Social Media vs. Email Marketing:
5 Reasons Why Email Wins

1. With email, there’s less competition for your audience’s attention

Here’s some food for thought: you cannot have a social media profile without an email address.

Let that sink in for a second.

While not every single one of your prospects has a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram presence, an email address is the gateway to getting just about anything done online. It’s a necessity.

Now, there’s no denying that you still have to fight for your readers’ attention.

After all, people receive a lot of emails on any given day. While some might see a few dozen messages pop in their inboxes on a daily basis, others are getting bombarded with hundreds of emails.

Bad news, huh? Not necessarily.

Keep in mind that the average person spends approximately 30 hours per week checking their inboxes. That’s a lot of time to potentially interact with your messages, isn’t it?

Compared to your readers spending time scrolling through tweets and random cat videos on Facebook, the odds are actually in your favor for your email messages to get read.

Think about it like this: the amount of social posts your prospects see on any given day is endless.

On the other hand, emails land in your readers’ inboxes and stay there. It’s easy for your prospects to skim over your latest blog post, white paper or product launch on Twitter or Facebook.

Through email, they can’t miss it.

2. Social algorithms are fickle (email not so much)

4,000 Facebook fans and 4,000 email subscribers are not the same thing.

If you’ve spent much time trying to promote your business via Facebook or Twitter, then you’re probably all too familiar with this dilemma.

That is, you have killer content and plenty of fans to eat it up, but your post reach doesn’t seem to go very far and your engagement rates have tanked despite the fact that the number of fans on your page continues to grow.

What gives?

Simply put, social algorithms are quite fickle in terms of what your audience and followers actually see. This is especially true on Facebook which has become more of a “pay to play” game.

As a matter of fact, organic reach for various Facebook business users decreased by 52%.

This means that Facebook post reach could be as low as 2% in some cases compared to email open rates that average 22%.

That’s a pretty significant difference, right?

This means that if you have 4,000 Facebook fans, 4,000 Twitter followers, and 4,000 Email subscribers you will get:

  • • 880 subscribers opening your email
  • • 80 Facebook fans viewing your content
  • • 144 Twitter followers seeing your tweet

In other words, a lot of that time spent building your social channels organically could result in very low exposure and engagement despite your efforts.

The ideal (and most cost effective) way for your fans to engage with your content is via email as opt-in’s never miss your messages.

With email, the task of getting your emails read is simple and straightforward. You have a list that’s ready for your content: all you have to do is make sure it reaches them successfully.

The keys to optimizing your emails for deliverability are well-documented. For example, you can guarantee that your messages reach your list by…

  • • Avoiding spam triggers such as aggressive sales language or tons of images
  • • Using a legitimate email automation solution like Sendlane versus a personal email address
  • • Crafting engaging emails in terms of your subject line to entice readers to click-through

When promoting content exclusively via social media, you’re putting your success and visibility in the hands of an algorithm.

Doesn’t it make more sense to hold yourself accountable for delivering your messages than hope an algorithm has your back?

The goal? Get the best of both worlds by promoting via social and email so no piece of content goes unnoticed.

3. Email is significantly more cost effective

Email marketing is noted for its sky-high ROI.

Whether you believe the 122% ROI or the oft-cited $40 for $1 spent on email, the numbers supporting email are absolutely staggering from a financial perspective.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business might be: the more money you can keep in your pocket, the better.

However, the biggest benefit of social media is that it is indeed truly free. It’s possible to gain thousands of fans and followers without spending a dime, but doing so requires a serious time commitment.

But, it’s not just fans and followers you’re after… it’s conversions, right?

And to truly get a steady stream of conversions out of your social channels you’ll need to splash some serious cash at ad campaigns.

Although we love how Facebook allows you to get hyper-specific in terms of who your ads are targeting, you’re ultimately limited by your budget and a rising cost-per-click.

A low monthly cost for an email automation subscription will most definitely stretch further than a pricey ad campaign.

For example, at Sendlane we offer plans starting as little as $25 per month for those just starting out.

While you’re not going to get very far on $25 of Facebook ad spend, you can reach and sell to your small list again and again without limits.

What makes email so cost-effective, though?

Consider the following three factors in favor of email messages, including…

  • • Sending emails costs next to nothing, especially if you’re dealing with a smaller list
  • • You have the unique ability to optimize the timing and tone of your messages
  • • The ability to segment your list and send out personalized messages to specific audience members versus hoping that a one-size-fits-all all ad sticks

The ability to save big via email is all the more reason why you shouldn’t sleep on building your list today. While a large social following is great, a list of opt-ins represent one of the most important assets of any business.

Caitlin Hutchinson

Caitlin Hutchinson

Brand Marketing ManagerSendlane
A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. Primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels while maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. Host of The Marketing Automation Hustle Podcast and Sendlane Youtube Training Channel. Works closely with the marketing team to manage creative projects and develop creative assets/solutions to enhance the brand. Collaborates at the intersection of marketing, product, content, and sales to develop powerful and memorable stories and interactive experiences that bring the Sendlane vision to life.
Caitlin Hutchinson