Why Email Marketing Still Trumps Social

Consumers Want to Engage with Brands Through Email

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Social media has been at the center of marketers’ attention for years now, as many still grapple with finding their ideal strategies. There’s no question that social media has opened up many new doors, and should not be ignored. That said, email marketing is still one of the most effective channels.

Have you had more success with social media or email marketing? Comment here.

WebProNews recently had a chat with Chris Brogan at the Inbound Marketing Summit, and while most of the discussion centered around online video, email marketing came up, and some pretty good points were raised.

As our own Michael McDonald noted, “Social’s great, but not everybody goes to Twitter everyday, and maybe I have Twitter and Facebook, but not LinkedIn…but all of these people have email, and they check that every day.”

“I’ve got a stat like that for consumer brands,” said Brogan. “93% of people have a daily opt-in relationship with at least one consumer brand. 15% on Facebook. 4% on Twitter.”

“93% of people say, ‘I would like to get mail from this company every day…15% Facebook. 4% Twitter,” Brogan reiterated. “…and there’s no age skew in that. It starts at age 13, I think, in the study. And it’s young people just the same…maybe don’t want to be friends with Coke, but they do necessarily want the deals…”

“Send me an email, and tell me, you know, if I can get a deal on Mello Yello this week…” Mike agreed.

Watch the entire conversation below.


You might be amazed at how many email marketing companies there are out there. Just walking around the exhibit hall at ad:tech NY last week, there were seemingly countless booths for such companies. If you have any doubts about the health of email marketing, that should tell you something right there.

Despite the claims that pop up from time to time, email is far from dead, and many consumers would rather engage with brands through this channel than through their social networks.

If anything, smartphones have made email marketing as attractive as ever. My phone alerts me every time I get an email. That’s pretty powerful.

Do you think social media marketing will become as effective as email marketing? Tell us what you think.

Why Email Marketing Still Trumps Social
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  • http://www.simplyzesty.com Duncan Birch

    I think people often forget is email is still considered a very personal channel so those relationships via email may feel a lot more personal and intimate rather that a tweet or a facebook comment to everyone who has friended the brand. The other important thing to remember is the metrics and targeting of email you can provide much more targeted one on one messaging via email which can be more attention grabbing and tailored to that individuals need based on previous behaviours.

    Social Media is no where near that level of sophistication yet it is almost reverting back to where email was… One to many when the ideal in theory is one 2 one

  • http://benchmarkemail.com Andy from Benchmark Email

    Email is still going to give you the highest ROI. Social media works as a great component to your email campaigns, but the money is made through email. Social is great for building brand recognition and loyalty, but email is better at making sales. Use them together, and you’re going to see the best results…not just for email, but for your whole business.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes, finding ways to use them together will often produce good results.

  • http://www.finnpr.com Kristien Vermoesen

    I agree that no online marketing mix is complete without e-mail.

    I recently read a few interesting facts about the Obama campaign in 2008. Obama is hailed as the “social media” candidate, but in fact his campaign was largely driven by an immense e-mail database. Obama sent more than 7000 e-mails over the course of his campaign.

    What’s interesting is how he acquired the mails. Basically he said to every Democratic candidate: I’ll come campaign for you (in the 2006 midterms), but you’ll have to hand over your e-mail database. More details and analysis on my blog: http://www.finn.be/blogs/what-obama-can-teach-you-about-list-building

  • http://www.facebook.com/richord Rich Ord

    I think email is still substantially more effective as a marketing tool than Facebook. Email is much more one to one and is not lost in the shuffle like ads on Facebook, in my opinion.

    • http://www.techmanage.net Joanne Gucwa

      Going to a social site & reading posts that “everyone else” sees simply isn’t as personal as a message that comes into your in-box. I send plain-text mails, highly tailored to each recipient, using subject heads that appeal to their interests, resulting in 30-50% visiting our site. Now, if I could just improve the conversion rate…….

  • http://easysocialmediamanagement.com Lauren McMullen

    I think we can have it both ways. We can use social media to get people to optin and have our blog posts delivered by email.

  • http://www.internetagency.co.za David Kimberley

    Email marketing is not as time consuming as social media marketing – with an email you grab the the persons attention and they follow through by coming onto your website. Social marketing you have to engage and almost convince people to come onto your website which can be a pain when you are only dealing with a person individually. Email marketing you get your message out in mass format (sure people still respond to it to get some type of engagement but its a lot less than when email marketing).

