclasses email marketing.

email marketing vs. social media

3. Target audience reach

In email marketing, you can segment the email list according to the information provided by the subscribers. In this way, users will only receive emails of their interest.

Luckily, you also have extensive targeting options, including age, gender, language, education, life events, and customers on social media. 

Both email marketing and social media are effective in reaching the targeted audience.

4. Sales

Which channel drives more sales? The question is often asked in the email marketing vs. social media debate. There is no clear answer to it. Research shows that 60% of customers buy something after receiving an email.

However, the side effects of COVID-19 have made the social media channels the top choice for boosting brand awareness and driving sales. People use social media to keep up with trends, not for purchases.

Email marketing is the winner for better sales and increased revenues.

5. Security and authority

Marketers often complain about social media’s security and privacy policies. The evolving rules and regulations can affect the marketing campaigns.

Email marketing is one-to-one communication, so your customers won’t feel that you are invading their privacy. Email marketing gives you anatomy over the content and audience, making it a winner.

6. User Preference

Which platform do you prefer with the brands? 80% of millennials prefer communication with brands through email. 60% of people check their emails before social media. 85% of marketers use email for marketing, and only 70% use social media.

7. Email marketing vs. social media in B2B and B2C

B2B communication is a sophisticated one and demands a professional approach. Email marketing is an ideal way to share relevant information and content for B2B communication.

When it comes to B2C communication, email is not a convenient way. Customers need instant feedback from their favorite brands. Social media is a better option for instant chats.

Our takeaway on email marketing vs. social media

So who wins the email marketing vs. social media debate? Both marketing channels have their benefits and channels. It is impossible to declare the one winner.

Social media marketing is ideal for attracting new customers and building a brand’s identity. Meanwhile, email marketing targets loyal customers and strengthens existing relationships. The positives of both channels can work hand-in-hand to achieve your marketing goals.

You may have felt email and social media are the opposite ends of the marketing spectrum, but when used together, you can get reliable results for your next marketing campaign.

Merge email marketing and social media to elevate engagement, drive leads, generate sales, and build brand loyalty.