It is a fact that social media rank first among the most contemporary marketing promotion tools. Rendering shareability of content practically effortless, social media are deemed the most high-converting channel right now. But, would you have guessed that their effectiveness does not even compare to that of email? Maybe, just maybe, email is the single best social media channel, after all.
This does not mean that you should choose one over the other, not by a long shot.
Email Marketing and Social Media: The Facts
Email marketing is the oldest online marketing tool there is, and, even after four decades, your inbox is still full.
On the other hand, Facebook is increasingly showing an upward trend in terms of the number of marketers engaging in Facebook ads. What can be interpreted as the aftermath of the medium’s recent algorithm change (i.e. favoring friends’ posts over business pages’ posts) is indeed changing the environment. In other words, to compensate for this change, marketers are increasingly considering re-determining their Facebook budget. And, as no one questions the contribution of social media to conversions, social media are now exceeding other channels in advertising spend.
To younger marketers, what may be considered an alternative to social media marketing, email marketing that is, has in fact been known to outperform social media when it comes to overall conversions. Nevertheless, both email marketing and social media advertising can still generate a lot of value.
Complementary or Mutually Exclusive?
While many may argue that social media are gradually taking over email marketing, a matter garnering attention among marketers is whether there is a single appropriate medium.
More specifically, doing some fact-checking, there were 4.2 billion email addresses (The Radicati Group’s E-Mail Market, 2012-2016 Report (released October, 2012) ). That is almost twice as much as all Facebook and twitter accounts in 2016 combined .
What merits further investigation whatsoever, is that despite a staggering 82% of companies employing Email Marketing, a growing number of marketers are switching to Facebook-only advertising.
Note, “switching”; not integrating.
The truth is that trends can be quite convincing in promoting Facebook advertising as a most promising tool, however, eternally switching from one channel to another might not be good for your company in the long term. What you should do is to integrate the channels that work best for you, based on where you audiences are.
Email Marketing and Social Media: The Ultimate Stack-Up
Facebook is by far the most effective social media platform in terms of ROI which is why we test-drive it against Email marketing.
- One of the reasons why Facebook is hailed as the most effective social media platform is that it makes an excellent ice breaker to tap into new audiences. However, it is email that provides the most professional way to pick up right where Facebook left off with (potential) customers, as opposed to Facebook which maintains its personal feel.
- Email makes tracking more user-friendly and reliable than Facebook with email featuring more advanced analytics in comparison.
- While insights on Facebook do not cost extra, targeting usually does. In fact, the more targeted an ad is, the higher its cost per click. Facebook might also add a limitation in terms of ad delivery if the marketer is targeting an audience that is too narrow, according to Facebook’s guidelines.
- With email, you can set the time and date you wish to be seen. Provided that you have segmented your email list based on the time they open their emails, you have a higher probability of reaching your audience than you do with Facebook ads.
- Depending on the conversion funnel stage a marketer wishes to target, they can opt for a different channel; Facebook advertising if they are aiming at middle-funnel and email marketing when targeting lower-funnel potential customers.
- In terms of reach and traffic, email marketing is preferable to increase conversions. As for social media, it can be employed as a way to increase engagement and support sales.
- When one is looking for items to browse, offers, or promotions, email is their go-to resource. Instead, it is up to coincidence for a consumer to land a promo code or new items through Facebook advertising, particularly due to the medium.
- Your email list belongs to you, while with Facebook advertising you merely get access to Facebook’s database.
Having examined both Facebook advertising and email marketing, it is advisable to generate ROI from a symphony between the two channels, them being complementary rather than mutually exclusive.
To reap the benefits of both, there are many ways you can integrate social media with email marketing:
Integrate email list with FB
With Facebook’s Custom Audiences, you can import your email list to target and reach your potential customers on the social network.
Grow your email list
You can generate more leads and grow your email list with Facebook’s Subscribe feature. Offer your audience a series of opt-in resources such as webinars, ebooks, pdf material and other lead-generating resources.
To make sharing across channels easier, you can rely on handy “Add this” or “Post this” buttons for actions to be completed without exiting the medium, and thus, instantly.
You get your ROI from the orchestrated effort of both channels and each accounts for a different aspect of your promotion plan, in terms of targeting, funnel stage, tracking, and so on. You may want to focus on one channel more than the other, but remember not to exclude either.