Social Media vs Email Marketing - Ding DingWhen putting together your marketing plan, you’ll no doubt experience a tug of war when it comes to social media versus email.

Some people will be big proponents of using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach a wide audience.  While others will love the simplicity and direct nature of email.

In reality, both forms of marketing are entirely different approaches.  Therefore chucking them into the ring and asking them to knock seven bells of you know what out of each other to find out who’s the hardest won’t get you very far.

Despite this, there are certain campaigns where email nearly always remains the clear choice.

Here’s four reasons why that’s the case:

1. It’s a single route to a defined endpoint

We talk about this a lot, but that’s for very good reason.

When you send an email, it travels a single path and ends up in one place – the recipient’s inbox. It doesn’t stray or end up being inadvertently picked up by the wrong person (or people).

Send an email to someone who you want to receive it, and they will (unless there’s a spam issue, obviously). Social media, by design, just isn’t as direct or reliable.

2. Email Marketing is still more professional

Woah – before you stand up, blow out your chest and explain why social media is entirely appropriate for business use before storming out of the room – hear me out!

You’re right!  Social media is a brilliant tool for businesses.  However, email is still a more professional way to contact someone, whether you’re in a B2B or B2C industry.

You can contact people on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But, if you have something important to announce, or a personalised offer to deliver, email will provide far more substance and legitimacy than social media.

3. It’s personal

Again, we’re not suggesting you can’t make one-on-one contact with people on social media.  Although, there’s something about email that makes communication far more personal.

What’s more, if you’re using an email marketing client, you can harness the data you have about your subscribers to send highly-personalised, automated messages… that don’t appear to be automated!

If you’re a B2B firm, the personal nature of email is even more important. As easy as it might be to contact a new customer via Facebook, it’ll feel far more professional (see point 2) and likely to garner a response if you head to your email client instead.

4. The numbers don’t lie

According to statistics, there are 2.6 billion email users globally.  That’s more than the current numbers for Twitter and Facebook combined.

Email is certainly one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but people the world over clearly still trust it.  We all know how addictive an inbox check can be! Why not take advantage of that when you need to make a big splash about a product launch or build advocacy with existing customers?

Wrapping up

A disclaimer: we love social media! It’s a brilliant way to reach out to a colossal audience, and its grasp of pay-per-click advertising is hard to beat in terms of targeting options.

But, when you need to reach deep into the soul of your existing and potential customers, engage them and elicit some form of interaction with your brand, email remains king.  If you aren’t already, consider integrating your email marketing and social media with our handy free guides0.

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Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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