Email marketing vs social media is something that all business owners should be thinking about. With the immense popularity of social media, it may seem like email marketing is not as useful a marketing channel as it was before. On the surface, it may not seem like email marketing can accomplish anything that social media cannot. However, there are some crucial differences between the two that maintain the importance of email marketing. If you are starting or currently running an online business that uses digital marketing, these distinctions should help to understand why email marketing is as relevant as ever in 2021, and why it should be part of your marketing strategy:


Once you have built an email list, contact between you and potential customers can remain private by communicating through email. With social media, communication must often be done via a comments section or timeline on your profile page. Customers may be apprehensive about contacting you through those means, and people prefer communication that doesn’t seem so impersonal and indirect.

This is the biggest argument for email in the email marketing vs social media debate. Communication through email removes all the barriers of direct contact, and can build a more personal relationship with the customer. While social media marketing can help with promoting your product, offering a more personal line of communication can build the trust of your customers while raising engagement rates.

Blocks showing symbols that represent phone, social media, email, and call. This shows the Email marketing vs social media debate.
Full Control and Ownership

While you own your profile on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, you don’t own the sites themselves. You can communicate and advertise on those sites, but you’re also at the mercy of any policy or structural changes that may occur without your input. You might be driving traffic with social media ads, but that could change without any warning if the site changes. An email list is something that you’ve built on your own, so the decisions made by other businesses will not affect your email marketing.

Using your own email for online marketing also relives you of the need to trend on social media or rely on a Google ad to get attention, leaving a lot less up to chance in terms of success. Social media can definitely be an asset for your business, but it is far too precarious to be completely counted on. In terms of reliability, email marketing beats social media ads as a marketing channel.

Email Marketing Never Loses Popularity

Stability is also another major factor in email marketing vs social media. The popularity of certain social networking sites may come and go, but email has been a constant presence for online communication. To this day, nearly all social media sites require the user to enter their email address as contact information. This is a deliberate choice from social media companies; they know that this is the best way to reach their potential customers. If all the largest sites build their own email lists from their social media users, the usefulness of email marketing is clear.

Email marketing vs social media also give you complete opposite options, with only one email and multiple social media apps. While every email company will give you similar features, social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter will give you completely different audiences and options. It is not wise to put all of your social media marketing and effort into just one platform. Many social media sites have faded in popularity over time (such as MySpace), and different platforms have different audiences (Facebook has an older general audience than Instagram, for example). However, one thing all these platforms have in common is that they collect email addresses. Each site has its own pros and cons, but no matter which social media channel you decide to use, your digital marketing strategy should always include email marketing.

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