Why Email Beats Social Media for Online Marketing

Online Marketing

With the rise of newer social media, companies are putting a lot more resources and effort into social media marketing, sometimes at the expense of more established channels like email. But the latest technology is not always the greatest, at least not when it comes to creating lasting relationships with your customers and generating results. Here are five reasons why savvy businesses maintain email marketing as the foundation of their online marketing efforts.


According to The Radicati Group, a market research firm, there are an estimated 2.5 billion email users worldwide in 2014, with about 4.1 billion active email accounts. There are nearly three times as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. The numbers alone guarantee that you have potential for a much wider reach with your email marketing campaigns than with any social media marketing. Email simply is embedded into most people's daily lives in a way that social media can't match.


Of course, numbers aren't everything. In order to achieve results, you need to reach people who are receptive to your messages. This is where email shines. A carefully collected list of subscribers who have given permission and opted in to your list ensures that you have quality recipients who actually want to get messages from you. By allowing your subscribers to set their subscription preferences and profiles as part of the sign-up process, you can use this data to finely target and engage your subscribers to offer the most relevant content for each recipient.


Email marketing is unique in its measurability. Not only can you measure open-ups and clicks in your email marketing messages, you can also follow the activities and purchases of your subscribers after they have clicked through to your website. This allows you to get hard data on what works for your particular audience and make intelligence-based adjustments to improve your future campaigns. You can also use A/B-split testing to do variations of your email marketing messages and compare the results. The testing and analytics capabilities of the email medium are nearly endless.


Email has a long track record as a professional tool for building business relationships and communicating with partners and customers. People are familiar with email and used to its role in marketing, ecommerce and purchase transactions. As long as they have explicitly opted in, people are comfortable with receiving marketing messages and special offers by email. When opening your email marketing messages, subscribers are, therefore, receptive to the content and in the optimal mindset to respond, which is not always the case with social media.


The main purpose of any kind of online marketing is to achieve results, and email marketing simply delivers better results. A McKinsey study found that email is 40 times more effective for acquiring new customers than social media. The rate at which email marketing messages prompt purchases is estimated to be three times that of social media with a higher average order value to boot. This isn't to say that social media marketing is a useless endeavor. Both email and social media have their own advantages. However, if you have limited time and resources to devote to online marketing, consider that the data clearly points to email as the proven and by far the most effective option.

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