Email marketing vs social media

Email marketing and social media both are incredible marketing tools used by businesses to promote growth.

However, if you’re unsure which one to prioritize or allocate more resources towards, this article can help.

Here, we have compared email marketing and social media on various factors, helping you make an informed decision. So, let’s jump in.

Email marketing vs social media:

Email marketing vs social media

1. User preference: Email marketing or social media

With the increase in mobile users, consumers now have easy access to both email and social media platforms. Hence, while many users initially check their emails, they also frequently use social media.

To better understand each platform’s marketing effectiveness, it’s important to consider how consumers use social media to communicate.

A recent study shows that 60% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s email list to receive promotional messages, while only 20% of consumers follow brands on social media to receive deals. This finding is particularly advantageous for email marketers.

So, here email marketing has the upper hand.

2. Email marketing vs social media: Reach

You, of course, want to know how much market you could capture while using each of these channels.

So, when it comes to comparing the reach of email and social media for marketing purposes, email definitely has a larger user base of 4.1 billion worldwide users.

While Facebook just had 2.8 billion monthly active users in 2020.

However, it’s important to note that social media allows marketers to reach new audiences, while email requires an existing list of subscribers.

But when we look at organic reach specifically, email tends to have a much wider reach than social media.

3. Sales

According to a survey, 60% of consumers reported making a purchase due to a marketing message received by email.

In contrast, only 12.5% of consumers consider a buy button on social media as a driver for making purchases.

Therefore, it can be concluded that email marketing is the most effective way to generate online sales.

4. Return on investment

When comparing the effectiveness of social media and email in terms of customer engagement, click-through rates, and conversions, email marketing tends to produce better results.

Although the results may vary depending on the industry, Campaign Monitor provides some benchmarks for email marketing, such as:

  • an average open rate of 15-25%
  • a click-through rate of approximately 2.5%
  • an average click-to-open rate of 20-30%

On the other hand, Facebook’s click-through rate is typically very low, around 0.07%.

Conclusively, we can say that email marketing generates a much higher return than other channels, with an estimated ROI of 3800% or $38 for every $1 spent. In comparison, social media has an average ROI of 28%, which is significantly lower.


Both social media marketing and email marketing are valuable and worth investing your time and resources in.

However, if you had to prioritize based on return on investment (ROI), email marketing tends to be more effective.

Nonetheless, you do not need to choose between the two. Because, the most effective online marketing strategy involves a combination of both approaches, including organic and paid ads on social media while concurrently growing your email list as a long-term asset.

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