We hate emails. Their volume, their length, or undesirable timing, compelling us to respond instantly make us have negative feeling about them. Conversely, social media seem to be the preferred means of communication in personal and professional interactions. Or so statistics would suggest. The number of active users on Facebook, which currently stands at 2.8 billion, surpasses the world’s population of 2.3 billion people aged between 20-39. Suppose we add other platforms to this equation. The amount gets so tempting that it creates an illusion that social media is the goldmine for businesses to capture and convert traffic. This assumption would imply cutting down on email marketing and shifting focus to creating solely social media content. But this approach would be wrong. Email marketing, far from being an undesired form of communication, proves to be more effective than social media. Here are 5 reasons why.
Email marketing builds trust
Despite billions of people having one social media accounts, only a fraction of those users is active on social media. They might limit to browsing only selected accounts, staying in touch with friends, or just keeping up with the news. From the business perspective, that’s not good news. And it can get worse -the pool of followers balloons when the content you produce satisfies their needs. But it may deflate suddenly, leaving marketers clueless about the reasons. Social media don’t build that same trust as email campaigns. Being quite different -, and allowing more detailed communication, emails remain a more reliable form of communication. Weekly or bi-weekly newsletters end up in your inbox because you volunteered to get them. All you need to do is keep their interest in the news you deliver to keep the subscription rates low.
Email marketing leads to formulating binding offers
Social media generate leads. But you will surely turn to email to discuss the intricacies of the deal via email. The old-fashioned way of having it all back on white is proof of the agreed terms. Social media does not offer room for negotiation. It captures traffic, but you need other media, an email to seal the deal. Not to mention that having an offer with every detail with small print included makes the communication sound and feel more professional. And that brings you to the next step with is the return on investment.
Return on investment is easier to measure
Studies show that the return on a dollar spent on an email campaign could be as high as 36 USD. Sum up all the expenses involving getting the leads, compare them against the revenue made on each sale, and you will come up with this number. Social media don’t offer such an easy equation. At least not a monetary one. While it measures reach, engagement, and brand awareness, the content generated daily does not translate directly into revenue.
Testing what works best for your audience
Testing the waters, or A/B testing, allows you to explore the tastes and preferences of your audience. Even the most long-lived companies in the digital space run experiments repeatedly, testing the minor details of design and content. Emails enable you to split your audience into groups. And without them knowing that they are guinea pigs for the content options, observe what makes them tick. You will know what to keep and what to scrap from your strategy to keep to drive conversion. Social media content is trickier to run tests on. Your post might go unheeded, missing in engagement scores and risking losing followers. After all it takes only one click to unfollow, which goes back to the trust factor that emails have and social media rarely.
Segmentation & customization
And closely tied to the subject of A/B testing is segmentation and what follows the customization. Let’s start with emails. Once you have concluded what works best, you can drill down to specific traits of your audience that you want to target. This process will allow you to craft campaigns customized for those segments, offering the rest more generic content. Is this possible on social media? To a certain extent. Each platform has the characteristics to attract a specific type of audience. Those who like images will likely go for Instagram, but those who prefer more test-based posts will turn to Twitter. There is usually a stronger preference for one type of platform if your audience happens to be active on several of them. Hence the segmentation is a natural process in which your business has not been involved. That lack of control over the your followers’ preferences and the willingness to have a broad reach compels you to customize content for each platform separately. And that’s quite a tedious and time-consuming ask to do. What’s a better option then? Email marketing where you test, segment, and customize. With these processes your chances of winning the hearts of your subscribers is higher than on social media.
With the evident advantages of email marketing over social media remain a cornerstone of business communication with your customers. No matter the negativity they might spur, they are still the most efficient way to build relationships, measure outcomes and adapt their content to your audience’s likes. Quite a big task on your hands, but one that brings its fruits when done with diligence and a well laid-out strategy.