Email Still Beats Social Networks for E-Commerce

37% Still Don't Use Social Networks According to Findings

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A new report from Econsultancy suggests that email still beats social networks when it comes to marketing for e-commerce. The report says that over a third (37%) of consumers don’t use a social networking site, and that those who have become a "fan" or "friend" of a company or brand online are still in the minority.

Is email marketing more effective than social media for you? Let us know.

The report is based on a survey of over 1,400 U.S. consumers, which the firm calls "nationally representative."

While Facebook may think email is "probably going away," marketers are still having a great deal of success with it. And just as increased mobile adoption continues to fuel social media use, it’s not exactly hurting email.

The report suggests that the rise of mobile will continue fuel email’s success. It notes that each generation of chipsets moves mobile devices closer to the personal computer. "Advanced behaviors today (accessing the Internet or checking email from a mobile device) will clearly soon be commonplace, at least for people in their working years. Nearly two-thirds of people under 24 have checked email on a mobile device," Econsultancy says.

Best way to receive ads? - Email

"Online product research contributes a far larger percentage of total retail than the 8% directly attributed to e-commerce, while the evolving nature of digital interaction and customer service is changing the fundamental relationship between companies and consumers," says Econsultancy’s US Research Director, Stefan Tornquist. "The winners will be those who use digital communications most effectively, to influence and enable both online and offline purchases."

"Although a variety of media are competing for consumer attention, email continues to be the desired channel for many types of commercial communication," adds Tornquist. "Social networking and its effect on the nature of brand is the hottest topic in digital marketing, and deservedly so. It’s still worthwhile for marketers to remember that social network adoption is far from maturity."

The entire report can be found here.

Of couse, it’s not really a competition between social media and email. Both should be part of your marketing arsenal, and are effectively used together all the time. For example, another recent study from ExactTarget found that nearly 40% of consumers visit Facebook and Twitter to supplement the news, information or deals they receive via email marketing.

In what ways do you incorporate social media into your email strategy? Share with other WebProNews readers.

Email Still Beats Social Networks for E-Commerce
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  • http://drivingonlinesales.com Wynne

    Email is definitely the more important way to market to people over a longer period of time. The reason for this is that almost EVERYONE reads email. For instance if you have a facebook account, or have a youtube channel, or Twitter, or LinkedIn profile for that matter – almost everyone that I speak to has their social media profiles updating to their email.
    Good article.
    I’ve written about something very similar a few months ago and it ties in nicely to this article (I hope you don’t mind me dropping a relevant link here) – Article: email local business lead generation.

  • http://seohongkong.net seohk

    Yes, we love it and hate it.

  • lakhwinder

    i learn universe and stare comets online

  • Cursor_

    Email IS going away, don’t kid yourself.

    We are in a transition right now and so like traditional mail was still king for a time when email was still getting going, so too email is big until the transition is over.

    Email gets more dead ends, over quota or simply ignored messages than it is really worth unless you do your own mailings. Then you make only a small amount of profit when you factor in how much time is spent in grooming lists and chasing people that change emails like changing socks!

    Email is fine for the 40 and over crowd. just like paper is for the 60 and over crowd.

    But how long will your clients stay 40 or 60? Not long. You have move into the social side and do it right. Most still have not figured it out. Neither has the social site bigwigs. Although the medium is “new”, social sites are nothing more than a return to doing business 1880s style.

    Where your local grocer knew you, your spouse and kids. What they bought, what they liked and then let you know when those things came in so you would spend. They took the time to also share in the joy of your good days and feel empathy on your bad days.

    That is where it all needs to go to. But it also means you DON’T let everyone in town know you need ointment for a boil on your bum! Discretion was paramount for good relations and sales.

    Emails are nothing more than poor social posts that make your company sound like a huge talking head spouting decrees for the masses to hear. Corporations are acting too much like bureaucracies and not like old time on the corner local general store owners. It will not work like that for much longer. The younger generation WILL become your customers with the money to spend as they age. Learn now or suffer the consequences later.


