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Email marketing performs seven times better than social media

Brands are expected to spend 4537 billion ZAR on social media marketing in 2024 to fight for consumers’ attention. With people spending more than two hours a day on social media, brands would be foolish not to spend their ad money on social platforms, right?

According to data, brands may have it all wrong. For every rand businesses spend on social media, they get 5 ZAR back. Even though this is considered a good return on investment (ROI), other marketing channels, such as email marketing, perform seven times better.

Email marketing has an ROI of 3600% worldwide. This means that businesses get 36 ZAR for every rand they spend on email marketing.

‘People don’t open their social media apps to view ads, they’re just a part of the experience,’ says Greg Zakowicz, senior ecommerce marketing expert at Omnisend. ‘With email, it’s the opposite. People choose to receive them. When they open their inboxes, they’re looking to shop and you have their attention.’

Email marketing outperforms social media marketing

The ROI difference alone is not the only metric that proves how email marketing outperforms social media:

– The clickthrough rate (CTR) for social media platforms is 0.2% – 0.5%. Compare this to the 1.7% for scheduled emails and 5.7% for behavior-based (automated) emails.

– The conversion rate for social media is 0.02% – 0.04% while email is 0.07% for scheduled campaigns and 1.99% for automated messages.

How to combine social media efforts with email marketing to get the best results?

‘Even though social media marketing is less effective than email marketing, the most effective strategy is taking a 360 approach and combining different marketing channels to achieve the best results,’ says Greg Zakowicz, marketing expert at Omnisend.

Here are three ways brands can combine their social media and email marketing efforts to maximise their ROI.

1. Use email collection popups on websites.

Attempt to capture emails from every single web visitor, including those coming from social sites. The more that brands connect the social media and website experience the better their marketing efforts will perform.

2. Use behaviour-based automated email.

Automated emails generate 41% of all email marketing orders on only 2% of sends. These messages are triggered by user behaviours, such as abandoning a shopping cart or browsing products on your site, making them timely, relevant and effective. With a 1.99% conversion rate, every order from email means spending less on retargeting campaigns on more expensive social media platforms.

3. Sync data with ad platforms.

A brand’s email marketing provider should automatically sync with third-party ad platforms like Meta. This means brands can automatically update retargeting audiences on social media platforms, helping lower overall marketing costs and creating a better user web experience. 

‘What’s hot isn’t always what’s best. From a business perspective, marketing is about maximising ROI and here is where email marketing is established, consistent and superior. Say what you will, but email marketing isn’t dead. It’s just getting started,’ says Greg Zakowicz.

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