Social Media Marketing vs Email Marketing: What Everyone Should Know

Digital marketing is the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other digital platforms to promote products and reach customers. It refers to any online marketing efforts or assets. Examples of digital marketing are email marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and blogging. Each of them helps you to know and understand the customer and how your product or service fits him/her.

Social media marketing and email marketing are some of the popular types of digital marketing and some of us might be confused in deciding is better for the growth of their businesses and websites.

In this article, we will take a look at the details of email marketing and social media marketing and answer the question, “Which one is better?” while exploring their advantages and disadvantages

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media platforms and websites to reach new customers, engage with existing customers, and promote products or services. It is used in creating content that is tailored to the context of each social media platform to drive user engagement and sharing.

Social media marketing gets your audience looking at your brand even when they are not thinking about it. Businesses of all sizes can reach prospects and customers through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others because prospective customers are constantly interacting with brands through social media. It includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement.

Social media marketing can help in increasing your website traffic, raising brand awareness, improving communication with key audiences, Improving Search Engine Rankings, Improving Brand Loyalty, Increasing your website’s visibility.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

  • You can expand your reach and grow your audience with social media marketing.
  • You get to connect with new people every day, without asking for their permission. And when your followers like, share or comment on your content all of their friends see it.
  • You can connect with your audience multiple times a day without annoying them, as long as your content is engrossing your followers will engage with it.
  • You get to study your audience’s behaviour and interest, without worrying about security or privacy permissions.
  • You can target a specific demographic.
  • Content could be tailored to the specifications of each channel to boost lead generation and increase brand awareness.
  • You can uncover valuable insights.
  • You can create viral content.
  • You can join social media networks for free.
  • You have access to paid advertising services.
  • You have a direct connection with your audience.
  • Social media can have an indirect impact on SEO.

Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing

  • Anything you say can be used against you and it can be devastating on your business.
  • It can be expensive to run.
  • It often takes a creative team/ qualified personnel to produce quality content regularly.
  • The number of users on a platform can be deceiving, especially with fake profiles created regularly.
  • A social media platform can close down anything sending you back to square one.
  • It can be time-consuming, because you need to always stay engaged, monitor, be active for your marketing effort to work.
  • It heavily Relies on Ads which can be annoying to some social media users.
  • It is slow with returns on investments(ROI).
  • It exposes you to your competitors.
  • Social media platforms are a constant target for hackers or unethical people, your information and data are not safe.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing is the act of sending out messages of commercial purposes that relates to your website through emails to promote products and services. It provides a direct channel between us and our audiences.

Email marketing helps you build an amazing relationship with your audience while driving traffic to your website and social media. It can help you intimately communicate with your audience.

It is one of the most popular types of digital marketing. To put it simply, it is the use of email to promote your products and services and encouraging meaningful interaction between your audience and your brand.

Advantages of Email Marketing

  • Email marketing gives you a chance to convert leads to sales by nurturing relationships more directly.
  • With email marketing, you can segment your subscribers according to how they interacted with your brand.
  • You can run A/B testing to find out what type of messaging works best.
  • Email marketing delivers a high return on investment for businesses.

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

  • With email marketing, you have to follow a lot of rules and if you are someone who doesn’t pay attention to details you could get into a lot of trouble. You need to comply with current privacy and data collection laws.
  • You need to know how to write engaging headlines and messages without it looking like spam.
  • You also need to know how to design your sign up forms to activate a quick subscription.
  • Certain words and phrases can tip email providers off to the possibility that your messages may be spam, even though people subscribed to your list.

Social Media Marketing vs Email Marketing. Which Is Better?

Which Has More Audience?

There are more than 4.3 billion Internet users in the world and according to Statista and Radicati respectively, there are 2.34 billion social media users worldwide and 3.8 billion email users worldwide.

It is also important to note that nearly every social media account is opened with an email.

Which Drives More Sales?

Email marketing is better at driving sales, it reaches about 85% of the people you send it to and has an open rate of almost 23%, but social media doesn’t have a great engagement rate.

The bottom line is that email marketing is the best way to make sales online.

Which Has Greater Reach?

3.8 billion People are more likely to start their day by checking their email and head to social media after if they use it.

Email marketing reaches a higher percentage of people while social media marketing channels have become a pay-to-play world, so if you don’t have the money you get no reach and no engagement. Social media organic reach is getting harder to come by, and email campaigns see a click rate 50-100 times higher than social media outlets.

Which Has Greater ROI?

According to Campaign Monitor, “For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.” Making email marketing one of the highest ROI’s of all digital marketing methods.

Although Social media is great for driving traffic to your website, it doesn’t give the same ROI as email marketing. And according to Curata “52% of social media marketers admit to having experienced challenges when reviewing ROI”.

Which Is More Expensive?

Email marketing is way cheaper than social media marketing. You reach more users for less with email marketing.

Which Gets More Audience Engagement?

Social media platforms offer a great opportunity for brands to interact with their audience and keep them engaged. However, nothing beats email marketing when it comes to engagement.

The truth is, nobody wants brands sliding into their DMs even if they are following the brands on social media but with email marketing, you already know that they want you in their inbox because they indicated interest.

It is difficult to increase organic reach on social media because people have to engage with your posts but with email, you can increase your inbox placement rate by following best practices to make sure your emails do not go in the spam box

Finally, according to Wordstream “80% of retail professionals indicate email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention vs. social media, which identified by just 44%.”


It is important to note that email marketing and social media marketing are not the same and should not be treated as replacements for each other. The best way to figure out which is best for your brand is to know where your audience spends the most time and prioritize the channel.

In today’s digital world, both should have a place in your marketing strategy. You should use social media to grow your audience and encourage them to become email subscribers. Then, email marketing nurtures them into paying customers.

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