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Has Social Media Killed Email Marketing?

It may seem as though the new age of marketing has pushed-aside the old. McKinsey’s iConsumer survey reported a 20% decline in e-mail usage between 2008 and 2012. But, ‘old’ ways of marketing are just as, if not, more important.

New marketing platforms have been used to promote and sell services and products, for years now. The modern means of marketing involve mobile marketing, apps and social media sites - Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, being in the top social media sites.

Traditional ways of marketing, through email, for example, are still as important as ever, for many reasons. As popular as social media is, e-mail marketing is still the preferred way of communication for people receiving marketing offers. 

From a study by Direct Marketing Association, 75% upwards, in different age groups prefer being marketed by email. However, it was also apparent that many businesses tend to over-do the email marketing approach, to the point it can be seen as spam. Emails that are too frequent can lead to prospects to immediately unsubscribing.

Where email marketing avails, in many cases, it is in the personalization of the message. Emails that seem to be tailored to each recipient - through the field of work, position and message itself, makes the customer give attention to the offer and even act on it.

Emails are one of the most powerful and personal ways to engage with customers, so it shouldn’t be neglected amongst those who favor social media marketing.

Email marketing is far from dead, as it is still exceptionally cost-effective and a great tool to get a 4,300% return on investment (ROI), according to Direct Marketing Association.

Email marketing and social media do, however work well hand-in-hand. A survey by MarketingSherpa showed that 97% of marketers believed social media complemented other forms of marketing tactics, opposed to just replacing them.

Social may have brought in new ways to market and target the audience, but e-mail marketing is still used to target lists of more prospect clients. It sends marketing information straight to a personal space, right into the inbox.

With well-thought subject lines and appealing content, email marketing brings many businesses great success. Other forms of marketing can lead to good click through rates, but may not necessarily conclude a sale, in the way email and follow-up emails can. 

Email marketing is also, not restricted to word limits in comparison to the likes of Twitter ads or LinkedIn ads. However, when writing email content, it should be kept simple and well structured for the user to easily comprehend the message.

There are reasons why marketers would be dissuaded to the use of traditional marketing, and opt for more modern means.

Email if done wrong through over-marketing can lead to spamming issues. They can also tend to be image heavy; which means mobile users, and those using different browsers do not see the full effect of the message.

Social media marketing usually consists of short and catchy messages; it doesn’t require much reading and usually gets straight to the point, complemented with a follow through link for more information or a call-to-action. 

But, all-in-all marketing through email and social media should be used together and not individually. Both forms of marketing compliment each other and create both; the informational and social aspect, of the business offer or promotion. Email marketing adds depth to a message, and social can be used to communicate and share content with other prospects.