Email Marketing

Why Email Marketing is Still Better Than Social Media

Brad Smith
October 12, 2011

Email is still the best online marketing channel.

What? Isn’t Facebook and Twitter all the rage?

Like the pretty girl in high school, these popular social networks receive all the attention. All looks and very little substance.

There are many reasons why email should be your number one priority.



Forget AOL, focus on email marketing
Image courtesy of Jason Persse


Social Networks Have a Short Lifespan

Social media is here to stay.

Social networking is here to stay.

But will Facebook and Twitter continue to be on top forever? Very unlikely.

Look at what happened to AOL, Friendster, MySpace, etc. While they were all once great services, something better came along and people jumped ship.

What happens if these social networks just aren’t very cool one day? What if people get sick of Facebook’s endless changes?

What if Congress declares them a monopoly and breaks them apart due to privacy concerns? (That is probably coming by the way…)


You Play By Their Rules

Let’s say you run a promotion.

And you accidently break one of Facebook’s promotional guidelines (Very easy to do). They don’t like it, so they take down your business page.

Have you ever tried calling Facebook’s customer service?

You can’t. They don’t take calls.

They can and will do what they want. You’re builing on their land.

Which brings us to the next point…


You Don’t Own Anything on Facebook or Twitter

That data is theirs… not yours.

“Your social graph” is also really theirs.

You don’t own anything on Facebook or Twitter.

All that time and energy is wasted on something you don’t have any ownership of.


Email Has the Best ROI By Far!

Countless studies have shown that the ROI of Email is still the best. By far.

It’s not even close.

According to a recent study by MarketingSherpa (an online market research company),

Email marketing can be amazingly efficient. B2C marketers report an average 256% ROI from the channel — pulling in $2.56 for every $1 invested.

But amazingly, when asked if these companies had a way of quantifying the ROI of email marketing, 59% said NO!

Probably because they were wasting too much time on Facebook…

I’m not saying to avoid building an audience on those social neworks. They’re incredibly important communication channels.

But I am saying that they’re not your #1 priority. They are not marketing assets.

13 thoughts on “Why Email Marketing is Still Better Than Social Media

  1. Brad,

    This is another really interesting article. I really like your blog, you give very interesting information. Keep up the good work, I just subscribed to your updates!

    Cheers 🙂

  2. The biggest problem with email especially in South Africa is spam & phishing ( 1 in every 133 mails received in South Africa is a phishing attack – the global norm is 1 in 447). The other concern is you need people to opt into a forum or a blog to capture their emails and current the biggest platforms to advertise your blog is by using social media platforms as they currently stand now.

    1. Hi Brett, that’s really interesting! What kind of email providers do you have over there? No Gmail?

      Social media platforms are great for driving people back to your blog / forum. But I think its really important to focus on then getting opt-ins on your website or blog.

  3. I had a conversation just the other day about what the benefits of twitter and facebook were. How can one see the ROI; I mean has anyone proven that having 1k fans or followers has brought a person more business?

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. It’s really, really difficult to prove social media ROI. There are some studies like this one that try to come up with a value for each fan, but it’s just an estimate. The problem is that we currently don’t have the tools or ability to accurately track how/when social media converts.

      It is important though. If you’re wondering what the benefits are, then please read these posts:

      Thanks again!

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