Does email outshine social media?


Many email marketers are skeptical about using email marketing in the social media age. Marketers are not sure if they should invest in email marketing or focus on building their social media presence.

As far as the debate on “social media versus email marketing’ is concerned, you should certainly continue to use email marketing to build better brand visibility and have a stronger reputation.

Here is how email marketing wins over social media marketing and gives you higher conversions and ROI.

  1. Email marketing is permission-based

When a subscriber signs up to your email list, you have explicit permission to send them emails. On the other hand, following a social media page does not represent that firm commitment. It is a much more casual interaction compared to emails. You can ask your subscribers to follow you on social media just like McDonald’s does.


Of course, you can drive email sign-ups through social media, but the reach of emails is far better than social media reach.

  1. You can personalize your emails

You can send customer-centric communications that are tailor-made according to the past correspondence of the subscriber through email marketing. You can segment your email list based on age, sex, geographical location, past purchases, total purchase value, resources downloaded, and products or services searched for. With the emergence of artificial intelligence in emails, you can hyper-personalize your emails to build more relevant emails. Social media does not offer you such a privilege. 

  1. Emails have a bigger scope of innovation

While social media binds you in character limit, emails give wings to your creativity. Your copy can either be long and interesting or short and persuasive, as there is no word limit to restrict your thought process. As far as email design is concerned, you can try out rich media like GIF, cinemagraphs, and videos to add visual appeal to your emails. Additionally, you can also experiment with custom illustrations to make the emails more insightful. With the enhancements in email clients, it has now become possible to incorporate gamification in emails and enhance subscriber engagement with exciting rewards and incentives.

  1. Email marketing has no algorithmic challenges

Social media platforms make constant revisions to their algorithms, as a result of which, the reach of your social media posts collapses. You have no control over your social media followers, and you never know when a prospect decides to unfollow or unlike your page. Furthermore, if you fail to adhere to the privacy policies of the social media platforms, your account may be terminated, and you would end up losing all your followers. This is quite unlikely in the case of email marketing. Even if you commit a mistake in email marketing, you would not have to sacrifice the subscriber list. 

  1. Sending emails is cost-effective

With email marketing, you can cost-effectively reach out to a bigger target audience. Of course, it is not free, and it is just a misconception among many marketers out there, but it is undoubtedly more affordable than getting sponsored posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

  1. Drip email campaigns help to bring more conversions

Automated drip email campaigns help to nurture the leads and drive more conversions by making them aware of your brand and building a stronger rapport. As emails are more like one-on-one communication, your subscribers are more likely to respond and take the next action. You cannot automate 100% of your social media posting, and therefore email automation holds the upper hand in this aspect.

  1. You can test emails to figure out what works for your brand

Email marketing gives you a unique feature of A/B testing, through which you can understand what kinds of emails resonate the most with your subscribers. For example: If your email open rates are constantly dwindling below the industry benchmark, you can A/B test your subject lines. Draft two or more subject lines and send to different subscriber sets. You can finalize the email with the subject line that receives the maximum opens. This will enhance your email metrics too. Social media, on the other hand, does not give you this prerequisite.

  1. Email performance is measurable

Social media marketing lets you track the engagement and reach, but email marketing is a step ahead even in this aspect. Email service providers give you the provision to know the open rate, click-through rate, delivery rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribes. As email marketing targets the subscribers individually, you can get a clear idea of which subscribers engaged with your emails. Based on this data, you can re-send the email to the subscribers who have not opened the emails. Additionally, you can promote the subscribers closer to the conversion point if they have clicked-through your email.

Wrapping Up

Here’s a chart to recapitulate the advantages of email marketing over social media marketing.

Source: OptinMonster

We hope that alleviates all the apprehension that you had about email marketing.

What do you think? Does email marketing work better than social media? Do share your views in the comments below.

About the Author

Chris Donald is the Director of InboxGroup, A professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing solutions from production to deployment. He has worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government bodies in all facets of their email marketing services and marketing automation programs for almost two decades. He enjoys sharing his distinctive thoughts and insights into email marketing best practices at his blog.


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