Email Marketing vs Social Media

With the rise of social media many predicted that email marketing would disappear from the marketing mix and marketeers would primarily depend on social media.


We all know now that this is not the case.

Both play an essential part in any business but which one out of the two brings you the best return on investment? Which one should you focus on?


Email Marketing

Let me ask you this: How many email addresses are you currently using? I have four which I check frequently thoughout the day. I imagine it’ll be the same for you and the majority of people. Everyone has an email address.

Now, sending out an email newsletter doesn’t guarantee success. To be honest, box standard newsletters are a dying out breed. Why? Because they’re not personalised and have nothing to do with the needs and wishes of the customer.

So, think of your customer communication lifecycle. At what point do you initiate contact, provide valuable information and seal the deal?

Your customer data is the fuel that keeps your email marketing engine going. Without the data, there will be no email marketing.

Think of all the data you’ve got on your customers and at what stage they are on your customer lifecycle. Do they have an abandoned cart? Is there a birthday coming up? Do they prefer a specific fabric/colour/service? Have they made a repeat purchase? Or not?

Most of these targeted email correspondences can be automated. MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and other providers offer an automation functionality which is very straight forward to set up.

Email marketing allows you to give your customer personal attention through automation which means personalised communication has the potential to be scaled infinitely. What does that mean for your business? Growth.

Social Media Marketing

Social media has been growing at an incredible rate and it’s going to continue. It’s a digitalised word-of-mouth marketing channel that can do wonders for your business.

As we all do, your customers search for recommendations, pre-purchase information and user experiences. It’s what we used to do face to face.

The reason why social media is still growing, and most businesses are embracing it whole heartedly, is that you can join in on the conversation your customers have about you. You can now strategize your digital word-of-mouth by re-assuring potential customers and re-affirming your expertise to existing customers.

Building relationships and trust on social media takes time and is not always as straight forward as the above paragraph makes it look like. There are many businesses out there who spend a lot of time on their social media channels but hardly get any return for it. That’s not the fault of social media but rather of the messages that are put out there. But that’s a blog post in itself.

So what next?

As you might have expected, use both if you can. However, if you struggle with time and social is not working so well, focus on email marketing by working on your customer communication lifecycle, your automation processes and in general a much more targeted email marketing approach.

Once that is in place, maybe you will find the time to revisit your social media marketing and use it as a lead generation tool.