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Email marketing vs other digital media channels

By Ben Walker on 28 May 2019

With so many digital channels out there, it can often be difficult to know where to focus your efforts. To help you decide, we’ve pulled together some comparisons between email marketing and other digital marketing channels.


Email marketing vs social media marketing

Whether it’s used for business or pleasure, there’s no denying that social media is outrageously popular and a great way of communicating with your customers. With an estimated 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, and predictions for this number to continue growing, focusing your attention on social media marketing has never been so important.

When asked which applications they open first thing in the morning, however, 26% of people in the UK said emails, with only 13% going to social media first. Every social media user is likely to have at least one active email account, if not more. So, although you may reach a larger audience with social media marketing, you are more likely to generate customers using email marketing.

The potential ROI in social media marketing is substantial, yet given how hard it is to track,  it’s unlikely you’ll know how effective it really is. With email marketing on the other hand, depending on which newsletter platform you use, you’ll have statistics available that detail how many recipients opened the email and which links were most popular. The average ROI for email marketing is 4400%; definitely a more beneficial channel to focus your marketing budget on.

With that said, email marketing should not be seen as a replacement for social media marketing, and vice-versa. In fact, they complement each other and work best when used collaboratively – social media is useful for building your email list and maintaining a relationship with your clients, and email marketing is the digital marketing channel that generates customers and a strong ROI.

A man at a table working on a laptop.


Email marketing vs paid advertising

Another classic digital marketing channel is paid advertising, which has a huge potential audience. Google Display Ads are seen by around 90% of internet users, allowing brand awareness to be boosted by up to 80%.

However, 64% of users feel ads today can be annoying or intrusive. We’ve also grown used to seeing them on search engines and social media platforms, meaning it’s easy for us to switch off and ignore them. The average click-through rate for a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ad is only 2%, whereas the average for email marketing is 7.06%.

When it comes to ROI, with paid advertising you have the potential to double your spend and will receive an average of $2 for every $1 you spend. As before, this still doesn’t top the potential ROI from email marketing where, on average, you will get $39 for every $1 spent.

Paid advertising and email marketing can also work together to generate a better ROI overall, but in a less direct way than email marketing and social media marketing. Paid advertising is useful for driving traffic to your website, where users will likely find a newsletter sign-up link, call-to-action, and plenty of pages and posts to explore. You can use the statistics derived from this increased traffic to determine which blog posts are most popular, helping you choose which ones to include in your next email marketing campaign.

Although the above statistics may make email marketing seem like the obvious winner, with the greatest ROI and easy-to-understand statistics, you shouldn’t focus your attention on just one digital marketing channel. There are ways you can make each channel work co-operatively for your business and, in turn, increase your overall digital marketing ROI.

If, however, this article has spurred you on to create a successful email marketing campaign or template, we’d be happy to help. We’ll work with you to make sure your email stands out in a cluttered inbox and makes a good impression –  to get started today, simply get in contact.

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