Email v Social Media

Advantages of Email Marketing over Social Marketing and how you can Leverage both for Lead Generation

social-media-398296_640There’s no denying that social media is a powerful marketing tool. Used correctly, social media marketing campaigns are effective in creating genuine engagement and relationships with customers. You can find out what your audience (and others) think about your brand as well as share catchy, compelling and interesting content with your social following. No business, whether B2B or B2C can survive without a vibrant social media presence and strategy.

However, there’s just one thing that social media fail at: Lead generation. While effective for many different marketing strategies, lead generation is the one thing that social media just doesn’t help with, unless it is coupled with another strategy like email marketing.

According to a McKinsey and Company Research, conversions from email campaigns are greater than combined conversions courtesy of Facebook and Twitter, combined. Email messages culminate in purchase actions over three times the purchases from social media, in addition, order values from the former are 17 percent higher than the latter, the report stated.

So, why exactly does social media, which is great at everything, perform so dismally with online lead generation? What can be done about it?

1.     Email connects you to an already familiar audience

Usually, the people you have on your email list got there because they opted to receive communication from you. This means that they already know something about you, and you impressed them enough for them to voluntarily want to hear from you at some point in future.

However, you don’t get that same commitment from social audiences. Social media follows and likes are not quite as compelling as email options. Following a brand or business on social media is a very passive action compared with signing up to get periodic emails from a brand.

In fact, it’s not uncommon to have thousands of fans and followers on social media and yet have just a few people opting for your email newsletters. People only subscribe to emails when they’ve reached a deeper trust and engagement level with the brand.

2.     Social media noise

The very things that bring out social media as a dynamic and exciting internet marketing channel are also its greatest downsides: There’s just too much content. Users on Twitter generated hundreds of thousands of tweets daily, and there are over 50 million Facebook status updates each day. Instagram users post over 70 million pictures daily.

Brands on social media are competing for audience attention with a huge volume of content transforming at a high velocity. In the end, a very small fraction of your prospective audience actually sees your updates – just 2-6% on Facebook, unless you pay for sponsored posting. Twitter doesn’t yet have an algorithm, but the volume of tweets make updates easily missed.

3.      Email messages are more compelling

Emails sent for email marketing are opened 20-25% of the time, compared with the maximum 6% that Facebook gives you. This means you have at least four times a better chance of getting through to consumers on email compared with social media. In addition, email click through rates are also higher, at around 3% compared with just 0.5% on Twitter.

In addition, you have more leeway as to how much you can say on email. Sure, you have to be brief, but not as brief as 140 characters. You need more than 140 characters to compel someone to take an action.

Conclusion: What you can do

Now, this is not to say that you should throw out social media, rather, acknowledge its shortcomings and do what you can with what you have. Always share ultra-high-quality, interesting and ungated content, which is how to endear yourself to consumers even before you try to make hard sales. Then, think about ways to convert your social followers to subscribers.