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6 Ways Email Trumps Social
In the ever-expanding marketing toolbox, SMEs have a dazzling array of tools at their disposal. However, there is a tendency to work with only the latest shiny objects. All the marketing talk these days is about social media – yet research shows that “old-fashioned” email packs a mighty punch in both reach and Return on Investment (ROI), writes Denise Cox of Newsweaver.
A Statista 2015 report shows Facebook has over one billion registered accounts and Twitter over 288 million active users. According to Radicati, the total number of worldwide email accounts was 3.9 billion in 2013, and projected to be 4.9 billion by 2017. That means email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. In a 2013 report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) UK found that email marketing has an ROI of 4,300 percent (no, that is not a typo!), and that email was driving more conversions than other marketing channels, including search and social.
While social media can – and probably should – play a crucial role in your digital marketing strategy, email has a number of distinct advantages:
1. In-house mailing list
Think about this. On Facebook you’re not guaranteed even your followers are seeing you. On top of that, customers and prospects are also seeing ads from other companies (perhaps competitors). An in-house email list gives your customers an undiluted view of your company right there in their inbox. For even greater impact, target and personalise content based on your customers’ interests and past purchases.
2. Actionable insight and measurement
According to the CMO Survey 2014, just 15 percent of marketers are able to prove their social media marketing activities have had a clear, quantitative impact. Today’s email technology easily provides some of the most in-depth and actionable insights available in any channel today. Beyond opens and clicks, there’s content popularity, insight by defined data groups, destination clicks, and device consumption (mobile vs. desktop).
3. Mobile Email
You probably already know that the use of smartphones is increasing – and email is the most popular activity for people on their phones. People check email constantly, wherever they are – and that includes your email. But the window of opportunity is narrow because when people read email on a mobile device they do it quickly. That means your emails must be powerful enough to grab attention.
4. Large reach and impact
Many people don't use social media – regularly or at all. But most people have email, and they use it every single day. To me, someone's email inbox – rather than their wall or direct messages – is of higher value. It is hard to share social content with someone who is not on social networks, or in your circle of friends (well, unless you copy and paste it into an email). Email allows you to reach – and share content with – people who are not on social. Those people can, in turn, share your emails – 65 percent of us forward emails. This means your content can reach beyond your subscriber’s inbox. People will send your email to friends or family when it’s relevant and of interest. This is a powerful way to reach a whole new audience.
5. Emails inspire immediate transactions
People are rarely on Twitter and Facebook to make a purchase. But with email, people expect to hear from retailers, and like the fact that they can click directly from the email to a landing page where they can easily make a purchase.
6. Business people like business emails
In general, people don’t visit social media to conduct B2B activities. Jupiter reports that 81 percent of executives subscribe to industry emails for product information and business intelligence. Wall Street Journal reports that 60 percent of business decision-makers say email is one of the best ways to reach their customers.
Improve Your Results – Use Your Entire Toolbox
When it comes to social and email marketing, it doesn’t need to be an either-or situation for businesses. In fact you can use email to help drive your social strategy (and vice versa). You can include your social links or campaigns in your emails, taking subscribers directly to your social media sites.
In summary, use all the marketing channels that work for you. But don’t forget about email – a proven and consistent winner. Focus on growing your in-house mailing list, creating high impact personalised emails – and use your metrics to gain insight into how you can improve, review your metrics and use the insight to improve your results with every send.
Written by: Denise Cox, Lead Communications Consultant, Newsweaver – Europe's leading email marketing software company
Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.
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