Both email and social media platforms are great ways to reach and engage your audience, communicate with companies and job candidates and share business updates.
However, because of new privacy regulations such as the GDPR or CCPA, email got a bad rap and is considered a spammy practice. On the other hand, many still consider email marketing more effective than social media.
As social media platforms get more popular and email marketing gets some really bad press, marketers often wonder which practices to use for efficient marketing campaigns.
In this article, we’ll focus on the marketing aspect of email and social media and review some of the relevant aspects of both types of digital marketing so that you can draw your own conclusions.
The Number of Users
To be successful in your campaigns, you need to talk to your customers and prospects right where they are. While they certainly use some of the social media networks, most of them are still quite engaged with their emails.
When comparing email marketing vs. social media in 2020, numbers were still in favor of email. According to Statista, that year, the number of daily email users worldwide approximated 4 billion, while 3.6 billion people were using social media.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of active social media users has risen to approximately 4.62 billion people worldwide in 2022 and surpassed the number of email users, now estimated to be 4.26 million.
While over 58% of the worldwide population is undoubtedly active on social media, they are dispersed on different channels. This year, the most widely used social media platform – Facebook, has reached 2.89 billion monthly active users. The numbers are significantly lower for other social media, for example, Instagram with 1.478 and TikTok with 1 billion.
Although the number altogether seems to favor social media, email still significantly lags over each of them separately. To reach your potential customers on social media, you will need in-depth research to find out which network they’re actually using and an advanced social media strategy.
When it comes to email marketing, you can be confident your potential customer will receive the message you’re trying to communicate, as they will get it delivered directly to their inbox. And If you use an efficient email marketing campaign, you will undoubtedly get many converting leads.
Personalization is key to a successful marketing campaign. With the advancement of technology, especially automation and AI, both email and social media platforms have improved the way they communicate with their target audience, making the interaction more relevant and personal. Consequently, thanks to technology, both email and social media campaigns are producing better results.
Social media platforms can use the advantages of chatbots, targeting, and retargeting campaigns. However, due to the very nature of social media, when you send a custom message to your social media followers, the odds are still high that some of your potential and current customers won’t have a chance to see it.
Through automation and AI, emails can now be personalized to the point of very small details. A marketing team can now send off thousands of highly- personalized messages with just a few clicks. Those emails will be targeted to fit the needs of different segments of potential and current customers and to each individual customer according to their previous interaction with the company. What’s more, the time those messages will be delivered will fit the time when the user is most active, again raising the odds for customer engagement.
And when it comes to emails being spammy – certain email clients have features that will help minimize the risk of your efforts ending up in the spam folder.
The Ease of Access
There is a huge difference between social media sites that a digital marketer must be able to comprehend. Each one of them has its own internal “logic” by which posts appear on your target audience’s newsfeed. In addition to that, the logic doesn’t stay the same for a long period, so one must always be on the watch for potential changes.
To get noticed by the target audience, marketers often have to learn new tricks or somehow “hack” the system.
When it comes to email campaigns, there is no need to catch up with new formulas – everything is straightforward. When you ensure your email is under relevant regulations and spam-free, it will definitely reach your customers’ inbox every single time.
If you’re focusing your marketing campaigns on social media channels alone, there is one thing you should be aware of – the platform you’re using is not your own. It’s not you who sets or changes the rules, and the actions of the decision-makers can highly affect your business. Social media usage can shift overnight. Even a simple mistake on their side can mean a significant loss on yours.
With email marketing, it’s you who hold the reins. As long as you follow the basic legal requirements and the rules of great copywriting while avoiding being spammy, you’re on the road to success.
Various sources estimate email marketing ROI somewhere around 3600% and 4200%. If you create a well-targeted and personalized campaign, you can expect up to 42$ for every dollar you spend.
The ROI is much more challenging to determine regarding social media, so it’s hard for us to compare email and social media platforms when it comes to this indicator. Social media ROI varies from one channel to another and is highly dependent on the strategy and metrics you choose to measure success.
However, we can still conclude that return on investment in email marketing is definitely worth the effort.
One area that companies knowingly or unknowingly neglect when communicating with their clients is record keeping. However, various laws and regulations demand the archiving of email and social media platform records. More to say, such laws are not optional.
As the regulatory environment for digital communications is rigorous, companies need to be aware of such demands and insist on compliant practices. Besides compliance, archiving digital correspondence brings companies other benefits, such as business continuity, litigation support, and streamlined FOIA processes.
The Infographic below explains some of the key benefits of archiving practices in email marketing:
And to quickly grasp all the benefits, you can check out how Jatheon does social media archiving.
Wrapping It Up:
When done right, using a customer-centric approach, both email and social media platforms will bring you closer to fulfilling your marketing goals. If combining the advantages of both is not possible for you now, it’s up to you to choose which one will fit your company’s needs and the interests and habits of your target audience.