By Ryan Pell
The choice between email marketing and social media marketing has always been a subject of a heated debate in the marketing world. While the proponents of social media marketing claim that email marketing is dead, their opponents argue that email marketing makes an important contribution to building the image of a brand.
So, what’s better for your brand, email marketing or social media exposure?
Let’s look at the stats.
Social Media or Email Marketing: Crunching the Numbers
As for social media marketing, Sprout Social reports the following:
- Social media channels are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases, with 37% of respondents reporting that they found and bought a product through social media
- Social platforms are the most credible advertising channel for 50% of Gen Z, 42% of millennials, and 27% of baby boomers.
- 80% of marketers say that social channels are their primary target in terms of increasing engagement and brand awareness
To sum up:
- Social media marketing efforts bring good ROI results
- Social media marketing allows you to reach a variety of audiences
- Investing in social media is the fastest way to build a strong brand since you give it maximum exposure.
What about email marketing? Stats by Oberlo report the following:
- Every dollar your company spends on email marketing brings you an average return of $32
- 49% of respondents claim that they prefer receiving promotional emails from companies
- 80% of companies rely on email marketing for brand awareness, customer acquisition, and customer retention
To sum up:
- Email marketing has as good ROI results as social media marketing
- Promotional emails still have a big impact on purchase decisions
- Companies are as eager to use email marketing, as they are eager to use social media, integrating both strategies into their marketing campaigns
What’s the verdict?
You don’t have to choose between these two strategies. Instead, you can integrate the potential of social channels into your email marketing strategy with the help of one tool.
A Brief Intro to Social Data
Social media users publicly share terabytes of data daily. This data includes:
- Demographics and biographical data, language, location
- Feedback (comments, shares, likes, mentions)
- Shared links
These are the components of social data.
Marketers are aware that not all social media users share this information. This is called the limitation of social data. However, these limitations have almost no effects on the benefits of using social data, in particular, for email marketing:
- Better content for your email. Social data is the source of information that cannot be accessed through traditional research methods. Social data allows you to both actively and passively study the needs of consumers, either through surveys or through behavior analysis.
- A better understanding of your audience. Social data allows better audience segmentation, ultimately helping you to target the right niche audience that will be responsible for 80% of your sales (reinforcing the Pareto principle).
- Creating a personalized lead nurturing system. Email clicks can also be considered a source of social data, as it is also a form of feedback. A big number of clicks represents a certain type of consumer behavior, which you can use in your next marketing campaign to attract even more such leads.
Now, as we learned about what’s behind social data and what benefits it has for email marketing, let’s move on to how you can use social data to launch a successful email marketing campaign.
Content Strategy for Email Marketing
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no shortage of good engaging content for email marketing. The biggest challenge, however, is choosing content that will perform well. Social data can help you figure it out.
To start developing a content strategy for your email marketing campaign, you can mine social data from two sources:
- Social media surveys
- Email surveys
In general, surveys are a great source of social data. They provide you with accurate insights and social data on who your target audience is and what content they would prefer to see in their emails. Additionally, these insights will help you choose the right templates for your emails and also will help you come up with personalization ideas.
One way to mine this data is to conduct simple and engaging social media surveys.
Social media platforms provide users with functional tools that allow you to create different forms of surveys. The results can be used to create content for your email marketing campaign.
Being creative with social media surveys helped Duimering Homes, a home design brand, to figure out the content for their email marketing campaign:
Image credit: Duimering Home
The results of this poll had an impact on the series of their recent promotional emails:
You can also collect social data directly via surveying emails. You can either:
- Include the whole survey into an email. Beware of the size of such emails, however, as they may not load properly on mobile devices.
- Create a link that redirects email subscribers to a page with the survey.
Airbnb often surveys subscribers through a customized link that redirects people to their website:
This way Airbnb not only collects social data that will supply them with email marketing ideas but also grows traffic to their website.
Social Data and Subscriber Acquisition
An Organic Way
The biggest benefit of social platforms is that you can use them to create email lists. They allow creating customizable links that can prompt your followers to contact you via email, thus giving you new subscribers.
On Facebook, for instance, these customizable links or call-to-action buttons help companies create the fastest route that connects their followers with them via email. When creating this CTA button, you can choose among different options:
These three options, highlighted in the picture above, show what your CTA button will look like. You can embed your email address for contact purposes, and this CTA button will redirect people to your contact details.
Of course, all these CTA buttons need testing. Some users will respond well to one CTA button option, while others will be more likely to ignore it. For instance, Flatfy, an international real estate company, tested several CTA options before they went with “Learn more” CTA button with an embedded link to their email address:
Facebook Analytics helped them determine the right CTA button that generated the majority of leads:
The performance of a CTA button is highlighted on this graph with an orange color. If the performance of a CTA button is stable, it’s a sign that you can successfully apply it to redirect people from Facebook to your email address.
CTA button clicks are another form of sharing social data. By clicking on it, people share their email address with you, helping you acquire new subscribers and build your contact list.
Social Media Ads and Social Data
Page CTA buttons are an organic way to acquire new subscribers. However, on social media, you can also build a list of email subscribers with the help of targeted ads.
On Facebook, for instance, you can create targeted ads that will redirect people to your email address. It is important to start with the Audience Manager to determine who will see your ad.
Audience description directly influences, who will see this ad appear on the Facebook feed, thus, who will click on the button to subscribe to your email.
For example, InterNations used Facebook ads to build a list of subscribers. Their target audience mostly includes millennial expats from around the world.
Their sponsored Facebook post invites their target to click on the “Sign Up” button:
By clicking on this CTA button, you get redirected to their website, where you can leave your email address and subscribe to their newsletter:
Paid traffic is as good as organic traffic when it comes to social data that you receive from people who click on these CTA buttons. Moreover, it can help you build a subscriber list faster. And, by reaching out to certain audience type with your social media ads, you make sure that in your future email marketing campaign you will also target the right people.
Use Social Data for Email Marketing Success
As you can see, there are a number of ways, how social data can positively impact the success of your email marketing campaign. From defining the contact strategy to building up the list of subscribers, it provides you with valuable insights and ideas that can help make your email marketing campaign a success.
Social data allows you to take a look at email marketing from a different perspective, helping you make your email marketing campaign more defined.
So, try applying our tips to your next email marketing campaign and let us know about your success!
About the Author
Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a digital marketing specialist; you can check his website here. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.