Last Updated March 6, 2023
It's almost 2023, and you're trying to decide whether to focus your marketing efforts on email marketing or social media. The question of email marketing vs social media is more common than you might think, and the answer is also more complex. This article breaks down the email marketing vs social media debate and sets you on a clear path for 2023.
Most companies use email marketing and social media marketing in their digital marketing strategies. Both social media and email marketing have pros and cons. Figuring out how to best support and leverage each is a key component to having success using them.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing uses email marketing providers to send emails to potential and existing subscribers to promote products or services. Brands do this through various means, such as newsletters, promotions, transactional emails, and providing valuable content through landing pages.
Integrating email into marketing automation workflows is an excellent method for staying on top of the management and needs of email marketing. Email can also have a significant impact in the areas of content management and customer engagement.
Email marketing is typically coordinated and delivered in a campaign mentality so that each campaign can be measured individually. Campaigns can be integrated with other marketing channels.
Campaigns need to be tested and improved over time to succeed. Testing allows you to see what's working and what's not. Believe it or not, approximately 91% of US adults enjoy receiving promotional emails from companies they regularly do business with.
What are the Top 3 Benefits of Email Marketing?
There are several critical advantages to launching an email marketing strategy, especially for small businesses, which is why it's still one of the most popular marketing channels today.
- It's cost-effective: Email marketing is one of the most affordable ways to reach your target audience. It's estimated that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $36. (source: Constant Contact)
- It's easy to track and measure: With email marketing, it's easy to track your results and ROI. Email marketing tools are sophisticated and allow you to track things like open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, etc.
- It's personal: Email lets you get intimate with your subscribers in ways other marketing channels don't. You can segment your list, which enables you to send targeted messages to specific groups of people based on user behavior and patterns. This can be difficult to do with social media or other marketing channels.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) uses top social media platforms to promote and grow your brand; platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram have tools to promote your products or services. In the industry, it's also known as digital marketing or online marketing.
Generally, companies utilize social media to build their brand, increase overall sales, engage with their customer base, and drive website traffic. Brands can do this in various ways, such as creating and sharing content, running ads, or even holding contests or giveaways.
The key to SMM is to create engaging and valuable content that your target audience will want to share with their friends and followers. If you can do this, you'll be well on your way to growing your brand awareness using social media.
What are the Top 3 Benefits of Social Media Marketing?
There are several key benefits to launching a social media marketing strategy, which is why it's considered a powerful marketing tool. Ultimately, this marketing strategy's benefits stem from its capacity to manage three core areas in marketing customer data, interaction, and connection.
- Builds Trust and Increases Brand Recognition: SMM effectively builds trust and increases brand awareness and recognition. By engaging with your audience, you can show you're a company that cares about its customers. This builds trust and consumer loyalty. During a buyer's journey, approximately 54% of buyers check a company's social media page.
- Generates leads and boosts sales: Social platforms are a great source of lead generation and increased sales. Nearly 78% of businesses that use social are outselling their peers.
- Improve and Increase Customer Service and Satisfaction: Social media provides an audience with a direct line to your company. You can quickly respond to negative comments or reviews by monitoring social media. This is a great way to show your audience you're committed to customer service and satisfaction. Additionally, it's a valuable opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Costs Associated with Email Marketing
Like any marketing strategy, email marketing comes with associated costs. These can range from the cost of email marketing software to the price of hiring an expert to manage your campaigns.
Companies can also manage their email marketing campaigns with in-house expertise. However, many small businesses need more resources to invest in email marketing, which is where email marketing service providers are helpful.
Service providers can offer several different services, such as design templates, campaign management, reporting, and more. They can also provide a certain degree of support and advice regarding email marketing. Service prices can vary depending on the provider, the size of your business, and the scope of the services you require.
However, email marketing is still inexpensive to reach your target audience. It's one of the most budget-friendly marketing channels, with an average return on investment (ROI) of 122%. (source: Omnisend)
Types of Email Marketing Costs
Email marketing has several ongoing costs that generally affect how you can utilize your email list. For example, without email marketing software, it is challenging to automate email marketing processes and take advantage of the more sophisticated features that can make email campaigns more effective.
- One-time costs: The one-time fees associated with setting up an email campaign. This includes the price of the software, designing an email template, building an email list, and creating your first email campaign.
- Cost: $300-$500
- Recurring costs: You'll regularly incur these as you maintain and grow your email list. This can include paying monthly for email marketing software, service provider fees, and staff time.
