It has often been said that the rise of social media would lead to the demise of email marketing, yet this simply has not been the case — nor will it likely ever be.
While both channels compete for consumers’ screen time, the competitive dynamic ends there. In reality, marketers have the greatest opportunity to reach consumers when they view social media and email marketing as partners with a common goal, rather than rely entirely on one over the other.
1. The benefits of both.
Email marketing still possesses the key to a highly effective marketing strategy — personalization. Email allows marketers to segment and target different audiences, as well as deliver highly relevant and customized messages to specific contacts. In contrast, the same content is delivered to social media followers regardless of demographic, location or interests.
Additionally, when using email, marketers are in complete control of who receives messages and when. However, unless using an additional tool or sponsorship, brands have very little control of when their content is displayed or to whom it is shown on social media, as algorithms mandate those factors.
However, social media certainly boasts its own inherent advantages. First, there is essentially no cost to brands to simply have a presence on social media; Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. are all free platforms. Thus, if brands are seeing a profit from customers’ social media engagement, the ROI is already significant.
In addition, the sharing capabilities and immediacy of social media enable brands to rapidly capitalize on timely events — from weather phenomena to viral sensations (think the blue/gold dress frenzy).