For a small business, posting on social media or sending emails to their client base, both involve little if any financial outlay, but they both require an investment of time. Both can be beneficial to a business, but if you were short of time, which should you choose?
So, what are the benefits of email marketing?
- You own and control your data. It can’t be taken away from you. You can control how much data you collect and protect that data. With social media platforms, they control the data and own the platform, so you remain at their mercy! They also use you to gain data for their own benefit!
- You are not subject to algorithm changes. If social media platforms change their algorithms (as they have), it can impact on your ability to reach your target audience. The open rate on emails may not be that high, but you can influence that by the quality of your emails. You can also experiment, to see what works best! With social media, you are in the platform’s hands!
- You have complete control of communicating with your clients. You choose when to communicate with them, who receives the communication, how often you communicate and at what time. They may not always read your emails, but they will regularly go to their email platform and will be aware they have received an email from you. With social media, you cannot be so sure they will be on the platform and even know you have published a post directed at them! The platform may also choose not to show the post to your customer!
- Easy to measure your own results. Irrespective of the email service you choose, they come with analytics which allows you to get insight into what’s working and what’s not. Who is responding to your email campaigns and who isn’t? You can even set up a variety of links in your email and then see who clicks on what link. This information enables you to better serve your customers and prospects. Social media will give you analytics too, but they control it not you. Lose access to the platform and you lose that data. With email marketing, the data is yours to keep and the quality of that information remains better than with social media platforms.
Remember to always focus on metrics that are important, not getting caught up in vanity metrics such as likes. It is money in the bank that counts most, not how many likes or followers you have.
There is a place for both email marketing and social media in a small businesses’ repertoire, but if for any reason you need to choose, then there is a compelling case for email marketing! You can grow a small business without social media, but less likely without email marketing.