E-Mail Marketing v’s Social Media Marketing

Andy Beal has a post that discusses the rapid increase in social media marketing and the apparent high ROI being achieved. At the same time it appears that e-mail marketing is still producing the goods. It raises the question then, which direction should you go?

The obvious answer is both. And there is no reason why you shouldn’t, apart from time and finances. They are, however, two totally different animals. E-mail marketing is very much a one-way communication tool. Social media marketing is gaining in popularity because it leads to two-way communications and customer engagement.

In fact, social media marketing goes beyond customer engagement. It has the potential and power of bringing non-customers into the conversation. Over time, a percentage of those non-customers are likely to become customers, or at least help to bring in more non-customers.

The advantage of e-mail marketing is that you have an audience that has requested information (if you use a double opt-in system). You can also target that audience with catalogue type advertising. It makes sense then to try and include both types of marketing.

In an ideal world, your social media marketing would lead to users signing on for your newsletters thus increasing your e-mail exposure. If they drop off the social scene, you still have some communication continuing.

Twitter and Facebook appear to be the two most discussed when it comes to social media marketing. They are not the only two by a long shot but, Twitter, in particular, has a ‘real time’ advantage that makes it a worthwhile tool to use.

Social media marketing or e-mail marketing – which is best for your business. If you have the time and a marketing budget – aim for both. At the very least, set up an e-mail marketing system that runs on semi-autopilot, then hit the social media marketing scene. Just be sure to engage people – that is what they are looking for, a two-way engagement.

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