Free Assessment: How does your inbound marketing measure up?

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Email vs. Social Media: Which is More Effective at Driving Traffic?

By Carolyn Edgecomb

Email vs. Social Media: Which is More Effective at Driving Traffic?


Email vs. Social MediaEmail marketing or social media marketing? This has been a highly debated topic.

Many are wondering what source is more effective at driving relevant traffic to your site.

If you want to push and grow your business, email marketing is the way to go.

Even though many say that email marketing is dead, that it's old fashioned, and no longer making as big of a splash as social media; they're wrong.

Each inbound marketing method is imperative to driving traffic to your website. You cannot have one without the other.

The Significance of Email Marketing

Building relationships and engaging with prospects and your audience is key for any business. It's not just about interacting back and forth, but about building meaningful relationships that stay in the minds of your target audience.

Consumers enjoy receiving emails. And at least 91% of consumers check their email everyday. Which makes email the leading communication channel compared to social media.


Some might say email is just another outlet for brands to reach me. While that might be the case. Email marketing is no longer as extinct as a dinosaur. According to HubSpot, 75% of marketers say that they are using more email than they were three years ago.

Social media and email marketing are both effective at driving prospects and existing customers to your website.

With one in four people worldwide using social media and 4.3 billion users having access to email, its no wonder that 35 billion hours are spent online in one month. And around 41% of that time is spent on social networking and email communication. That is a lot of time.

According to GO-Gulf, 92% of people say that email is the most popular activity on the Internet.

More Personal

Brands are no longer sending meaningless emails to everyone in their database. No one wants to send their audience spam. Today, they are targeting their emails to segmented groups of contacts. To reach more of their audience the content needs to be relevant.

I don't know about you, but I hate receiving an email that has nothing to do with anything that I've purchased or were interested in. Making your emails personal and targeted is essential, especially when 72% of consumers check their email more than six times a day.

Even though there are 600 million users accessing social media sites from around the world, the old school way of communicating is still very much alive.

Social media and email take two different approaches when engaging and connecting with your audience. Social media even though you can target different circles and users, you're still sending a mass post to your audience. On the other hand you have email marketing that has used marketing automation and segmentation to another level. Allowing companies to send emails based on their behavior. Companies can get a better look at what pages contacts are viewing, what offers they've downloaded, and what blog articles they've read.

Before you send out your next email, ensure that you're personalizing it. Add the contacts first name to the subject line. According to the Aberdeen Group, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%, when companies include the recipient’s name.

Quality vs. Quantity

As a marketer, your overall goal should be to provide your audience with value. You don't want to waste their time by spamming them or sending them a pitch.

It's also not a good idea to send your contacts an email every couple of hours. This isn't social media. When you're using a platform like Facebook or Twitter, your messages can often get lost in the never-ending cycle of social media updates. Your inbox is more personal than a post or message on social media. You are reaching out to them because you believe they'll be interested in what you're sending them.

Types of emails you could send include:

    • Transactional

    • Newsletters

    • Nurturing

    • Promotional (product, service, event, special)

    • Educational

    • Informational

One of the biggest uses of email marketing is for promotions, a way to inform contacts about an upcoming special or event. In an article by Adage, a study of 1,400 U.S consumers, 42% said they prefer to receive ads for sales and specials via email.

Social Media Enhances Email Marketing

Email was the first social media marketing tool.

In an age where consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 are actively engaging with family, friends and brands on social media; it makes sense to bring social media and email marketing together. You cannot have one without the other.

When you have a strong strategy for developing content, it only makes sense that email is more powerful with the help of social media.  Social media and email shouldn't be a replacement for the other. To make the most of your inbound marketing campaign, ensure that the two work together seamlessly.

In a world where email marketing connects 85% of people from around the globe and social media connects 62%, it's logical to intertwine the two.

One of the best ways to increase the reach of your email is to include social sharing buttons. Links that are shared by friends are more likely to be clicked on. So ... create an email that is eye catching and informational. Make people want to hit your social sharing button.

Being able to cross promote is a huge benefit of social media and email marketing.

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Social Media Marketing
Published on July 25, 2013

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