With the proliferation of social networks, online marketers are increasingly investing in marketing campaigns on prominent platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and more. Most of these sites offer several effective marketing solutions (for instance, Promoted Page, Promoted Tweets, Rich Pins) and are coming up with newer solutions. Will these reduce the importance of e-mail marketing campaigns? No, say industry experts. According to a recent McKinsey & Co. survey, e-mail-based campaigns are more effective for acquiring customers than social media marketing (SMM) campaigns. Let’s see why.
The McKinsey survey shows that the percentage of U.S. customers acquired by e-mails is nearly 40 times more than that acquired through Facebook and Twitter combined.
Around 91 percent of U.S. consumers still use e-mail every day as per the survey, and the rate at which e-mails drive purchases is estimated to be three times that of social networking sites with 17 percent higher average order value. So, what makes e-mail more effective than social sites? Here’s what industry experts say:
- More Reliable – You can send personalized marketing e-mails to your all customers and be almost assured that they will receive them, though they may not open them or click on any of the links within. But, what you post on social sites is seen only by a subset of your audience and there is no guarantee that your fans will look at every individual piece of content posted on your timeline. Moreover, the percentage of fans seeing the social content varies with each post.
- Professional Outlook – Communications on social sites are of a more casual nature. E-mail sounds more professional and holds it own as a serious medium for building business relationships and communicating with both partners and clients. Instead of using multiple social channels to interact with more customers in a casual manner, a better option would be to use e-mail as a single marketing channel to interact with all your customers in the most professional way possible.
- Fully Transactional Medium – Brands need to post a variety of material on social platforms depending on the nature of the site and optimize social content for good results. For example, Facebook customers know brands close up while customers on Twitter want breaking news and updates. On email, consumers want offers or you can train them to expect offers while educating them about your brand.
- Permission-based Option – Unlike social sites, e-mail offers permission-based marketing in which e-mails are sent only people who have asked to receive them. This reduces spamming issues and strengthens your relationship with your customers. On social media, you risk annoying your audience with lots of marketing posts on news feeds.
Though these benefits clearly show the superiority of e-mail over social sites, the McKinsey survey points out that online marketers can unleash the full power of e-mail with a few more steps:
- The survey found customized landing pages which send the consumer directly to the particular item or offer specified in the e-mail can increase conversion rates by more than 25 percent. So the online marketers should re-think their landing pages optimization strategy.
- Marketers should adopt responsive web design to enhance their e-mail marketing efforts. The survey says that around 45 percent of all marketing e-mails are opened on a mobile device. According to Google, 61 percent users do not return to the mobile sites if they have difficulties accessing a site and 40 percent tend to turn to competitor sites in such situations.
- Online marketers should consider e-mail as an opportunity to learn customer needs. They should also make their e-mail more personalized so as to send the right message to the right person.
However, it is definitely not advisable to avoid social media completely. The best strategy is to harness the possibilities of both e-mail and social sites. A study by GetResponse reports that e-mail messages with social sharing options have 30% more click-through rates than those without social options. In addition to including social sharing options in your e-mails, professionally managed social campaigns can help you utilize new ways of doing e-mail marketing with LinkedIn’s InMail, Facebook’s subscribe form, Twitter Lead’s Generation Card, and more.