  • http://www.bestsmallbusinesssolutions.com Ira S Wolfe

    I didn’t see text messaging (http://geeksgeezersgooglization.com/tag/technology/) here. If that category is included in email, then this makes sense. If not, emailing as we (Baby Boomers and Gen X) will continue to decline. Just as some people still use rotary phone and dial-up connections (or don’t have Internet connectivity at all), those people willl become insignificant markets, especially for B2B. For now, email is likely to be the most popular form of communication, but it is shrinking rapidly for the under-30s. And it’s not one of those things that I see rebounding as consumers age.

  • Guest

    Yes, I hate it, hate tools about it, like http://www.mailsextractor.com/

  • http://homebasedbusinessadviser.com/ Richard Mann

    When I consult with a local client, one of the first things I normally find is that they have no lead generation method and therefore no marketing list. If they do nothing else I ensure that they understand that power of an opt-in form and the relationship building and email marketing that can follow from that filled out form.

    Coupons, events, general news, and just about anything else that can be thought of can be utilized with email marketing. More and more people have smart phones and now check their email no matter where they are.

    I don’t think I have ever had a client that was dissatisfied with any email marketing campaign that we have set up.

    Email marketing is still a valid and valuable marketing avenue.


    • http://simplicitybarter.com David

      Hi Rick,

      Do you have a website and information on your products and services?

      David Snow

  • http://www.twitteringsoftwareandmarketing.com Guest

    Hi, thanks for that good information. I’d also like to know what can I do to get you guys to add my new http://www.twitteringsoftwareandmarketing.com social network website to where ever is best on your website. I do have api key if needed. The website is simular to facebook but with free tips on twittering software and marketing and free blog post syndicating via widgets at http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/twittering-software-and-marketing-twitter-faceb and http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/jaquone-jefferson-socialtweeting-on-twitter and more. Thanks and jesus is blessing us, amen.

  • http://www.greatestwritersforum.com/ SHILAHO

    Great news, I think its true email is by far better.

  • http://realtrafficsource.com/ts.php Rick Hanson

    I’m basing most of my marketing on email cos i always had the feeling the results have been much better than investing time and money in social networking. Finally a report that confirms this. But of course, never put your eggs in just one basket. Its important to rely on as many traffic sources as possible.

  • http://dimensionasalon.com/ San Diego Hair Salon

    I think it is up to each business to decide which is best. Groundswell/Forrester (http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/profile_tool.html) social technology profile tool shows that people of all age ranges are still voyeurs when it comes to social technology. I do agree with Cursor that one’s personal etiquette, and a business’s objectives need to be clearly defined when engaging in social networks. In the long run, both will co-exist because people’s preference mediums for contact today will change as their own personal preferences mature. What are your thoughts on this idea?

  • Horace Moning

    Is there a money making E-Commerce link,i”ve never made any money.

  • http://www.sgnature.eu.com web designer kent

    Hmm, It’s certainly more direct and should form part of any online killer marketing mix. However not at the expense of search marketing!

    Google’s aquistion of social games-maker, LabPixies and it’s reported

  • Fred

    Social networking sites are for kids, or for adults who haven’t developed enough brain power to get beyond this junk.

  • http://thenexttrillions.com/blog Thenexttrillions

    Both have their best. Email best use in the follow-up every of your prospect. That’s why I am here to read this great article.
    One of the nice thing to have in Social Networking is you can have more engaging with your friends and business partners unlike email where you’re hidden or unseen :-)

    Have a great day

  • http://www.easytourchina.com tours china

    I would prefer to use emails than online community as I don’t have much time in searching, reading and chatting.

  • http://marketingpearloftheweek.tv Dr. Alan Weinstein

    I always find it interesting that those whom continue to announce the death of email continue use it to tell you they have a new blog post on the death of email.

  • Guest

    If email goes away, how will social sites contact people who have social site pages but seldom look at them – like me? Telephone??

  • http://ukbusinesslink.co.uk/ Samantha Wright

    I find that email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to promote a sale or a new product. However this also depends greatly on how email notifications are designed to do this. But personally I’d recommend using all the tools you have in your arsenal to get the message out. Brilliant post thanks for sharing the statistics with us.

