Many marketers wonder whether email or social media marketing is the better way to reach consumers and convert them to customers. Well, there’s no need to question which is better, because using both is actually best. Integrating email and social media into a digital marketing strategy can be the most effective way to achieve marketers’ goals. Email marketing may be a more traditional method, but it has an outstanding track record and has repeatedly proven its value. But social media marketing has generated lots of buzz in recent years and offers a means of friendly consumer connection for all kinds of brands and businesses.
So, which platform is preferred for marketing? Instead of asking which one is better, it’s better to focus on the best time to use each one and then combine both platforms into an integrated marketing strategy. To understand ideal integration, we analyzed several industry sources to learn how, when, and why to properly use each marketing platform individually and together. Discover current digital wisdom on when it’s good to use social media, better to choose email, and best to integrate both.
Email Is Essential
Email simply doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves as a powerful marketing tool. Many digital marketers are so focused on finding the latest and greatest social media platforms that they fail to recognize that email has proven staying power. Remember that years before the glamour of social media, email served as the sole source of personal digital communication. It may be more traditional than social media, but social followers don’t always translate into quality leads and conversions.
According to SendGrid.com, years of research have shown that email has continually been the most effective marketing medium in terms of total conversions. Savvy marketers consider it foundational for the sales and success of any marketing program. Perhaps that’s because the CMO Council revealed that email marketing delivers approximately a 4300% return on investment.
Email has proven its effectiveness in quality lead generation. It’s been shown to deliver such outstanding leads that it’s led to powerful lead generation tools like email marketing software that automates the entire process, from contact to conversion. Brands simply need to have prospects fill out a form with their email information. Once this data is compiled, the email marketing software can start sending them promotions and additional information. Once armed with a list of email addresses, a business can build a database of qualified email leads and send them subsequent emails to nurture them toward conversion.
Social Media Serves As a Form of Entertainment
There’s no denying that social media marketing is an incredibly popular modern medium. Many marketers realize that it’s valuable for businesses looking to communicate with their audience in a fast and friendly way.
Social media marketing is effective for attracting new customers and boosting brand awareness. But the main reason most people use social media is for personal enjoyment rather than professional interest. Most consumers typically think of social media as a way to catch up with friends and family, share compelling stories, and post fun photos and images. Learning about a company and its offerings is rarely a reason that people check their social accounts. That’s why it’s recommended that businesses use social media mainly to share light or fresh information in a friendly, informal way.
Email vs. Social Media
Many industry experts say that email is far ahead of social media for both the quality and quantity of website traffic it generates.
According to SmallBizTrends.com, studies have shown that email marketing conversion rates are a whopping 300% higher than conversion on social media. That’s reason enough to not only leverage email for marketing, but also to make it the leading channel in a marketing conversion strategy.
And while many people are on social media today, a lot of them simply have little interest or feel it’s too complex. But virtually everyone has an email account, whether for business, pleasure, or both. In fact, email has almost three times as many user accounts as Twitter and Facebook combined. This amounts to 2.9 billion email users.
In addition, Kissmetrics.com emphasized that email enables marketers to make repeated contact. The marketer’s message stays and waits in the consumer’s inbox, so it’s difficult to ignore. Even in a crowded inbox, the email remains until the user decides what to do with it. This is different than sending a tweet or posting a news feed story that’s easy to overlook because it’s only a small part of a very large timeline filled with hundreds of messages from other people.
Also, consumers expect to receive promotional offers and updates through email, so they have a higher tolerance for ads and are actually primed to make a purchase. Yet on social platforms, people are usually there to simply to chat with friends, share personal news, and watch funny videos, but rarely are in a shopping frame of mind.
Best for B2B Business
When it comes to nurturing long-term business relationships, developing professional partnerships, and building a strong reputation, email is currently preferred by businesses over social media. They view email as a more effective means of communication with colleagues, clients, and customers.
Plus, every professional has an email account and they most likely use it on a daily basis. But many businesses frown upon using social media in the workplace, so many professionals avoid checking social media networks until they’ve left the office.
Why Integration Is Ideal
While email has a better marketing record overall, social media is very valuable and serves a specific purpose. According to DigitalAgencyNetwork.com, each has its pros and cons and offers completely different opportunities. That’s why the integration of both is the most beneficial strategy for a digital marketing plan. But the secret to successful integration is to know when to use each platform.
Many industry experts recommend making email the primary means of marketing for every stage in the sales funnel. Since social media can be seen more as a source of entertainment than a means of marketing, it’s best to use social media as a complementary creative method to add more lighthearted, fun content into the digital marketing strategy. But remember, this social media communication should always link directly to a website or email to leverage the strength of these complementary channels.
To help marketers streamline email and social media integration and maximize their cross-promotional marketing opportunities, follow these simple steps:
- Focus on email first and then complement with social media.
- Have a strong understanding of the target audience in order to send effective messages, and craft compelling promotions that meet their needs and interests.
- Promote content on both email and social platforms for maximum exposure, credibility, and growth.
- Be aware when certain content is better suited to a particular platform and act accordingly.
- Regularly optimize emails for every mobile device to let people seamlessly shift from inbox to app and back again without any viewing difficulty or navigation issues.
- Take the time to continually review campaign performance and adjust the digital marketing strategy as needed to achieve the marketing goals.
Keep up with the latest trends in digital marketing. Contact MDG Advertising.
MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top branding firms. MDG’s capabilities include print advertising, direct mail marketing, branding, logo design, creative, media buying and planning, radio and TV advertising, outdoor, newspaper, digital marketing, website design and development, online video advertising, infographic development, email marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, paid search marketing, and SEO. To learn about the latest trends in advertising and branding, contact MDG Advertising.
Written by Michael Del Gigante