How Email Marketing Beats Social Media in Lead Generation

Posted by Sarah Wai on May 15, 2017 8:53:00 AM

email and social media

Email marketing and social media may serve different purposes in your overall marketing strategy, but when it comes to lead generation, one comes out on top: Email marketing.

Both are beneficial and critical to any marketing campaign, but once you get a grip on the differences, you’ll get a better feel for how you should be utilizing email and social media in your campaigns to gain a higher ROI.

Reach Doesn’t Mean Attention

1,000 email subscribers are not the same as 1,000 followers on social media.

To your subscribers, an email is the equivalent of a package on a doorstep. It’s more personal, and only one person is going to get their hands on it. There is an increase in value this way.

A social media post in your followers' feeds is the equivalent of someone handing out flyers on the street, where it could be just more noise if someone isn’t paying close enough attention. If you can get their attention, it may do its job, but the competition for attention is much higher, and it will likely take more tries and effort to reach your audience. This is why social media is better for brand awareness than it is for lead generation.

Familiarity Gives Greater Odds

When you consider the level of familiarity your email subscribers have with you compared to social media users, you’ll notice that the odds of generating a lead via email are more in your favor than via social media.

Email subscribers want to hear from you (that’s why they subscribed in the first place) and have given you permission to reach out to them. They have somehow landed themselves on your recipient list, whether it was through an online or physical form, networking, etc. If they didn’t give you permission, you’ve got a different problem, which we discuss in our blog titled “Understand the CAN-SPAM Act to Avoid Major Email Marketing Mistakes.”

When it comes to social media, familiarity is relative. There is a lack of commitment in the realm of social media compared to that found in email subscriptions. Social media is a passive activity that requires little-to-no involvement from the user.

You have the ability to boost or sponsor your social media posts and ads, which allows you to reach an audience that doesn’t yet know you. Or you can post to your followers on a platform that gives no room for personalization. Fine for many B2C companies where purchases are more often based on emotion, but not for others where purchases are based on logic; and definitely not for B2B companies, where nurturing is necessary.

There’s Greater Opportunity to Prove Your Value

Consider the number of characters you have to grab a user’s attention. With social media, you have a limited amount of characters; and with email, while you still need to keep it brief, you don’t have to limit yourself.

You also have the ability to personalize with email, whereas social media is designed to reach a mass audience with the same message. The likelihood of someone responding to a personalized message is much higher.

Bridging the Gap

So how do you get social media followers to become leads? Convert them to email subscribers!

At Tribute Media, we’ve found that by having something like our Tuesday Tips, you have a greater chance of increasing leads purely based on the fact that you are placing your brand right at a user’s doorstep at least once a week. Maybe start a blog that produces high-quality posts that users can subscribe to. There are many options to get people on your email lists.

Looking for more advice to increase the ROI of your email marketing efforts and increase leads in the process? We’ve got just the thing.

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Sarah Wai

Written by Sarah Wai

Former Content, Email, and Social Media Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication Arts and Master in Business Administration.

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