With so many social media outlets, it may be difficult to believe that email still rules the roost for most online marketing metrics, but it’s true. However, email and social channels each have their pros and cons depending on what you want to accomplish.

Customer Reach

In the majority of cases, email campaigns naturally capture more eyeballs or at least the eyeballs you are interested in most.

Regardless of how many Facebook or Twitter fans you have, for instance, the percentage of those who will see your post or tweet in those channels are in the low single digits. Average email open rates on the other hand exceed 20 percent.

Consider also this raw statistic: 58 percent of internet users open their email in the morning before looking at social media channels or using search.

No Comparison on Click Rates

Where email blows away social media, however, is in click-through rates. On average, posts to your email lists will generate around 40 times more CTs than a post to your social media channel of choice given equal numbers of subscribers or fans. Many companies see up to 100 times as many CTs.

Higher Conversion Rates Too

Social media messaging is fundamentally a shotgun approach, whereas email marketing relies on a focused market segmentation. That means your message is going out to people who want to see your message. This characteristic means you have an opportunity to personalize your messages as well.

Unsurprisingly then, email messaging enjoys typically 50 percent higher conversion rates versus social media.

Email and Social Channel Synergy

Should you then focus solely on email marketing and throw your social media marketing plan in the round file? Absolutely not. You need both and here’s why:

  • Social media presence helps immensely with your branding and ongoing engagement with your customer and prospects. It also reaches non-email customers.
  • Although it is less effective in terms of building a focused customer list, social media does offer click-throughs,, conversions and one thing email does not: the chance for your message to go viral.
  • Uploading subscriber lists to social media channels lets you listen to what is important to them, which supplies invaluable insights to your future campaigns.
  • You can retarget your email subscribers with ads on other social media using a platform such as Perfect Audience.
  • Private social media groups, say on Facebook or LinkedIn, built from your subscriber lists provide prospects and customers with different outlets plus a way to view their discussions.

These are many other ways you can super-charge both your email and social media marketing strategies through omnichannel integration.

Growing From an Email-Centric Start

Marketing your online presence is always going to be a tug-of-war between various outreach and conversion methods. Email is still a very effective way to build up your customer base despite its old-school aura next to shiny new social media outlets. It is also a great way to produce early results.

Long-term, though, you need not limit your strategy by relying on email solely for reaching prospects and turning them into customers. Branch out to social media channels that match your customer demographics and extend your brand. Then start working on ways to get your email and social media channels to play nice together for added punch.