Email versus social media. Which is better?

Answer – the stats tell the story. 82% of people check their email at least once a day. 37% check their email at least 4 times a day.

Why Is This Important

If you are a regular Joe whose only purpose is to socialize online, then social media is probably best for you to do just that, socialize.

However if you are looking to build you as a brand, promote your product or service, stay in touch with prospects and customers, then email is the better route for you. In fact, it is likely the more effective path you should take.

There is no doubt social media is what everyone is talking about. We know this because those conversations are being posted on social media for all to see.

There are so many exciting platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest , YouTube, Instagram, and many more. Each sexy and fun.

Social Media a Waste of Time

But there is a problem. A problem only the people keen on the differences between email versus social media are talking about.

At the heart of the problem, Social media is a waste of time.

Sure, social media is time-suck and distracting. But social media can be more than a time drain.

The real problem, when studying email versus social media, is putting your focus in the wrong place. Specifically, if you are spending more time and energy on social media than you are working on email marketing, you have your ladder leaning against the wrong wall.

Email Versus Social Media Why Email Wins

Email marketing is not as glamorous or as exciting as social media. Email has been around much longer. And because it is primarily a bunch of words, it is not as glamorous, not sexy.

The internet has done a lot to change the way we interact. But the core element of what we do online is still the same as it was long before the internet. The core element, people interacting with other people. That’s it.

Social media is like a park or a coffee shop. It is great for meeting new and interesting people. But it is not enough to grow a relationship. It is like chatting with someone at a networking event. Unless you get specific, the connection is casual at best.

Email marketing nurtures a serious relationship. It moves beyond networking event style banter. It is an actual connection. It is communication with a purpose. That is why email versus social media puts email on top.

Email Versus Social Media

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Not a Casual Decision

Giving away your email address  is like handing someone your home address. Trust is involved. And so it should be.

Here are three primary reasons why email versus social media puts email on top.

1. Direct Access to Your Subscribers Through Email

The foundation of social media depends on you posting content and other people logging on to read what you have posted.

Email is completely different. You are in control.

When someone gives you their email address, they are giving you an opportunity to reach them directly.

You do not have to wait for your email contacts to show up. You deposit your content directly in their inbox.

Agreed, they still have to check their email. But research shows people conservatively check their email up to three times per day and more  as depicted by the statistics chart.

2. Email Has Higher Engagement Than Social Media

This may seem counter intuitive. Since all of the engagement happens in personal inboxes and not in the realms of social media.

Still, it is true. On Facebook, the average social media post will be seen by roughly 5% of your followers. This holds true on most other social media platforms. Only about 5% will see your post unless you pay to increase the exposure.

By contrast, the average open rate is more than 20% for email blasts. And, with some tweaking, you can get even higher open rates.

But the big win in in the email versus social media context is according to the website emailisnotdead72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication” and “61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly“.

3. You Own Your Email List

This is one of the most important differences between email versus social media marketing. This is especially important when you are building a web-presence as a business and your primary income source.

On social media, you have no control over the provider, content delivery, or long-term plans. You are a user and consumer of the content but not an owner.

For example, for many people who relied heavily on Facebook, when Facebook changed their algorithm and slashed organic engagement overnight, this was a rude awakening.


It is apparent, in the email versus social media debate, email is your best and most reliable brand building communication tool.

But this does not mean dump all of your social media marketing? I believe there is room for both. Just be sure to work both with your eyes wide open. You own and are in control of your contact list. You are not in control of how social media platforms allow you to market to their lists. And, where you have an opportunity to reach 100% of your contacts, on average only about 5% of your followers will see your content on social media.

Share Your Thoughts.  [thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=”What are your thoughts on email versus social media? Is there a formula to get the best bang for your time investment?”] [/thrive_text_block] Leave your comment below.

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