Email Marketing vs. Social Media

We show how you can utilize communication synergies instead of building competition

Table of contents
  1. The email as a "hidden favourite"?
  2. Direct and personal into the mailbox
  3. Social Media: Hand in hand with power and dependence
  4. Email meets Social: let's play!
  5. Creating incentives and converting followers
  6. High stakes for high registration rates
  7. Why marketing synergies are worthwhile

One thing must not be missing in any company: Marketing. That's clear, but what is the most effective tool? Email marketing or rather social media? Or perhaps a combination of both? These questions are clarified in the following article by our expert and guest author Jaqueline Schwestka.

Both email marketing and social media are important communication channels for brands, businesses and even influencers. Subscribers to both groups are interested in the brand or product, so a combination of both marketing channels is very attractive for many. But those who play the channels against each other may lose a lot of strategic and economic potential.

The email as a "hidden favourite"?

Social media is everywhere, if you are not represented on various channels there, you might lose touch - so the assumption is. However, if you miss your target group, you will have less success (in comparison) despite various channels. Moreover, email marketing remains an important communication channel. A common misconception is that emails, especially newsletters, are no longer read. But that's not true.

Everyone knows at least one person among their friends who is not represented on social media at all. In some cases, opinions also differ and only a preferred channel is chosen to surf. The fact that someone does not have an email address, on the other hand, practically does not occur. Just for registration on social media, it takes at least one email address per user and per channel.

So, in theory, newsletter marketing has even better chances than social media channels on their own.

Recommended E-Mail-Marketing-Softwares

On our OMR Reviews comparison platform, you can find more recommended email marketing software. We present over 150 solutions that are perfectly tailored to small and medium-sized companies, start-ups and large corporations. These softwares offer comprehensive support in all aspects of email marketing. Take this opportunity to compare the different email marketing tools, using real and verified user reviews:

Direct and personal into the mailbox

Newsletters still land directly in the inbox next to other important emails from friends and businesses. Another advantage is held by those who choose a newsletter provider with a highdeliverability promise. Regular deliverability tests provide insight into the top performers, a deliverability rate of over 90 percent could only be proven by the providersCleverReach,ActiveCampaign and rapidmail for the last three years in a row. However, a tweet or Facebook post quickly gets lost among the mass of posts.

Moreover, a social media post addresses the masses. Even if brands and influencers succeed in building a community that sees itself as part of something big and wants to be addressed collectively, direct, very personal addressing of individual followers is not possible. Here, too, the email trumps. With a little effort, newsletters can be personalized and tailored to the target group.

Information such as name or place of residence can easily be incorporated into texts via automatic placeholders. The subscribers feel directly addressed and in the best case, they will also receive content that they are really interested in through such personalization. This is also particularly important for influencers who often have to provide insights into the behavior and interests of their followers for a paid campaign.

Social Media: Hand in hand with power and dependence

Who wants to grow a communication channel quickly tends to rely on social media. A large part of the time online is spent by internet users on social platforms. Enough time and possible reach through various platforms to consistently create contact points with the target group.

Unlike with email, users can comment, write direct messages and republish and share content. The level of scattering of social media is enormous, so even smaller profiles can go viral quickly with the right strategy and "relatable content", even without a large following at the beginning. Whoever manages to convert these reaches into an active community, basically has the social game won.

On the other hand, the platforms often seem to arbitrarily pursue their own strategies. To strategically generate success on social media requires a dynamic and flexible approach, an eye for trends, and constant screening of interaction possibilities to not be left behind by the rest and the competition.

If the algorithm changes, the strategy must change - but often it is first associated with trial and error. Guaranteed performance cannot be expected from large brands or influencers. Particularly devastating for campaigns that require a lot of effort, time and resources, such as the launch of a product, the announcement of a cooperation, or the display of an influencer, which performs much worse in relation to an organic post.

In short: As soon as it comes to addressing the followers as potential customers and achieving leads and conversions with a post or an entire campaign, social media marketing bravely becomes dependent on the whims and the nature of the impenetrable and ever-changing algorithm jungle.

Email meets Social: let's play!

Not every company does social media marketing and not everyone has a thing for email marketing. But those who serve both channels in their marketing mix and have not yet used the potential synergies are missing out on massive conversion potential.

Because both channels can do something that the other can't do well and complement each other perfectly when coordinated. Creating reach and building a following? Social media clearly scores points here. Direct, personalized communication and achieving conversions? Here, email marketing, with a ROI that has fluctuated around 40:1 in recent years, is the clear winner.

So how do the channels complement each other?

