Mass e-mails, social network status updates, blog posts, and many more marketing methods have crossed the desks of company owners and marketing managers over the past few years. Do you take on the efficient e-mail campaign or the in-thing of social networks? To help with your difficult decision on whether to partake in a social media marketing campaign or an e-mail campaign, we have considered the pro’s and con’s of each medium.
Let’s first take a look at the pro’s of an e-mail campaign:
- Trackable return of investment — You have the ability to track how many people (and who) open the e-mail as well as who clicks on the links within the e-mail. With the traceability of your e-mails, you now have the opportunity to adjust your marketing campaigns to more efficiently reach out to your audience.
- Extent of Reach — With over 75% of internet users having access to e-mail, this is one of the most opportune methods to reach out to your target audience. This makes e-mail (aside from television) one of the highest utilized means of communication throughout all areas of technology.
- Personalized Marketing — There are e-mail marketing programs which allow you to personalize each and every e-mail that is sent out to your audience with their name. With personalized marketing material, you now have a higher rate of success and conversion.
- Direct Contact Info — Not only do you have the opportunity to communicate information to your audience, but your audience now has a direct e-mail address and other contact information should they have immediate questions for you. This makes them feel more comfortable and gives the appearance that you are readily accessible.
Now that we have taken a glimpse at the advantages of e-mail marketing, let’s think about the disadvantages:
- High Rejection Rate — With more and more companies e-mailing, people are innately hesitant to give out their e-mail addresses, and people are providing invalid e-mail addresses as a substitute for their real ones. These people feel that their e-mail address will be used primarily for spam-related information. In other words, it’s like a girl giving you a fake number after a bad first date. All of those e-mails are rejected and hurt your overall stats.
- Must Verify and Re-verify Your List — An e-mail marketing campaign requires a little bit of list babysitting. As your list grows and your audience expands, you need to consistently run checks of your distribution list(s) to maintain a high open-rate. While most (if not all) good e-mail campaign programs will do this for you, it’s important for you to take the time and verify yourself as well.
- It Looks Like Spam — If you do not take the time to create valuable content and beneficial information for your audience, you will be publishing an e-mail that resembles spam material. With that said, most companies that currently do e-mail marketing campaigns by themselves merely send out spam information instead of copy that will help (or act as a resource to) the audience.
Social Media Marketing
Similar to the e-mail marketing section, let’s start with the advantages of social media marketing:
- Low Overhead — While e-mail marketing has (typically) some form of overhead, social media marketing is the lowest cost form of marketing available today. For the cost of “free”, you have the opportunity to have one of the most significant reaches throughout all marketing techniques and strategies.
- Build Your Reputation — Online and offline, you must have the ability to build your reputation within your particular industry; social media marketing efficiently and effectively afford you the opportunity accomplish this task to your fullest potential.
- Sharability — Think of the theory “Six Degrees of Separation”; you are connected to almost every other person by a maximum of 6 people. With social media marketing, you have “friends” or “connections” or “followers” who will comment, share, and (overall) re-publish your information which significantly improves the reach of your marketing efforts.
While these advantages look great, there are some disadvantages to social media marketing:
- Anonymity is Non-Existent – In order to fully engage in the social media marketing, you must divulge a certain amount of information that may readily display your location, age, gender, and any other piece of information which you may not want others to know.
- Great Content But Not Read — You may write the best content within those short text updates, but with millions and millions of people on the same social networks your great content may not be read by your target audience because of the intense amount of overall traffic.
- Taking Time — The bottom line with social media marketing is that it takes time to do it properly; you have to continuously listen to your audience, research trends throughout the industry as well as the global network, and have the ability to respond immediately. It takes a significant commitment to productively participate in social media marketing.
In summary, both e-mail marketing and social media marketing have their advantages as well as disadvantages. However, when it comes to choosing which one is better than the other, I (personally) think that they are both a necessary piece of your marketing campaign. In other words, e-mail marketing is not necessarily better than social media marketing (and vice versa) because they are truly two different entities of a great marketing mix. So, take advantage of the low cost, reach, and reputation of social media marketing while you track, personalize, and provide contact information with your e-mail marketing campaigns. Overall, your results will be significantly enhanced if you are able to combine the two efforts!
If e-mail marketing or social media marketing are something that you are interested in but don’t know how to get started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.