Faceoff: Email Marketing vs Social Media

email-vs-social-mediaWhile you may be spending a lot of time focusing on social media to promote your brand, budget some time into a solid, well-planned email campaign. You may be surprised at the return on a small investment.

Email is still the bulk of Internet traffic and information sharing. Compared to the amount of information sent over email every day, Facebook and Twitter make up just .2% of that digital information load; all Internet searches per day are .001% of the information sent via email. And that doesn’t count spam. A recent survey reported that 50% of email subscribers made a purchase from an email, which has the highest conversion rate of all online advertising outlets.

Email is quick and convenient; it is viewed on the go, via mobile device, and at work and school, in places where social media is blocked. In a 2012 Channel Preference survey, 77% of respondents said they’d prefer to receive brand updates and promotion offers via email rather than social media.

An email is personal. Your email box feels like your living room — it’s private, not shared, ‘Liked,’ or tagged publicly. You can choose how an email is viewed by the world, if at all. Checking email is quick, while many feel that social media has become a chore — there is no feed from others’ to scroll through, no widgets to manage, no games to babysit. (Perhaps this is why teenagers are actually fleeing from social media, but adopt email when they enter the work force at the same rate that adults use it currently.) This is why spam is so offensive: it’s rude, and it’s in your home, like vermin.

A welcome newsletter, however, has the opportunity to breed trust toward the brand it is selling.

How can you use email to promote your brand?

  • Design a template that looks professional, and use it consistently.
  • Remember that your images will be blocked by 60% of your readers, so don’t hide important text in an image.
  • Many readers will view your email in the preview pane of their email client, or on their mobile device. Test your template in every conceivable browser (there are web tools to do this for you).
  • Write informative content that shows your expertise, such as how-tos, tips, and links to relevant blogs. For example, a restaurant could send out tips on multi-task gadgets; a concert venue could send links to interviews from artists similar to the ones it has booked.
  • Use an email service provider (ESP) and take advantage of their tools. Mission Suite’s specialized tools include analytics, coupons, and online surveys to help you send the right email to the right customer.
  • Get the most out of your subject lines. Avoid words that up your spam ratio, like “free” or “percent off.” Personalize your subject lines by mentioning a cause or issue that your recipients care about.
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