  1. Target audience approach: Email marketing allows companies to send targeted messages to specific recipients based on their preferences, interests, and behaviors. Social media, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to reach a broader audience and interact with potential customers in real time. By combining both channels, companies can send their messages directly to existing customers via email while simultaneously reaching potential interested parties via social media channels.
  2. Customer retention: Email marketing is an effective tool for retaining existing customers and building long-term relationships. By sending personalized emails with relevant content, special offers, and updates, companies can promote customer loyalty. Social media, on the other hand, allows for reaching interested parties on another level by allowing them to identify with the brand and actively participate in discussions. Customers can provide feedback, ask questions, and exchange opinions via social media channels. Companies can leverage these interactions to strengthen customer loyalty and promote engagement.
  3. Information dissemination: Email marketing is great for sending targeted information, updates, and offers to a specific target group. It allows companies to present relevant content in a structured format and grab the attention of the recipients. On the other hand, social media enables information to be spread quickly and virally. By sharing posts, likes, comments, and referrals, companies can achieve a wider reach and make content go viral. This can help attract new customers and increase brand awareness.
  4. Direct access: As opposed to social media platforms, where the reach and visibility can change due to algorithms and paid advertising, email marketing provides direct access to the recipient's email inbox. This gives companies greater control over delivery and ensures that their messages actually reach the recipients.
  5. Personalization: Email marketing allows for high personalization. Companies can customize emails based on the behavior, interests, and buying behavior of the recipient. While social media platforms also offer options for personalization, the reach is often broader and control over the target group may be limited.
  6. Sustainability: Emails have a longer lifespan than social media posts. While posts on social media platforms can quickly disappear from the news feed, emails remain in the recipient's inbox for a longer time. This gives recipients more time to read, consider, and respond to the message.

If you have only used one channel so far, you may now be considering whether it's time for a marketing mix expansion. If both channels exist, the approach to potential leads via the social channels should be considered. How to convert followers into newsletter subscribers?

Creating incentives and converting followers

Initially, each channel loves to talk about itself - apart from various handles in bios and link tree references, there are often few calls in the actual posts to additionally look around on other channels. When the hint does come, it's often platform-exclusive content that's supposed to provide the incentive. Known are sentences on TikTok like "As always, I'm taking you with me in my Insta story" or a sweepstakes provides additional chances of winning if you subscribe and interact on all channels. What do these approaches have in common? They are not sustainable.

The interest in one's own content is overestimated, how many actually change the platform for an Insta story while scrolling TikTok, is questionable. It requires a lot of personal pulling power and a committed community. Therefore, just a simple "Subscribe to my newsletter" on social media won't do. Especially because an additional action so alien to the social media pull is presumed (follow the link, being pulled off the platform, enter data, send, confirm double opt-in), which most are not prepared and also not willing for in their everyday social media usage.

The incentive must be strongly convincing, the so-called email benefit promise should be chosen wisely, relevant for the target group and lure with absolutely exclusive content, added value, and if possible offers. The incentive for registration must, in short, be irresistible.

High stakes for high registration rates

What offers the perfect incentive for the respective target audience is highly individual depending on the company, brand, and influencer - however, it should be exclusive.

Who offers similar content or offers on several channels in different "packaging", could wait a long time for the conversion. It's also fine to play high: a high payout at a sweepstake, a big exclusive discount campaign, or personal content that is not available anywhere else, can motivate communities of all types and sizes to sign up for a newsletter.

Those who then see the growing subscriber numbers not only on social networks, but also in their email distribution list, have made the first step towards successful conversion.

But that's not enough - subscriptions for a newsletter are not only harder to obtain, they are also harder to keep. The already mentioned email benefit promise has to have strong convincing power, that's clear, but it should also provide transparency and honesty. Whoever feels cheated after a big promise because afterward they are confronted only with advertisements that don't match what they signed up for, clicks the "unsubscribe" button in the newsletter quickly. Continuous added value, exclusive insights, news, offers and valuable content are the answer here.

Why marketing synergies are worthwhile

Hard work pays off: The previously mentioned "Return on Invest" is not high in email for no reason. The target group itself expresses interest through the registration and is directly and personally supplied with information that can otherwise only be played out on good luck in other channels.

In email marketing, there are no questions about performance, evaluations of subscribers and how much average interaction can be expected. Anyone who actively and strategically uses the channel, gets to know their subscribers better with each campaign and uses additional analytical tools like TAGs, segmented lists, and automation processes, gains a much more active and profitable platform.

So, those who use their reach on social media to turn their fans and followers into enthusiastic buyers with email marketing and build long-lasting customer relationships, double their profits.

Jacqueline Schwestka
Jacqueline Schwestka

In PR und Marketing zu Hause schreibt Jacqueline als Senior Consultant der Agentur BOHMerang regelmäßig Fachbeiträge aus den Bereichen E-Commerce und Kommunikation. Mit Blick auf die Zahnräder und Stellschrauben der Direktkommunikation folgt sie Trends, Kennzahlen und Innovationen auf schreibendem Fuße.

All Articles of Jacqueline Schwestka

Software mentioned in the article

Product categories mentioned in the article

Related articles

Join the OMR Reviews community to not miss any news and specials around the software seeking landscape.