5 Ways Email Marketing Is Better Than Social Media Marketing

Bed Bath Beyond

Social media messages may seem successful, but they get lost in the social feeds.

It’s rather amusing that, in today’s current marketing landscape, email marketing is often referred to as “old-fashioned” when compared with other channels, such as social media marketing or SMS. (Does that mean direct mail is a dinosaur?)

Call it what you want, email still kicks social media’s proverbial butt in overall marketing success. Following are five reasons why. 

1. Shelf life

Granted, promotional email messages might be deleted immediately after (or before) they are opened/read, but they also might remain in the recipient’s inbox even after they are opened. Depending on how cluttered one’s inbox is, that email might be easily retrieved days (weeks?) after it was sent.

Sure, most emails are read within 24 hours of receipt. That’s why you’ve got to include valuable content. An email that includes a how-to video, usage/care information or other tips may be filed away for future reference.

Social media marketing messages are but a blip on the online radar. Timing is everything. If your intended recipients happen to be on a given social media site at the particular time you post a marketing message, bingo!

Otherwise, your message can get lost in the plethora of messages on social media sites.  Here’s a Facebook post from Bed Bath & Beyond:

The message was hidden amidst photos from Vegas, a wedding, a party… comments on the performance of various sports teams… jokes, etc.

2. Customer acquisition

According to a recent study by predictive analytics firm Custora, customer acquisition via email has quadrupled in the past four years, accounting for almost 7 percent of customer acquisitions. That’s not too shabby, especially when you consider one of the study’s other findings: The lifetime value of customers acquired through Twitter, for instance, is 23% lower than average.

3. Permission

Email marketing is permission based. (If it’s not, you’re not in compliance with CAN-SPAM and your email marketing plan will be very short-lived.)

Your email recipients are subscribers; they have signed up/opted in to receive your communications. That means they are more likely to take action, whether it’s opening, clicking through or making a purchase as the result of an email.

Visitors to social media sites, however, may or may not react to your marketing messages. In other words, it’s more of a crap shoot.

4. Conversion

Email surpassed both social media and SEO for conversion in Q2 of this year, according to an Ecommerce Quarterly report by Monetate. Email enjoyed a 3.34 percent conversion rate, compared with .79 percent for social.

While social media is a force to be reckoned with, email still reigns supreme in terms of conversion.

5. Personalization

Done correctly, email messages are targeted to specific audiences via segmentation. In short, the message received is more relevant to the recipient. More relevant messages give the email marketer more credibility and result in consumer relationships that are longer lasting.

Think of social media as the old blast email mentality of yesterday. A company throws a message out there and sees what sticks, so to speak.

We’re not saying businesses should discount social media marketing altogether. On the contrary, social media can be an effective marketing channel, particularly when used in conjunction with an email marketing program.

You’ve also got to determine your goals for email and social media marketing. As the example from Bed Bath & Beyond illustrates, social media is a great channel for brand building. The post does not try to sell product – it’s simply designed to keep the brand top of mind among consumers.

You want to be where your customers are – in their inboxes, on social media sites, on their mobile devices. The adage “don’t put all your apples in one basket” applies here. Smart marketers will use a mix of email, social media, mobile and more in order to effectively reach their customers.

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