Email Marketing: Is It Dead or Complementary?

With all the attention on social media, have you given up on email marketing to build relationships and grow? Do you view them as an either-or strategy for your business? If so, you might want to re-think this When they work together, the combination is far more effective. Here's why.

It's all about the customer! Some prefer email, some prefer social media - and yes, some prefer both so they can choose each week or month. By eliminating one of the channels of communication, you may actually do more harm than good.

Why Together is Better

Subscribers vs. Likes or Contacts. With permission based email, subscribers choose to receive your emails - and will continue on your list if you deliver quality content that meets or exceeds their expectations. Not all social media contacts or likes actually receive your feeds - so building up those likes on your business page may give you a false sense of delivery. According to Facebook, about 15% of your 'likes' receive them. They need to opt-in for this, it's not automatic. By doing both you reach more people using the channel they prefer.

Targeted vs. Mass Distribution. Email marketing is typically more targeted if you allow for various list options at sign-up. Social media has the potential for mass distribution through search engines and sharing. Most email marketing programs allow for expanded reach through simple or automatic sharing on social media and friend forwarding. Depending on your purpose, they can complement each other and improve your marketing efforts.

Amount of Content. Email marketing allows you to provide more information to encourage subscribers to act - in most cases, visit a landing page. Social media is designed to be brief; it's a tickler to entice people to click for more information like a blog post or offer. When used together properly, they can draw more visitors to your website or business.

Quality of Content. Consistently poor content is a killer regardless of the channels you use. Think helpful and relevant to build relationships and eventually sales! Email marketing tends to work best with unique content at a regular frequency - determined by you and your subscribers! Social media requires a lot more posting to be effective. But by design, social media allows you to combine your unique content while sharing helpful tips and ideas from others. You are not under the gun to create ALL the content you use on social media. This can be a time-saver if done right.

Reporting. A good email system provides plenty of information down to the subscriber or contact level which can be a valuable learning and improvement tool. While some social platforms provide sharing, click and reach data, you have difficulty finding your advocates - those who viewed and shared posts on your Facebook business page? But using what you learn through email marketing can help you improve the other.

Video, Surveys and Events. All are very popular today - and both platforms allow for use of them. Whether you utilize email, social media or both will depend on your goals and who you want to reach.
As an advocate for integrated marketing - using a variety of methods to get the word out - I recommend you use both email and social media within your marketing mix. They build off each other and work together to drive traffic to your website so prospects can learn more about your company or offers and take the actions you want to make them a customer!