5 Reasons to choose email marketing rather than social media
Don’t take this the wrong way, Social media is good, and you should use it in your everyday marketing if it makes sense for your business. There is one BUT though – you should not put it ahead of email marketing.
All other things considered, email marketing is still far better than social media marketing. Here are the top 5 reasons why this is still the case:
1. Simple numbers
Did you know that email has almost three more user accounts than Facebook and Twitter combined? That’s roughly 2.9 billion email addresses, and it’s difficult to picture.
Actually, consider the number of emails sent each day (shown on the left), then by comparison all the facebook posts and all the tweets combined only make up 0.2% of the total! It’s so small a percentage that we’ve had to increase the size of the social media circle for you to be able to see it in the diagram, and this total doesn’t include spam!
Here’s another analogy, every web search made on every search engine daily equals 1/100th of daily email traffic; and all the pages viewed on the entire web each daily—including images and videos—use only a quarter of the bandwidth consumed by email.
Many marketers are so busy chasing the latest ‘must haves‘ and ‘latest routes to market‘ that they just don’t realise that this is the case. What’s old is dead, so with email being one of the internets’ first offspring, it must be dead.
“No one uses it any more” or, “I tried but it didn’t work.”
Smart marketers; on the other hand, consider email not just essential to their business marketing efforts, but foundational to their marketing and sales systems.
Quality vs. quantity
You may be thinking, okay, email has tons of users. It’s got huge amounts of “traffic” compared to social media channels – so what? It’s not like internet traffic in isolation means anything at all. However, a small amount of precisely-targeted marketing aimed at high-quality leads will deliver much larger financial returns than that of the shotgun approach.
That’s absolutely right, assuming that’s what you were thinking? If so, you’re well on your way to being a better marketer than most “experts”. The good news is simply that email beats hands-down, social media for quality and quantity of traffic, and here’s why:
2. Email is the most Personal Medium
Oh dear, I hear you say, I thought that was facebook – unfortunately that’s not so. Simple numbers, as we’ve already stated. Many people still don’t use facebook and twitter, and if you have an older audience, the closer you get to a written offer, the better your response will be. Oh, that means email.
Secondly, most people do not go to Facebook for private, 1 to 1 conversations, especially those which are transactional in nature. Think about it, when did you last buy anything via facebook?
When it comes to making a sensible 1 to 1 conversation, most people open Gmail or Outlook or whatever, and send an email. Okay, you might start a private message on Facebook, and then, once the conversation becomes more personal you might say, “Okay, email me.” Email is the first, best social media channel – and that’s precisely the point, it’s the power you want to tap into.
3. The most serious business medium is email
Businesses do use social media to communicate with various people, but when it comes to building business relationships and communicating with partners and customers, the most “serious”, “grown-up” medium is email.
So here are the questions:
- would you rather use a single marketing channel to talk to all your customers using the most personal 1 to 1 approach?
- divide your energy between multiple different channels to talk to only some of them in a 1 to many conversation?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use other channels, just that you shouldn’t use them before email.
4. Email gets more attention per customer
Very simply, you’re more likely to get face time with your prospects if you use email.
This isn’t necessarily because your customers spend more time with email than on Facebook or searching Google, although they might.
Rather, it’s because email allows you to make repeated contact, and that contact is “invasive”. It’s in their mailbox—their inner electronic sanctum. That’s very different from sending out a tweet or posting something on Facebook, where they may or may not see it, because it’s just part of a much larger timeline featuring hundreds of other people.
If that’s the situation then you’re easily missed if you don’t hit just the right time window (which often differs per person). In the most badly-managed inbox, your message is still there, waiting for their attention. So providing that you say things that are worth reading, your customers will give you precious minutes of thier time, and minutes are like “dog years” on the internet. The simple undeniable truth is that the more worth reading your emails are, the more your customers will actually start to look forward to receiving your messages. Research shows that most people open email from a maximum of 16 “trusted advisers” and they almost always open these emails. If you can get into this inner circle, you get thier undivided attention.
5. Email is a transactional medium.
What I mean to say is simply that customers expect to receive offers by email, and to buy things through email. So they have a high tolerance for offers, AND they’re actually more likely to be in a buying frame of mind – “primed” so to speak.
Compare this to Facebook, where your customers are really just there to chat with their friends and to see the latest viral videos. Even if they like you, you have to admit that this is a bad marketing environment. Similarly on Twitter, people are in the habit of finding interesting things to share, or catch up with the people they follow, however, they’re very seldom are looking to buy anything.
Using email, you can “train” your customers to expect offers while simultaneously teaching them about your value, day in and day out. This means they begin to not only expect offers from you, but to expect them (well, no alll of them). You are infinitely more likely to catch customers at time when they’re ready to buy (this is most important for sales).
To summarise, email simply has more marketing clout.
Facebook and Twitter are channels used by far fewer customers, in the main they’re used for non-business and non-transactional things. Marketing messages get less attention per customer than email, and they fail to establish a personal connection.
I’m sure that many of you will disagree, and I invite your thoughts in the comments below. Tell us: how do you do your online marketing? Do you take care of email first, and then social media if you have time left over, or do you think that email is dead?