  • http://websitesubmissionhub.com hman

    When you listen to most top marketers they always say ”the money is in the list” . Yes , I agree it is in the list but has to be your own list . Simply enrolling to free lists or buying a list does not work . Your customers need to know you before they fork out their hard earned dollars . Create a good service and customers will always respond positvely to your emails , hence it has to be your own list . For a little boost in your your search engine indexing go to http://websitesubmissionhub.com and submit your sites to the top 48 search engines with two clicks .
    Submit Unlimited sites to the Top 48 Search Engines and Directories

  • http://www.onfirstpage.com/ Dean Berg

    In dealing with our SEO clients, I also see the importance of maintaining an email marketing project. Social marketing at this point seems to help draw attention to a company profile or product, but sales in general seem to be much higher when the information is received in an email format.

  • http://www.offlinemarketingonline.com Mike

    I find the best approach is to tie it all together. Some people respond to email. Some to social media. And some will only respond to direct mail or phone. I work with my clients to connect it all together. Just to make sure that it matches their over-all marketing strategy.

  • http://www.availlive.com Availlive Virtual Assistant

    Although social networks do have some marketing power, a lot of people are likely to miss the link that you have posted on social networks because it is a very busy system. People usually only reads the recent posts on Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to get left behind. On the other hand, emails are read usually one by one which will eventually reach your audience attention. Also, since the person is already a subscriber of your email list, they are already interested in what you are offering, which will convert to sells on a much higher rate.

  • http://www.gatim.nl/ Seed

    I agree! That’s why I wanted to share this nice article with someone through an e-mail forward! I couldn’t, ironically enough. :-)

  • Guest

    This is one of the only sensible posts I’ve seen on the topic of email marketing vs. social media. There is no comparison: eMail marketing outperforms all forms of social media combined for sales generation on my company’s e-commerce site. eMail marketing is about 100 times more successful.

    Keep spreading the news. The social media fever is spurred on by romantics who never look at real numbers. (Having said that I love social media for hanging out with friends. But it just simply doesn’t work for marketing.)

  • http://www.learnoversea.com ??????????????????

    Email is working great for advertisement and safe the world because it does not produce trash paper. However, I really hate spam mail and have to waste time to delete it . Email will be forever because it is safer than facebook, especially when I do not want anyone know where I go out.
    One of my friends reveal it to many of my friends. I also dislike that way.


  • http://www.cables4computer.com Manju

    I use email marketing service by www.mailrail.net and successful in generating sales to my online store. I still have a question mark which works more better Emails or social media. I am getting traffic from both media.

  • http://www.personalfn.com Personal Finance

    In my views yes Email Marketing have better conversions than social media, in current scenario. But let me tell you that social media is still very new in online marketing and in this small time also, it has gain popularity, and I can see sometime later, we will have better conversions from Social Media, may be will beat email marketing campaigns.

  • http://www.yourtransformationdiva.com Anissia West

    hmm…this got me to thinking. Yes, email marketing can be more effective for sales than social media. However, when the two are combined the results are killer. I created a piddly lead capture system for a product and business opportuny…began with giving things away via email, then routed people on my autorepsonder list back through social media sites where I never mentioned the products that I spoke to them about in the emails. Within a matter of days after joing me on social media sites, I had recieved phone calls from 40% of those who opted in to the email system two weeks after launching the lead capture. WOWZA! When I use only email or only social media, the process takes longer and the numbers are lower. Thanks for giving me something to think about today.

  • http://www.lexolutionit.com Maneet Puri

    I completely agree to you that email marketing is still preferred over other forms of marketing like social networks. And i got amazed to know that nearly 40 per cent people are still away from making use of networking site for their marketing activities.

    Yes, mails do come in bulk and more of them are spam in email marketing but still they bring greater part of the business. I am not saying this, my experience says that.

  • http://www.smartpaymentplanonline.com Smart Payment Plan

    Its nice to read this email, because I have found this to be true and reading it only confirms my suspicions. Thanks!

    Smart Payment Plan

  • http://www.exabytes.com/ Jerrick

    i believe that it maybe one day that social media will be more effective than email.
    People prefer using e-mail because it more private for their conversation. But respond is better than email. because we send large amount of mail, and may some of them will be in spam mail and din open.

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