Why Social Media Pales In Comparison to the Power of Email

Why Social Media Pales In Comparison to the Power of Email

Before you come at me with your emoji guns a’ blazing, hear me out on this one—your many social media accounts might be buzzing with likes, follows, comments and shares, but truth be told, it isn’t doing much to directly increase sales.

Don’t get me wrong—social media is a powerful marketing tool. If you have a dedicated team equipped with relevant, valuable and high-quality content, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have an active social media presence.

Still, there’s a reason why email marketing isn’t dead—it works. With over one-third of the world’s population pegged to be using email by the end of 2019, it’s hard to dispute the evidence that email is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than both Facebook and Twitter—combined.

The Great Debate—Social Media vs. Email

Comparing social media to email is like comparing apples to oranges. While both are considered to be healthy fruits, they each serve different purposes—one is full of fiber, while the other is packed with vitamin C. The same logic goes for email and social media marketing—both are effective, yet each serves its own purpose.

Basically, email marketing is better at driving quality traffic and direct conversions, while social media is better for engaging with large quantities of up-and-coming “brand fans.”

In other words, social media gets people talking about a brand’s products and services, while email marketing persuades people to buy (or convert) right on the spot.

So, for the purpose of growing your business, email marketing outperforms social media. Still, if the above information isn’t enough to convince you, here are a few more solid reasons:

Reason #1: Plain and Simple—It’s Personal.

No matter how hard you might try, there’s no cutting corners with this one. And while understanding the habits and behaviors of your customers on a more finite level requires some serious time, energy and effort, by so doing, you’ll be better equipped to achieve the goals you’ve set for your emails.

Numerous studies have shown that the biggest reason for email marketing’s high-conversion power comes from its ability to segment a list and personalize marketing messages. To meet or exceed such results, it’s key that both your list and messages be segmented based on the personal behaviors and preferences of your buyers.

For example, a company is more likely to sell a product or service if their message is presented to a smaller, more targeted group of customers with similar preferences, than they are by posting a promotion on social media with a larger, less defined audience.

Yes, the eyeballs are certainly there in large quantities, but are your ideal buyers? They’re somewhere in there, but there’s no guarantee they’ll see your stuff.

Reason #2: Email Encourages Undivided Attention

Think about it—users spend hours mindlessly scrolling through their social media feeds. They may give a ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ every now and then or click through to an article that appeals to them, but with email, they are making a conscience decision to find out more about the product or service you’re offering.

Stephanie JoAnne summed this up in a recent post through a question she asked her readers:

“Which would you prefer—to promote products in your blog sidebar or in your blog posts and hope that someone may magically buy something one day, or have a list of raving fans who are waiting for your content (and offers) and are already willing to buy because they need what you are selling/promoting?”

The trick is to keep audiences on their toes—to keep them thinking about what’s coming next. Instead of spending hours working up enough inventive juice to create a social post announcing a product or service, use your emails to persuade buyers with items they’ve spent time looking at on your site or upselling them with a complimentary product or service.

Reason #3: Conversions Over Conversations

If you’re like most marketers, meaningful conversions are all that matter—they’re always looking to quickly get users to checkout. Because of this, it’s worth repeating that email has proven to be more effective for acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Why, though? Well, it makes sense, if you think about it—customers are trained to expect special offers by email, and to make purchases through email, too. This means that they not only have a high tolerance for offers, but that they’re more likely to be in a buying frame of mind.

Social media is used for light-hearted, non-transactional conversations. Marketing messages get lost in the clutter and earn less attention per customer than email. Additionally, due to automation, they often fail to establish the kind of personal connection people expect.

Strong, lasting relationships aren’t necessarily made in big numbers or generic messaging; moreover, in the amount of time a company spends understanding an audience’s personal wants and needs. As such, with email marketing—if the messages and offers are personalized to engage a user’s unique interests—purchases are more likely to be made.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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