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Email marketing vs. social media marketing: Here’s how they intersect

by | Dec 2, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

With various marketing channel options available, business communicators should never be at a loss for how to reach their target market. However, with so many options, deciding the best use of time and resources can be challenging. Email marketing and social media are popular methods, but is one better than the other? More importantly, how can one intersect the other for the most benefit?

This post explores the differences between email marketing and social media marketing and how they can be used together to create a well-rounded marketing strategy.

Let’s get started.

What is email marketing?

Here’s all you need to know about email marketing.

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail to communicate commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.

However, the term usually refers to:

  • Sending emails that enhance a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers and encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Sending emails to acquire new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately.
  • Sending emails over a short period as part of a campaign to encourage customers to purchase a product or service.

With various email marketing metrics one can track to gauge success, email marketing has become one of the most effective tools in a marketer’s toolkit.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing (SMM) is the process of using social networking sites as a platform to build brand awareness and generate leads for the business. SMM aims to create content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.

Some of the most well-known social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tiktok, and Instagram. However, there are many more social networking sites out there.

With various trends being born on social media daily, businesses need to have a presence on these platforms. Not only does it allow them to stay current, but social media is also a great way to connect with potential and current customers.

How do email and social media intersect?

Email and social media intersect in a few ways.

First, email is a great way to drive traffic to your social media profiles. You can include links to your social media pages in your email signature and post links to your social media content in your email marketing messages.

Second, social media is a great way to promote your email marketing content. You can share links to your email marketing content on your social media profiles and post images and videos from your email marketing messages on social media.

Third, email and social media can be used together to create a well-rounded marketing strategy. For example, you can use social media to build relationships with potential customers and email marketing to encourage them to purchase a product or service. Or, you can use email marketing to attract new customers and then use social media to keep them connected with your business after they purchase something.

Which is better for your business?

Both email marketing and social media marketing have their advantages and disadvantages so it ultimately depends on your business goals.

Email marketing is generally more focused, and by following some of the best practices for this channel, you can build relationships with potential and current customers. Social media marketing is broader and could therefore help you reach a larger audience.

If you’re unsure which one is right for you, it might be a good idea to use email marketing and social media marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy. That way, you can take advantage of the strengths of both channels.

Going head to head—email marketing vs. social media

Let’s now compare email marketing vs. social media in terms of ROI, conversions, engagement, reach, and targeting.

Email marketing usually has a higher ROI than social media because it can achieve business goals faster. With email marketing, businesses can target specific groups of customers with personalized messages.

Various email marketing ideas can also help increase the conversion rates that companies experience. Email marketing can be very effective for driving conversions because it allows businesses to target specific groups of customers with personalized messages. Social media can also be effective for driving conversions, but similar to the ROI with social, the path is not as linear.

Social media has a broader reach than email marketing. With social media platforms constantly introducing new features, this allows businesses to target their audiences effectively. For example, Facebook’s “Lookalike Audiences” feature enables companies to target users similar to their current customers. This is not something that can be easily done with email marketing.

In terms of engagement, social media does offer real time comments and engagement that email marketing cannot match. Social media also offers more opportunities to be creative with content and visuals.

Finally, in terms of targeting, email marketing is usually more effective because businesses can segment specific groups of customers with personalized messages. While this can be achieved on social media, it generally comes through using paid ads to target specific groups of users.

Benefits of using email and social media together

Here are the main benefits to consider if you’re thinking about using both channels for your business

  • Increase brand awareness

Email and social media can help you reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness. The benefits of social media are that you can share your content with a broader audience and get your brand in front of more people. With email marketing, you can send targeted messages to potential and current customers, which helps to increase brand awareness and loyalty.

  • Generate more leads

By using both email and social media, you can generate more leads for your business. Email marketing allows you to capture leads through forms and landing pages. Social media platforms can also be used to generate leads. For example, you can use Facebook or Instagram ads to target potential customers with your lead generation campaigns. That said, knowing what type of offers you can make on social media is key to not having your account banned or shut down.

  • Build relationships

Finally, email and social media can both help you build relationships with potential and current customers. With people doing business with those they know, like and trust, it’s important to build relationships with your target audience. By using both email and social media, you can stay top of mind with your audience and build trust over time.

As any business scaling guide will tell you, the relationships you build are critical to your success and email and social media can be valuable tools for doing this.

  • Create content in the same voice

The key to effectively using email and social media is to create content in the same voice. By establishing a consistent brand identity across the board, your audience can quickly identify with your brand. This consistency also helps build trust amongst your target audience and makes them more likely to purchase from you.

Just like LinkedIn ghostwriters can create content in the same voice, hiring the right person to create content for email and social media can help ensure consistency. This will also help ensure that your content reaches its intended audience, is engaging, and resonates with them correctly.

Tips for using email and social media together

Here are some tips for using email and social media together

  • Segment your email list: Segmenting your email list allows you to send targeted messages to specific groups of people. Consider an agency that helps with website support. Segmenting its clientele into those that could require WordPress support, Magento support, Shopify support, and so on, helps the agency send more personalized messages to each group.
  • Personalize your emails: The proper personalization techniques can help you increase conversion rates. From including a specific subject line that calls out to the recipient, to using the recipient’s name in the email body, there are several ways you can personalize your emails.
  • Create shareable content: Producing viral content is essential to reach a wider audience. The goal is to create content that people will want to share with their friends and followers. To do this, you need to create engaging, informative, or entertaining content.

Types of businesses that can benefit from using both channels

In this final section of the article, we’ll explore the types of businesses that can benefit from using both these marketing channels to best reach their audiences.

  • Service businesses: Service businesses can use email marketing to nurture their relationships with clients and social media to reach new potential customers. They can then use social media marketing to drive traffic back to their website or blog, where they can capture email addresses and continue building the relationship.
  • eCommerce businesses: eCommerce businesses can use social media to drive traffic to their product pages and email marketing to cultivate relationships with customers and encourage them to purchase. They can also use email marketing to upsell and cross-sell products and services. If you’re planning to start an online webstore, combining email and social media can help you increase sales, improve customer loyalty and maximize ROI from your marketing efforts.
  • B2B businesses: B2B businesses can use a platform like LinkedIn to network and build relationships. This can help them generate leads interested in what they offer. Then, such businesses can use email marketing to nurture those leads and turn them into customers. Email marketing can also keep customers updated on new products, services, and special offers.
  • Local businesses: Local businesses can use social media to build customer relationships and email marketing to promote special offers and discounts.

Conclusion

Using these two powerful marketing channels together can help you reach your target audience more effectively and achieve your business goals. When used correctly, email marketing and social media can complement each other and provide a more holistic approach to marketing.

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Hanson Cheng
Hanson Cheng is the founder of Freedom to Ascend. He empowers online entrepreneurs and business owners to 10x their business and become financially independent. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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