Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing | What's Best for Your Business?

Email Marketing vs Social Media Marketing | What's Best for Your Business?

Marketers adopt countless ways of marketing and creating brand awareness for businesses. Two of the most common and effective methods of achieving marketing goals are social media marketing and email marketing. Both are wondrous in their ways. According to Statista, there were around 4.1 billion email users and around 3.78 billion social media users worldwide as of 2021. This number forms around 48% of the total world's population.

Social media is gaining popularity day by day. But, at the same time, we can't oversee the influence of emails on its users for trade. Now the question is which is better? Which of the two can have a greater impact on the target audience? You will get the answer to all of your queries in this article. So, let's start this battle of Social Media Marketing vs Email Marketing.

What is Email Marketing?
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing vs Email Marketing
How Can You Effectively Combine Email and Social Media Marketing?

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a kind of digital marketing that uses emails to create brand awareness. It puts forward the latest services, products, offerings, discounts, and everything among the users to make them aware and remember the brand. Some of the benefits of email marketing include:

  • It assists in building and enhancing the customer experience.
  • It makes for a profitable strategy to reach the audience emotionally through personalized emails.
  • One can save a lot of time in this marketing strategy via its automation feature.
  • It is measurable, hence one can measure the growth of a marketing campaign via web analytics in order to get accurate data.
Number of email users worldwide from 2017 to 2022
Number of email users worldwide from 2017 to 2022

Industries Benefited from Email Marketing

A Snovio labs study reveals that 72% of customers belonging to business communication prefer emails over social media. Here are some of the industries that enjoy the benefits of email marketing:


This is the foremost industry that boosts its sales via email marketing. With email marketing, it becomes easy to track customers' choices. One can obtain a huge amount of profit in a single purchase. Email marketing is used by the industry to share about new models, sell insurances, and more. Thus, the automotive industry is one of the most benefitted from email marketing.


A survey in which 4000 physicians took part revealed that only one-third of physicians use social media channels. Doctors usually don't spend their time on social media, and that's why the pharmaceutical sector performs its marketing via emails.

The following are some of the examples of top companies that use email marketing for their success:

  • Airbnb
  • Uber
  • Bonobos
  • Cook Smarts
  • Kate Spade
  • Litmus
  • BuzzFeed
  • PayPal
  • Drift

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What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing refers to the promotion of services and products by using social media platforms. It is the most exciting and powerful way to reach new targeted customers from all over the globe. Some of the benefits of social media marketing include:

  • One can connect with the audience related to the business worldwide.
  • By creating effective posts and stories, one can drive more sales to one's website.
  • It helps convert the new audiences into customers, thus increasing conversion rates.
  • It leads to enhanced search engine rankings, which ultimately contributes to a brand's popularity.
Number of social network users worldwide from 2017 to 2022
Number of social network users worldwide from 2017 to 2022

Industries Benefited from Social Media Marketing

According to a study published on BarnRaisers, around 92% of total customers trust social media instead of any other form of advertising. Here are the industries that benefited the most from social media marketing:


The entertainment industry has the biggest share of social media marketing in comparison to any other industry. As per a report, 63.2℅ of all the posts on Facebook belong to the entertainment sector. These sectors include telecom, retail, financial services, beverage, and food. Instagram is one of the best examples of entertainment sections generating a handsome revenue.


The retail sector comes in the second position after entertainment which has benefited from social media marketing. Live sessions or chatboxes on Instagram or Facebook are famous examples. It also assists in displaying features of products and services which is great for the retail startups in today's time. Moreover, the positive feedback from the customers on social media works like word of mouth which attracts more customers.

Real Estate

A study according to a real estate website states that 44% of customers become successful in obtaining new clients for their properties from social media. Brokers, agents, property managers, and developers all belonging to the real estate industry, utilize social media for their marketing. With social media, it becomes pretty easy to showcase the features of properties in dynamic ways.

