Is Email Better than Social Media?

A new report from Monetate, an e-commerce software firm, has found that email marketing is still driving more overall sales than social media efforts.

Some of the key findings:

2.49% of visitors from search engines buy something

4.25% of visitors from email buy something

0.59% percent of visitors from social media sites buy something

That’s a big difference, but there’s no need to start grappling your forehead and deleting Facebook Pages left and right. It’s important to keep in mind that all of these channels work together, not against each other.

Social media sites, in general, are a far more casual environment that can help build brand awareness, provide bite-size bits of industry information, and create communities among your customers.

That said, email has the advantage of directly reaching a single person. Not only that, you can use analytics to see what that person clicks and opens, which are statistics you can use to segment your list and direct different customers to personalized destinations.

Some resources…

If the study’s findings have made you wonder how you can better combine social media and email marketing, here are four resources that can help these initiatives work in tandem, so you can make use of email’s selling power and social media’s relationship engine:

1. Can’t Social Media & Email Marketing Just Get Along? – A debate about the different merits of each channel.

2. [Q&A] How Do You Get Started With Social Media & Email Marketing? – An interview with a nonprofit that used social media to drive more email subscriptions, and email to drive more people to Facebook.

3. The Backstage Pass: 3 Ways to Get Your Facebook Fans to Subscribe to Your Email List – Strategies to leverage your fans for your email list.

4. 11 Ways to Combine Email & Social Media Marketing to Get More Customers – A breakdown of tactics when you want your email and social media strategies to work together.

Do you think email is better than social media for selling? Let us know below!


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  1. I completely agree with this! A direct e-mail with relevant information, news, pictures, & coupon, & so forth seems to work much better then ANY social media we have used. That’s not to say social media does not have it place for a more casual branding inside information for potential clients & existing ones too. I sometimes think the whole social media trend may be a bit over-hyped for the small business owner, nice but not = results for us & our industry (medical clinic).

  2. Blaise Lucey •

    Hi Patricia,

    You bring up a good point — part of the difficulty with social media that many businesses face is an audience conflict. Different industries have vastly different experiences on Facebook, Twitter, etc, because of who their customer base is.

    Social media can help with general promotion, then email marketing can drive a sale home, especially if a prospect already knows you from your social media presence and then signs up for email campaigns & newsletters.

    Thanks for reading!


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