In a world where everyone is on social media, it seems very plausible that email newsletter marketing has gone obsolete. After all, it appears that platforms like Facebook are where companies and businesses want to leverage their marketing budget. However, that is not the case! In this article, we will go over how digital marketing has evolved over time, what the respective benefits of both methods are, and which method reigns supreme in the vast field of digital marketing.
What do the Current Marketing Trends Tell Us?
Companies have come a long way from billboard and radio advertisements of the past. The art of marketing has continued to grow and evolve as new platforms and ways of interacting with consumers have been created. While no one can predict the future, it’s obvious that digital marketing will not be going away for a long time. But how exactly has marketing evolved and where is it headed?
The Rise of Social Media Marketing
In the olden past, perhaps the only advertisements you would get were from newspapers, billboards, radio, and television. But due to the explosive impact caused by the invention of the internet and the creation of social media, the practice of marketing has forever been changed. Marketing has become more implicit and more interactive. It has also allowed companies to meet their consumers where they are: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
So while the more traditional forms of marketing still exist (think email newsletter marketing and digital advertisements) marketers have become more creative to stand out from the rest. This comes in the form of content marketing, SEO marketing, and social media marketing.
Content marketing is important as it allows brands to talk to their customers without actually interacting with them. The value created through blogs or other kinds of resources act as a draw for clients and can generate leads. SEO marketing involves using search engine optimization practices to get your website to rank higher on search engines. And last but not least, social media marketing has taken the business world by storm as it is such a vast field with opportunity aplenty. There are many methods that fall under the social media marketing umbrella. Some examples that have done wonders for brands are influencer marketing and content creation. But just because it has taken the spotlight recently doesn’t mean that using email marketing should be overlooked.
Social Media Marketing vs. Email Marketing
Although digital marketing seems to be trending towards social media use, email marketing is by no means obsolete. Their benefits may be similar, but there are differences in their respective methods and purposes. Let’s explore all of these in the following sections.
Email Newsletter Marketing
Email newsletter marketing is a time-tested method of generating leads and obtaining clients. Despite its humble origins, email marketing has also evolved throughout the years. What started as manually done cold emailing is now a more automated process.
Email newsletter marketing is one of the most effective ways of generating leads. In fact, most people prefer that businesses reach out to them via email. According to SendGrid, for business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions, an overwhelmingly 74% of people chose email as their preferred communication method. Email marketing grants you direct access to your customer’s inbox, which makes it a very powerful tool. It also is more secure since your email list is something you can always access, whereas with social media your users may change platforms or the platform may disappear altogether.
But don’t let its simplicity deceive you. There are still guidelines to follow if you want to actually convert your readers into customers.
How to Effectively Use Email Newsletter Marketing
First of all, you will want to grow a list of people to email. You can set this up through your website, a marketing campaign, or any other means. Then you will want to use tools like MailChimp, Hubspot, or Constant Contact to help set up your email marketing campaign. These products help you collect email addresses, send out mass email newsletters, and allow you to personalize them to each potential lead without needing to have technical knowledge.
Next, you want your emails tailored to your demographic. Due to increased competition and a higher expectation for customer experience, your email should be as personalized as possible. If you need help writing your first draft, there are email templates available online that you can use as a guide.
Other details to take into consideration are the writing quality and structural aesthetics. Is there imagery or some design used to break up the monotony of the text? Is it written in a readable way? Do you have a call to action at the end? Does it offer valuable information to the sendee? These are all things to consider when drafting your emails and creating a campaign. You also want to make sure you are not selling on every email. Make sure you are providing valuable content via email newsletter marketing so as to not overwhelm your customer, otherwise it may turn your recipients away and cause them to unsubscribe.
Lastly, you want to make sure you are analyzing the effectiveness of your emails using metrics to quantitatively measure things like your click through rate. When you follow these steps, execute, and revise, you will be reaping all the benefits from having a strong email marketing strategy.
You also have the option of hiring a digital marketing agency to help you create your email marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing
This is one of the flashier methods of marketing and is certainly a buzzword in these times. Many companies now are using community driven platforms like Facebook or Instagram to interact with their target demographic or rather, get them to interact with their business’s content. A study commissioned by SendGrid found that 39 percent of people preferred to interact with a brand by following them on social media, while just 32% preferred to email a company. So when done right, this increased exposure of your brand will help to instill familiarity and trust. This in turn can lead to organic lead generation that converts to more sales.
While that seems like great news, it can be confusing if you’re new to this. There are a seemingly unlimited number of ways to go about it. With the sheer amount of platforms and strategies available, where do you even begin?
How to Effectively Use Social Media Marketing
First, you will want to identify your ideal client and see what form of social media they use. It differs from email marketing because you have to meet your customer where they are, as opposed to them already being subscribed to your emails. This way, you won’t waste time on platforms that aren’t relevant to your business goals. For instance, if you are targeting people in Generation Z, it is more likely that they will be on Instagram as opposed to Facebook, so your efforts should take more of a priority there.
Next, you will want to develop a content strategy to personalize your brand. This is where you can get creative with your messaging and storytelling. You can create posts about your brand’s story, give updates about the product or service, or record videos to stand out from the competition. It is important that you make sure you are consistent with producing content, but also that you are not spamming your potential clients.
Other methods can include using influencers to help with product promotion, hosting fun competitions to create more interaction between you and your customers, and purchasing advertisements to display on the platforms.
Is There a Clear Winner?
It is not wholly fair nor would it be accurate to say that one is more useful than the other. Both strategies allow brands and businesses to attract potential customers, generate leads, and maintain a relationship with them. For optimal use, it is best to utilize a combination of both as they can be used in conjunction with one another.
For instance, you can use a social media platform to grow your email list; and then use your email list to reach your customers more directly. Adversely, you can speak to your customers directly about your social media page through email to gain a larger following on the platform. Either way, they have a reciprocal relationship that can increase user engagement and turn leads to sales. However, it may make more sense to use one over the other depending on your immediate needs and goals.
Which is Best for Your Business?
That is for you to decide. Whether you prefer to use one or the other, it is probably best if you leverage both in some way. However, if you are still unsure of how to adequately execute a winning digital marketing campaign, you should consider hiring a professional digital marketing firm. After all, why worry about what email template or social media platform to use? A digital marketing firm has the necessary experience to accurately assess your needs and develop a successful campaign. This helps save you time, energy, and possibly more money in the long run. If you’re ready to take your campaign to the next level, reach out to SEO Design Chicago today!