The following are some of the examples of top companies that use social media marketing for their success:

  • GoPro
  • Nike
  • Spotify
  • Wayfair
  • Pop-Tarts
  • National Geographic
  • Starbucks
  • Dove
  • Wendy's

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Social Media Marketing vs Email Marketing

In the following points, we will discuss which is better among email and social media marketing from different perspectives:

Which is Effective in Reaching The Target Audience?

According to OptiMonster 2020, around 99% of email users check their mailbox every day. Some people even check their emails around 20 times in a single day.
On the other hand, the community that opens up social media first thing in the morning is more likely to use it for personal purposes. So, basically during the workdays, people are more likely to check their emails first rather than their social media.

When it comes to targeting, every business wants to capture its target market to be successful. When you indulge your business in paid social media advertisements, you get to select who sees it to a certain extent. However, in the case of organic advertisements, you do not get control over who sees it and who doesn't. On contrary, with email marketing, you can segment the entire list of your target audience to gain the best results. As emails will help you reach the target audience better, email marketing seems to be a winner here.

Which Has The Better Return On Investment (ROI)?

The return on investment(ROI) refers to the measurement of profit after some investment or comparison of revenue of various investments at a particular time. According to DMA 2019, one can get a return of around £42 for just a pound worth of investment in email marketing.

On the other hand, as per the study published in Forbes, around 6% of marketers could execute customer relationship management on social media, while 56% of them were still in the planning stage of how to achieve it. The fact is that social media ROI can be fruitful only if you are super-viral among a few channels. So, the chances of obtaining satisfactory returns decrease on social media. Hence, email marketing is the winner in this case.

Which Can Attract New Audiences Better?

Although email marketing has a huge user base as compared to social media, when it comes to reaching new audiences, it is hard to acquire them through it. This is because social media has no limits. You must have seen several channels, specifically Instagram and Facebook with a lot of supporters, this makes it a great source for new audience attraction.

If you provide insightful and useful services and products to the consumers, then they will share them on their social media which will directly lead to increased traffic on your brand channels. You can achieve wonders in your business once your posts can start getting viral. Creating more sponsored advertisements for your products is another way to reach new audiences. Thus, this is the field where social media marketing seems to win the battle.

How Can You Effectively Combine Email and Social Media Marketing?

Impact of social media on email marketing in India in 2021
Impact of social media on email marketing in India in 2021

Now when both kinds of marketing have their pros and cons, what if we combine both and extract the only pros from these forms of marketing. So, here are how you can effectively combine email and social  media marketing for your business's success:

  • Reuse the content on both channels. It will save your time and is also cost-effective.
  • Generate a similar content calendar for both the channels and adopt a parallel content strategy for both platforms.
  • Use social media to collect emails from your brand's audience. Add call to action buttons to the social media posts which further lead the user to enter an email so that the brand can proceed with email marketing.
  • Organize engaging contests or giveaways on social media and collect emails from users. For instance, you can ask the users to provide a tagline for your brand and in return, you can give some prize. This will intact your brand in users' minds and create audience engagement too while participating in contests.
  • While getting positive responses from social media about the channels, you can send feedback in emails that will lead you to convert your audience into customers.


Here the battle between social media marketing and email marketing ends. What we observed is that the preference for email marketing is still alive from various perspectives. But we can't oversee the gaining popularity of social media day by day where around 3.96 billion users reside.

So, the best thing for businesses is to combine their social media and emails and market their products and services accordingly to maximize their chances of success.


What is the difference between email marketing and social media marketing?

Email marketing focuses on customer relationship strengthening whereas social media is more focused on attracting new potential customers.

Is email marketing better than social media marketing?

As per overall performance, email marketing does perform better than social media marketing due to the huge amount of email users and better opening rate.

What are the advantages of email marketing?

Advantages of email marketing include:

  • Improving Sales
  • Collecting feedback
  • Reaching the right people at the right time
  • Traffic generation for your website
  • Increasing leads

Which is the biggest social media platform for business?

Facebook with over 2.9 billion users is the biggest social media platform for business.

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