An experienced data professional who has been working within the direct marketing industry for over 20 years. Having spent 17 years as owner and MD of Data HQ Ltd his remit covers the whole of the management spectrum including; strategy development, organisational structure, company policy & procedure and product development.
Have you ever wondered whether you should allocate more (or all) or your marketing budget to social media marketing or email marketing?
Both channels have a valuable role within a holistic marketing strategy, but you should be clear on which is right for your business, your messaging and your audience. Social media might seem like the ‘darling’ of the advertising world, but remember, it’s not right for every B2B business.
Having said that, social media is more than just a fad — it’s a viable marketing channel that’s worth tapping into. In fact, 83% of marketers say that social media is important for their business. But is it better than email marketing?
You may think email marketing has had its day, or seems too ‘traditional’ for your business, but it certainly shouldn’t be ignored over social media. Here’s why:
Bigger user base
Firstly, the numbers don’t lie.
Facebook, the most popular platform, surpassed 1 billion active users back in 2012, and the current number is now 2.2 billion. That’s a very extensive user base, but still does not cast as wide a net as email.
Email is still the most widely used communication channel at 3.7 billion unique users worldwide. After this, the most popular networks for advertising, Instagram and Twitter, have 1 billion and 336 million visitors every month, respectively.
Looking at the volume of traffic, meanwhile, the number of Facebook posts and tweets combined make up just 0.2% of the number of emails sent each day.
Better for business
Email is still generally considered the primary form of business and marketing communication. What’s more, it turns out that 77% of users prefer email over social media for permission-based promotional messages.
In the UK, email reaches 83% of the people you send it to and an average of 24.7% will open it, compared to Facebook’s far smaller 2% reach. So, whilst adopting a social strategy is important and can reach a different audience, it shouldn’t be lost in lieu of social media for business.
Arguably the most important of all statistics is the return on your advertising investment. Did you know that the median ROI for email is over four times higher than other channels at 122%, according to eMarketer? Social media, meanwhile, comes in at a distant second place, with a ROI of 28%.
According to GetResponse, 21% of marketers across all industries state that email marketing delivers the best return on investment. Social media was second at 15%.
Drive more sales
When it comes to the latest deals and discounts, where do your customers expect to find them? Almost always email; 44% of users check their email for deals and offers from a company they know, whereas only 4% will go to Facebook.
According to another report from eMarketer, marketing executives said email attributed to over 21% of the total revenues last year. Your database of subscribers will generally come to expect to receive valuable, educational content by email that will help them maximise their B2B purchases.
The more carefully targeted your communications are, the more successful your campaign will.
With email, you can segment your list as many ways as you want, to target specific demographics. This audience segmentation helps you plan targeted marketing activity by identifying groups of customers with similar properties and/or behaviour.
Paid social media ads do offer sophisticated options for controlling who sees your promotions, but it can be less reliable than data segmentation offered by a trusted third party data supplier.
Organic social media, on the other hand, has little to no targeting potential, so you have almost no control over who sees your posts.
You’re in control
With this in mind, remember that with social channels like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn there is always an algorithm at work to decide whose content gets seen by whom. With email, you’re in control — you decide when to launch your campaign, and to which audience.
Email automation tools can assist with highly personalised, targeted communications that gets your message in front of your customers at precisely the right time.
So, do these six things this mean you shouldn't bother with social media marketing? Absolutely not. These days, most industries and sectors have some social presence, whether it’s for lead generation, sales or customer service. Social media can support your email strategy by helping your business build a database of individuals for whom you have no formal contact details or records of.
Email marketing, meanwhile, is a stronger approach and a wiser investment overall. If you’d like assistance with your email campaigns, and reassurance you’re sending to the most effective, targeted audience, consider a third party email broadcasting service, like that from Data HQ. Services such as these ensure you’re getting the best results and ROI from your email marketing, whilst ensuring the smooth testing, build and distribution of your final campaigns.
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