Email or Social Media? Where Should You Focus

Marketing comes in many different shapes and forms, and your style of marketing should be a reflection on the tempo and product of your business. Two of the biggest marketing tools we have at our disposal are email and social media. But which one is right for your business?

Email Marketing

Email marketing has been around for a long time, and it gets results. It’s a more traditional approach, but many industries expect emails, and social media just isn’t as “catchy” as social media, which has viral potential.

Billions (approximately 3.7) have an email account, and email is often the first thing people check in the morning, before checking social media.  Comparatively, social media is not as widely used (although it may seem like it). Facebook see about 1.9 billion unique users each month, while Twitter follows behind at 600 million users.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is something that, like it or not, cannot be ignored. And what’s great about it is that if your marketing plan all goes well, you can actually have clients marketing on your behalf!

Social media is appealing to many segments of the population and has been proven effective in certain markets. Part of what makes social media work is you can actually see your campaign play out in real time, watching likes and shares unfold.

However, as I alluded to earlier, some industries aren’t as glamorous or “shareable”, making social media marketing a less appealing solution.

So when you’re planning your marketing scheme, it’s important to think about how your clients/customers take in information and go from there. If your company appeals to a younger, more tech-savvy audience, then social media may be your friend, but if your target group is more traditional, email marketing should maybe be your focal point.

The Numbers

Marketing is all about results, so let’s look at how these two marketing approaches compare.

Some studies show that email really comes out on top in terms of both click-through rates (CTR) and return on investment (ROI). The average CTR for email is 3.57%, while social media shows only 0.07%. Due to social media algorithms, your client base may not always see your posts, and even if they do, the likelihood of actually responding is low.

In terms of ROI, again, email is the winner. A 2016 study shows that email marketing has a 122% ROI, compared to 28% of social media. However, though social media shows fewer returns on paper, there’s always the potential that something you create could go viral, which is a game-changer.

No One-Size-Fits All Solution

I hate to break it to you, but there is no right answer. In fact, you may find that through trial-and-error one or the other approach works better for your purpose—and more than likely you’ll want a combined approach.

And as always, take the time to reassess your marketing plan and make sure you’re seeing returns. If something’s not working, don’t hesitate to try a new approach.

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