There’s No Fighting In Marketing

Written By Kim Chapman, Account Executive

Email vs. Social Media

With all the social media channels that consumers interact with this day and age, email may have seemed to take the bench.

But, alas, it has not lost its power. A new 2013 report supports this claim.

According to ExactTarget, a global company that provides interactive marketing solutions, email is still the most “effective and inclusive”. Let’s break down these two terms.

Effective: Quantifiable effectiveness is the cornerstone of direct marketing. Email can tell you how many people have received it, and then purchased because they received it. Like a billboard or a TV commercial, with social media there is no record of who has seen your ad, and of those who have seen it, who have purchased because of it.

Inclusive: While it may seem that everyone is connected to social media 24/7, we have to remember that we are in marketing (well, at least most of you reading this post). Not everyone is as “plugged” in. Especially certain demographics. While email captures the daily attention of 90%* of consumers with smartphones, and 85% of consumers w/o smartphones, Facebook’s same stats are at 66% and 50%, respectively. That’s quite a drop in involvement.

So, is social media’s effectiveness hopelessly unquantifiable? Not really. Though not as telling as email, there are ways to produce some metrics within social media, such as …

–       Posting an offer or coupon on facebook that is trackable when redeemed. An easy way to do this is to use a unique code

–       Analytics (Google, for example). They will not tell you if someone has made a purchase, but they will tell you how many people are visiting which of your social media sites.

And in terms of social media being less inclusive, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth utilizing, especially as more and more people get smartphones, and become familiar with “liking” and “tweeting”, etc.

Looking past notions of quantifiable effectiveness and inclusiveness, social media definitely has its place in the marketing landscape, and is arguably better than email on some fronts. For instance, improving search engine rankings, business exposure, and cost effectiveness (although email is too!), just to name a few.

If you’re still wondering whether to do social media or email marketing, the answer is “both”. No need to fight.  🙂

*This statistic is my estimated average of marketers with smartphones @ 99% and consumers with smartphones @ 89%. I didn’t do a straight average because there are far more consumers than marketers.