Email is great, it’s awesome, it’s where the real money is, it’s transactional, it’s your ATM machine…etc.
This is what email people love to use when talking about this medium.
Sure email is powerful, but it doesn’t crush social media!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you might remember that I always praise email for being very effective for both my own business as well as my clients’.
So what happened now?
Am I giving up on this whole email thing?
Did I stop believing in the power of email?
Not at all!
I just want to put things into the right perspective because people seem to be interpreting what some marketers say literally!
It’s not their fault obviously because they’re reading half baked information, and that’s why I want to give you the big picture so you know exactly the role of each medium!
When comparing email with social, people usually go wrong thinking that they’re comparing 2 different things that have the same role.
It’s like comparing 2 spoons that have the same role, but one is far superior than the other.
The right way to go about comparing email with social media is to think of them as a spoon and a fork!
Their use can overlap in some cases, but generally speaking, they have 2 completely different roles, right?
You can’t really eat soup with a fork, can you?
You can’t also eat steak or salad using a spoon, right?
The same thing applies to email and social media.
They have completely different objectives.
Let’s look at the diagram below for a second:
As you can see, email and social media have 2 completely different roles. It’s true that their roles can overlap like in the spoon and fork example I gave before, but they’re each used to accomplish completely different objectives!
Social media’s best use is in turning random strangers into visitors. It is great for raising awareness for your business and getting the word out.
I wrote a post a while back called “Social Media is About Discoverability” where I explained that the main power if this medium is helping you and your business get found.
Email on the other hand, is great for closing sales OR turning leads into customers.
The 2 mediums also overlap at the last phase where you delight your customers so they become promoters and “Evangelists” for your brand.
So in brief, social media is an awareness medium while email is a sales medium, but they’re both great for customer retention as well!
However, don’t take my word for it. Here are some studies that prove the points above:
The above study by ShareThis clearly shows that social media accounts for most of the sharing online.
The only medium in the chart that has a negative volume growth is email.
From a common sense point of view, do you think that your content gets shared via email more than on social media?
You might get some of your subscribers to share your content via email with a friend or colleague, but when someone shares on social media, you’ll get in front of lots of their followers.
It’s true that the friend or colleague your subscriber brings to you via email will be more likely to purchase something from you, but getting your brand in front of hundreds or thousands of prospects is equally important.
Another study from Get Response shows that emails that include social sharing buttons/icons get a 158% higher click through rate (CTR) then emails that don’t.
The results above show that social media also drives awareness even for content posted via email.
For those who still think of social or email in silos, think again, because all of your marketing mediums need to be working together if you want to see results. For more information about this, check out a post a wrote a while back called “Social Media Marketing Is An Integrated Strategy, Not the Holy Grail”!
I also wrote an article that will help you use social media to get more leads for your business!
So which one crushes the other?
No one obviously!
Social media is great for getting your business in front of your prospects while email is great for turning those prospects into customers.
Without social media, you won’t have any prospects to close and without email you’ll have tons of prospects that you can’t convert into customers. That’s of course assuming you’re only using these mediums.
So that being said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment below.
Image Credit: danxoneil