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  • Writer's pictureMadelyn Jun


Updated: May 23, 2023

Is social media marketing better than email marketing? The short answer is no. The long answer can be explained by a few different factors. ROI means return on investment or the ratio between net income and investment. On average, email marketing has an ROI of 42% compared to the 28% for social media marketing.


Although social media ads allow brands to use data to form a target audience, the actual follower clickthrough rate is a mere .88%. This is due to the overlooked fact that social media users have the ability to ignore ads. Many users also have an ad blocker and this number is continuing to grow. On the other hand, email ads have a 2.5% clickthrough rate. According to Joe Kindness of Agency Analytics, “more than half of internet users (58%) check their email first thing in the morning” and “almost 9 out of 10 email users'' check their email at least once a day. As a marketing strategy, you have more control over who sees your emails, and they’re also people who have previously consented to see your messages, leading to a higher chance of clickthrough.


Another factor that affects ROI is the promotion of an ad. Both email marketing and social media marketing allow users to share content with other users, creating an open channel of dialogue between the customer and brand, as well as, customer to customer. Ad shares generate revenue for each strategy, and this is where the difference in ROIs happen. A shared social media post earns about $5.62, but a forwarded email doubles that amount to $12.41. Therefore, you should aim to create shareable content, especially for emails. This could include sales, promotions, and new brand announcements.


Email marketing also offers more stability in terms of algorithm changes. Social media marketing is constantly changing the way algorithms work, and therefore changing how your content shows up on someone’s feed. With social media, even if you amass a huge following, there’s no guarantee that your followers will always see your posts. However, email marketing is much more direct and reliable. While there is the chance that your email may get blocked by spam filters, following these basic guidelines will help you prevent that. Emails also provide the perfect channel for consumers to receive messages they previously opted into without third party algorithms deciding which emails they see or don’t see. If you’re worried about people unsubscribing, email marketing campaign rates on average have a very small (.17%) unsubscribe rate.

So when it comes to increasing your ROI, should you choose to use one strategy over the other? No. In fact, these two strategies are actually complementary. Social media marketing is a great way to reach your target audience and find new potential customers, while at the same time using email marketing to turn that prospect into a paying customer. Ezer Digital offers services to help you achieve ROI in both social media and email marketing. Contact us to learn more.

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