    If your email campaign is directed specifically at people who would be interested you get a much better conversion rate than the other marketing mediums and alot of the time those users will join your social networks and still continue to engage others through that making your life easier :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=781382883 Lou Amico

    First of all, in a proper marketing strategy it is all intertwined and one compliments/supports the other. We use email and social medial in conjunction. Email specifically targets optin targets, promotes social media initiatives and then the viral nature of social media helps us gather more optin contacts for future initiatives.

  • Phillip Barnes

    I see bounce rates on my websites line up in this order: visitors to the site from email links have the lowest bounce rates, visitors from social sites higher and visitors from referring sites have the highest. Email is still driving the highest-quality traffic to the sites!

  • http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1434365985937 Glenn Tremain

    Talking about email campaigns versus social media tells me you are trying to compare a TV commercial to the show or product it is trying to create interest in. Most facebook accounts are lacking. So to create interest from an email campaign to then go to a destination that lacks POP wastes the credit the user is giving you and gives the campaign sender a negative association. Most social media are at best business cards or billboards with the client having to jump back and forth to get enough to cause conversion. However facebook has more power than twitter and others when in conjunction with email marketing than sending the client to a website. The best case is you will get conversion, worst case they leave. If they bookmark your website its ok but if you send them to facebook and you have a facebook website not just a page then the 2nd best thing they will do is “like” it. Now you have a passive way to stay in front of that potential client, a bookmark cant get back in front of them unless the client looks in the back of its favorites to find it. Email marketing is essential and will bring insane results when more do what we do by creating multi page, video and podcast and auto content streaming content. The more they stay at facebook the more value you build. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1434365985937 talks more about this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001205232938 Ralph Sabean

    No one has said one way or the other if emails or facebook works better they only say what they think. What I would like to see is someone who actually uses both of these medias and will tell us if they actualy make money, How Much and why they do make money. I’ve tried both and have found neither works at ALL for me. it certainly would be nice to have a way to make a few dollars on line but so far I’m batting 000 No hits, No runs, no errors. Nil Nada Nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1382351182 Mike Kirner

    The gentleman who began this string and says he gets 0 results from email marketing should consider this.

    Often people “whip up” a design for an html ad and don’t really give much time to good creative and good copy.

    If you want better results, you need to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

    One suggestion is Leon Altman of Altman Communications.

  • http://www.towmanproductions.com Carlton Richard

    I run a keyword based page music promotion tips and I’m experiencing
    better results from email marketing. I think social networks are best used as brand builders.So I try to engage my social friends with catchy titles that makes them want to find out more. Once they reach my home page they are willing to sign up to gain more knowledge
    in a place they can focus without the saturation of other posts and topics.

  • http://www.kwatadeal.com Chris

    If you sell products, email marketing may be the best for you. But if you offer services, I think social media is the way to go. I have a free classifieds ads website and I have been trying to drive traffic to it. And Facebook seems to be the best option for me. It helps me engage people on a one on one basis. Those are the ones who tell their friends about the website. And this is because its in its infancy. But with time, I will bring in email marketing.

    • Chris Crum

      It is true that different strategies will work differently for different businesses (it’s all in how you implement theses strategies as well). I’m not sure it’s fair to generalize it as email for products and social for services though.

  • http://www.viralprofitplan.com William Ava

    Yes, I agree with Chris. Email marketing has it’s own advantages where remaining channels doesn’t have

  • http://www.mailblaze.com Guest

    There have recently been a lot of articles about how email marketing and social media is being aligned and how marketers are successfully using both to optimize their campaigns. While email marketing offers personalized and targeted campaigns, social media offers the potential to reach a greater audience. The fact remains though, emails get checked and opened every day and according to this article 93% of people want to receive mail from a company. With this in mind, it is no wonder that email marketing still trumps social media and delivers a higher ROI than any other e-marketing activity.

  • http://www.3d-cubeworld.com Bernd

    Hier nin Germany ist Email Marketing noch immer das Beste Mittel, den Kunden zu erreichen. Sicher haben Twitter und Facebook stark zugelegt, aber sie dienen in erster Linie dazu, Interessenten zu finden, die sich dann in die Newsletter-Liste eintragen.

    Email ist das aller beste Marketing-Instroment!

    Viele Gr

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