- Cost: $50-$150/month
- Hiring an expert to manage your campaigns: If you don't have the in-house expertise to manage your email marketing campaigns, consider hiring an outside expert. Fees can vary depending on the provider, the size of your business, and the scope of the services you require.
- Cost: $500-$2000/month
As you can see, email marketing does have some associated costs. However, it is still an effective way to reach your ideal audience on a per-email cost basis, which can be as little as $0.01 per email.
To make email marketing more affordable, consider these three tips:
- Start with a free or low-cost platform like Mailchimp or Moosend
- Use an email marketing service that offers discounts for volume or bulk email providers
- Purchase a pay-as-you-go email marketing plan from providers like Moosend
Costs Associated with Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is also a strategy with costs. These can vary depending on the specific paths you take with your social media channels. The national average for SMM services is $50-$100 an hour; the monthly average ranges from $399 to $5,000 per month making social media marketers highly valuable.
It would help to consider the costs of creating and maintaining a social media presence. This can include the cost of hiring someone to manage your social media accounts, creating visuals (e.g., graphics, videos) for social media, and running paid ads.
Types of Social Media Marketing Costs
According to Deloitte, companies spend an average of 13% of their marketing budgets on social media marketing. However, like email marketing, many variables determine the costs associated with social media marketing, which may cause you to budget more or less.
Critical variables that will affect your social media marketing budget include the size of your company, the industry your company is in, the goals, software, tools (SEO keyword research, social media management tools), and even the types of social media advertising methods used.
There are two main types of social media marketing costs.
- One-time setup fees: Ranging from $0 to $3,000, these are the one-time costs associated with setting up your social media presence. This can include building up your company on multiple social media platforms and setting up your business account on tracking software that measures effectiveness.
- Recurring social media management fees: These are the monthly or annual costs associated with having someone manage your social accounts. You can also enable the occasional or one-time expenses related to specific social media management tasks, such as running a contest or a campaign tailored to your company's particular goals.
These can range from social media management software fees or SMM agency retainer fees. You have two options: a social media management company or a freelancer. $300-$3,000
Using Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing
Suppose you're working in the marketing industry. In that case, email marketing and social media marketing utilize very different marketing approaches but ultimately want to achieve the same outcomes. However, there are areas where each method performs better than the other; let's look at some email marketing vs social media statistics and see the bigger picture.
You might wonder if you should use email or social media marketing for your brand. Of course, both have pros and cons, so you'll have to look at your business goals and objectives to see which will benefit you or your brand more. In any case, several factors can determine where each fits within your marketing strategy.
- Determine The Audience: Once you know your ideal customer, you can determine which channel will be most valuable and relatable to them—study influencers and others who excel in marketing to determine the best action.
- Consider Both Approaches: Many new brands consider a hybrid marketing approach because it can work well. For example, companies are expected to have social accounts that can be leveraged for growth in an email marketing program.
- Know Your Business Strengths: You should choose a marketing approach your company is well-suited for based on experience. For example, if your company's website features a blog with valuable content, you may use high-quality material on other channels.
- Respond to Results: A great marketing campaign requires measurement of results and adjustments over time. By taking this approach, you'll have an opportunity to gain new insights and measure how to craft future campaigns.
We suggest following email marketing best practices for more reach, traffic, and direct conversions. We suggest reviewing highly engaging social media marketing benefits to reach your objectives using this powerful channel.
How to Measure the Success of Email and Social Media?
For your email marketing and social media marketing strategies to be the best, you need to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These metrics track user behaviors that will help you understand your email marketing campaign's success.
Before monitoring all of this data, it's essential that you determine the business goals; this will ensure you track relevant data. You'll need to choose how often you'll act on these metrics.
The most important KPIs for an email marketing campaign are:
- Open Rate - Compares the number of emails the recipients open against the total number of emails delivered. A/B testing different subject lines can help here.
- Click Rate - The percentage of total recipients who clicked any tracked link in the campaign. It's an important number for tracking engagement, and it's also better to improve this with A/B testing of CTAs.
- Unsubscribe Rate - Indicates those who have opted out of your list. Although individuals will always choose to unsubscribe, determining the unsubscribe rate can give you data to understand content effectiveness and relevance.
- Conversion Rate - How often your email marketing campaign turns leads into customers. The best way to track conversions from an email marketing campaign is to have a metric that shows what percentage of your users converted via a purchase path or funnel.
- Bounce Rate - When a server rejects an email, the email client does not automatically delete it from the recipient's inbox. A low bounce rate helps a sender's reputation. There are two types of bounces, hard and soft. Hard impacts a sender's rating more than soft.
