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Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing: which one is better in 2024?

Wondering how email and social media marketing can contribute to your business growth? Learn the key differences between email vs social media.

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    By James

    James has seven years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

    Email marketing and social media marketing are two of the most popular forms of digital marketing. The power of social media has been proven, but you also shouldn't overlook the growth of email marketing.

    Both email and social media have their own strengths — a good marketer needs to combine and optimize both instead of prioritizing one over the other.

    Read along to find out more about email and social media marketing.

    The bright sides of SoMe marketing


    First, social media has the power to bring your content virality. You can click, like, comment, reply, share retweet content on social media; the actions in email, however, are vastly limited.

    Users have more options to engage or interact with your content. Social media content wins with the ‘contagious’ factor that email marketing lacks.


    Social media also helps you establish your brand identity. By filling your social media with your logo, information about your products or well-written posts showing thought leadership, your brand identity becomes more visible: this is something that email cannot do.


    Lastly, social media gives you a wide range of targeting options. Facebook lets you deliver your content to people based on demographics, interests, behaviors, etc. Social media companies are continuously developing their tools so that both advertisers and users have a good experience with the ads. Additionally, LinkedIn is a valuable platform for professional outreach, allowing users to connect with industry peers, potential clients, and partners to expand their network and opportunities.

    However, only focusing on connecting with your audience through social media comes with major disadvantages. The 'game book' - aka the algorithm of big players is constantly changing.

    Instead of creating content that helps your brand, understanding how the algorithm works and what content brings actual value will directly impact how and how often your posts are shown.

    Don't overlook the power of email marketing

    Don't overlook the power of email marketing

    Email is doing better in terms of reach, views and click-through rate 

    Commercial emails reach 79% of target recipients and have an average open rate of 21.8%, whereas Facebook’s organic reach remains around 6%.

    The average click-through rate of email (3.3%) is also higher than Facebook (0.5% — 1.6%). Facebook is known to prioritize posts from friends, not from brands, making it difficult and expensive for your ad to appear in someone’s newsfeed. Emails, in contrast, give you 100% SOV; when users open your emails, your content is the only thing they see.

    Email is also effective because it is permission-based. It is users who have opted-in to your email list and given you the go-ahead to communicate with them by email. They know you and would like to hear from you.

    Email gives you 100% SOV; when users open your emails, your content is the only thing they see. It is effective because it is permission-based.

    Email beats social media in conversion rate

    According to a study by Monetate, email converts better than search and social media.

    The main reason for this is that emails are personal and can be tailored. You can segment your email list and send different emails to different segments.

    For example, if you have a cosmetics store, you may send two different emails to your subscribers, one for women in their late 20s with information about anti-aging products and another one for teenage girls with information about natural-looking makeup products.

    Tailored emails are highly relevant and useful to customers, thereby driving more conversions for you.

    Email helps you build meaningful relationships

    Email is a one-on-one communication tool with customized content delivered, meaning customers stay when they are given what they need.

    The well-known saying 'context is king' is highly relevant when considering how appropriate, or how willing your audience is to interact with your content.

    For example in B2B, email clearly offers a higher level of professionalism than social media. It's also the expected and standard way of reaching clients and prospects, meaning you'll score higher in authenticity and trustworthiness in a personal email than in a well-targeted Linkedin ad.

    Your Inbox, Smarter

    Designed for business owners and freelancers using Outlook, Gmail and Apple Mail.

    Email vs social media FAQs

    Is email marketing better than social media?

    It depends on what you mean by better. Research shows that commercial emails reach 79% of target audiences and have an average open rate of 21.8%, while Facebook’s organic reach is estimated at around 6%.

    Additionally, marketing emails are better for building and maintaining strong customer relationships.

    However, Facebook and other social media platforms outperform email on numerous key fronts, including engagement, virality, branding, and targeting. This is exactly why most digital marketing experts suggest using both mediums.

    How social media marketing is different from email marketing

    There are quite a few differences between social media marketing and email marketing, but the key one is the fact that social media marketing focuses on establishing your brand identity and winning new customers, while the main goal of email marketing is to build and maintain strong customer relationships.

    This is why every company and organization should combine these two powerful types of digital marketing.

    The Bottom Line

    To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, email marketing and social media marketing should go hand in hand.

    Social media assists you in building your brand, interacting with your customers and acquiring new ones, whereas email helps you drive conversions and build relationships.

    Make sure to also check out our blog post on how to localize your email marketing strategy. Or, if you would like to explore all of our posts on email tips and tricks, you can find them on our blog.

    Mailbutler is a powerful productivity extension for Apple Mail, Outlook and Gmail that helps professionals and teams email smarter to get more meaningful work done. Get started today for free.

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