Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

Sep 28, 2020 - By Tom Siani

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The internet undoubtedly has a great impact on our lives, and advertising is not an exception.

Digital means of brand awareness are on the rise, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Email and social media are two important ways to reach out to new audiences and keep in touch with previous customers.

The question is which of one of these two methods is better and if you can match strategies when thinking about email marketing vs social media marketing.

In this post, we’ll let you know the main differences between these two methods and explain how you can use them in business.

Why email marketing?

Email marketing is when you use your email to reach out to your audience and market your products/services.

An effective email marketing strategy enables you to inform your previous customers of any events, new products, etc.

It is actually the cheapest means of digital marketing, as you just need an email address. Fortunately, it’s not just cost-effective; you can’t find a method with the conversion rates of email marketing. The average ROI for email marketing has also been reported to be more than $41, which is great.

There are currently around 3.9 million email users across the globe. Surprisingly, it is estimated that this figure will reach a whopping 4.3 billion users in 2023.

Of course, this is a perfect chance for outreach and building your brand identity. So it’s essential for you to think of email marketing as a priority, especially if you own a small or medium-sized company.

Why social media marketing?

Social media is considerably younger than email, but its popularity outweighs email. However, the total number of social media users is around 3.5 billion, which is still less than email users.

The truth is social media is way more attractive, and it can answer a wider range of needs compared to email.

News, entertainment, learning, searching for products/services, and communication are all provided by different social networks.

Email providers can’t offer these kinds of services, so many marketers might think that the time for email marketing has ended.

But many others believe that email still has some advantages that can be of great use to marketers and business owners.

Which one is better for your business?

Now, it’s time to compare these two methods in detail to know the pros and cons of each one. Here are several areas in which we can compare email marketing vs social media marketing:

Conversion rate

The conversion rate is defined as the number of clicks divided by the total number of visitors. Surprisingly, the conversion rate in email marketing is way higher than that of social media marketing.

The conversion rate strongly depends on the industry and many other factors. But on average, many brands have reported conversion rates of email marketing 6 times higher than conversion rates of social media marketing.


As was mentioned earlier, the ROI of email marketing is around $40 for each dollar spent. While many marketers are facing challenges when calculating the ROI of social media marketing.


One of the greatest concerns of users about the internet is their data privacy.

With the spreading scandals in social networks, like Facebook selling users’ information, many people ‎aren’t feeling safe while browsing on social media. Around 50% of Facebook users think that their data might be sold.

On the other hand, many people feel safe when communicating via email services. Although emails might also be threatened, they’re still safer than social networks. That’s why 70% of millennials choose email for their business communications.


Social media platforms are really attractive, and that’s why people, especially youngsters, love them.

Studies that have considered email marketing vs social media marketing show that social media is more popular than email among Gen Z. But the higher the users’ ages are, the more they use emails. So email still has a greater reach than social media.


Needless to say, that content is king in digital marketing. Various features on different social platforms have made them untouchable by any other means of digital marketing.

So in this regard, email can’t compete with social media. For example, the rise of social media video marketing has been a great shift in digital marketing, and email doesn’t have this ability.

Although you can share your social video links via email, you can’t generate video/pictures via email or have a Live on it.


Time is of great importance, especially when it comes to digital marketing.

In fact, you have to reach out to your potential customers sooner than your competitors to increase your sales.

Email marketing might seem fast as you just need to prepare an email and send it to all your contacts.

On the other hand, generating compelling content on social media and get high engagement rates is a time-sucking process. However, social media automation tools have made this a lot easier.

How to match email & social media marketing strategies

Fortunately, it’s possible to use both methods in your marketing strategies. You need to learn how to match your strategies efficiently to reach the maximum ROI possible.

Here are several tips for integrating email marketing and social media marketing:

Create social media newsletter

Email marketing is still the king in the realm of digital marketing. You can easily create social media newsletter to match your social media marketing strategies with email marketing.

You can persuade your followers on social media to subscribe to your email lists. Then, they can have all your post notifications in one email, which can help them save their time.

Cross-promote all your social accounts via email marketing

Remember that you can’t expect maximum exposure when you’re using only one or two channels.

Email marketing can help you get higher engagement rates on all your social media platforms. You just need to remind your subscribers that you have a community on social media that always has something new for them.

This strategy makes sense of urgency and encourages your subscribers to follow your social posts.

Include all your social handles in your email signature

Apart from the newsletter, you must include your social media profiles in your email signature. This will help your social media accounts get higher engagement rates.

Also, your contacts will have access to you via any social profiles they prefer. 

Choose the best social media icons for your email signature

Including your social handles in your email signature helps you build a brand identity. It’s recommended to use a unique style in your email signature, especially for your social media icons.

Try to choose the best formats for social icons that suit your brand and help contacts recognize you better.

Conduct A/B testing to find the best approach

A/B testing on social media is one of the greatest ways to know the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. You might need to prepare different social media newsletters with different items to know which one works better.

Final thoughts

Both email marketing and social media marketing are necessary for a business to survive, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you want to outperform your rivals and reach out to more customers, you have to use both these methods efficiently.

Try to have a certain strategy in using them. Utilizing automation tools can significantly help you to sync your activities in social media marketing and email marketing.

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