- ROI - A measurement of cost-effectiveness; a mathematical formula of profit minus cost. Generally, email marketing has a higher ROI than other marketing methods and is the clear winner in terms of ROI.
- CPA - Measures how much you spend to acquire a customer; you can determine this metric by total campaign cost/conversions.
You also want to look at your email list growth, social media followers, and blog subscribers. By looking at these factors together, you can start to see which areas need improvement.
The most important KPIs for social media marketing are:
- Reach KPIs - Measures how many users interact with your social media; in other words, this shows your existing and new audiences.
- Impressions - The number of times your content is displayed, whether clicked on or not.
- Engagement - Measures the quality of engagement with your followers and measures likes, comments, average engagement rate, and amplification rate.
- Follower Count - Measures the number of followers on your social platforms simultaneously.
- Conversion Rate - Measures the number of individuals who follow through with your CTA compared to the number of posts sent out.
- Bounce Rate - Measures social media users who clicked the link on your post but didn't traverse beyond a single page.
- Cost-per-click (CPC) - What you pay social platforms like Facebook and Twitter for each click on a sponsored or boosted campaign post. Tracking these helps determine if you're investing wisely.
- Customer Testimonials - Customers are likelier to post positive comments about your business on social media sites and Google Business Places. Customer ratings and written opinions about their experiences provide a good snapshot of how customers feel about your brand.
Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing Statistics
It's no secret social media and email marketing are two of the most effective digital marketing strategies. Typically, social media is the way to go if you want higher engagement rates and email marketing is your best bet if you want more click-throughs and a higher ROI.
Where Email Marketing Performs Better
- Overall, about 60% of email marketers swear by email marketing and say it performs better than social media marketing.
Often you'll hear that email marketing is dead, but as of right now, it's quite alive. However, at least 49.7% of emails are flagged as spam, contributing to the myth. In addition, the use of email is increasing, which directly contradicts the idea that email marketing is a dead strategy.
Statistic: Over 306 billion emails are sent every day. This number is expected to increase to more than 376 billion by 2025. (Statista)
Statistic: In 2020, the email marketing market was valued at 7.5 billion globally. This amount is projected to rise to 17.9 billion by 2027. (Statista)
Based on those projections, it's evident that email marketing isn't going anywhere. Consumers still view this strategy as trustworthy; after all, they are already subscribed to an email list. Approximately 61% of consumers say they enjoy receiving promotional materials in their weekly emails, and almost 40% want more marketing materials emailed to them.
In addition, about 60% of consumers say they bought a product or service based on an email a company sent them. Still, only 12.5% of consumers say they would consider hitting the buy button in a social media ad.
Even business owners see more value in email marketing than other channels and believe in its value, despite the advances in social media marketing. Approximately 80% of businesses believe that email marketing improves customer retention; even small business owners use email marketing to reach their current and new customers.
It's clear that email marketing is thriving, but businesses should still improve related social media marketing strategies. Social media performs better in areas like engagement, stickiness, virality, brand recognition, and assisted conversion based on engagement, and it's possible to use social media to grow an email list.
Integrate Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing
Social media is a gateway to bigger and better returns, especially within your email marketing. However, email marketing should be paired with social media to help increase the reach and number of leads.
Reaching out to consumers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn can help you discover social media users with interests that align with your company or product. The more followers and engagement, the more likely they will sign up for an email newsletter featuring similar content.
The most critical aspect of social media is to ensure that the content aligns with your brand and the audience's interests. Capturing their email address and name will be easier if you do this. In addition, you can use data from email campaigns to create hyper-targeted social media content that will result in higher conversion rates.
Here are some other tips that are helpful for integration:
- Add links with CTAs to your social profiles that drive to landing pages with lead magnets
- Insert newsletter signup forms into Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms
- Post a promotional deal that leads to a landing page
- Launch a paid campaign to drive lead signup
- Host live sessions on social platforms
- Start contests using social media and email integration - See Vyper
- Utilize social media influencers (17% of social media marketers spend over half their budget on influencers (source: Influencer Marketing Hub))
Email Marketing vs Social Media Wrap-up
Integrating email and social media marketing into your digital strategy is critical for long-term success. You can do one or the other, but they work better in concert. Make sure to track the results of each campaign to see what works best for your campaigns, KPIs, and business goals. Promoting your brand on both platforms makes sense to get the distinct advantages of both channels.
Email marketing and social media marketing are essential for business success. Deciding to use both in meaningful ways is the best strategy. By utilizing email marketing and social media marketing, businesses can reach more potential customers and create hyper-targeted content that is more likely to result in conversions.