Traditional vs. Social: How Email & Social Media Stack Up

checking email
Digital marketer tests email to see how it compares to social media

As much as we believe in the power of social media, and especially advertising through social media, email is still king.

86% of consumers like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% like to get them daily.

Clearly, we love email! Not just we, as in me and my co-workers, but we, the collective people.

If someone signs up for your business’ emails/newsletters, it’s an open invitation to market to them. They WANT to know what you have to say and how you can help them. If you’re smart about the types of emails you send, it can pay off big – helping retain current customers and potentially score new ones.

In fact, according to Campaign Monitor, a popular email marketing resource, expect an ROI of 3800% and $38 for every $1 spent.

But how does email marketing measure against running Facebook ads? Is it superior, or can they work hand-in-hand?

How Email & Social Media Stack Up

Pros –


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to track for conversion and calculate ROI
  • Sign-ups have expressed interest in your brand and message

Facebook Ads:

  • Ability to make edits in real-time and easy A/B testing
  • Reach potential customers that haven’t heard of you

Considering many quality email services are free to use (like Mailchimp and their Forever Free option) then, you are already at an advantage over Facebook ads which require you to spend money for that kind of reach.

We consider the best approach to use a combination of both. Nurture and grow your email list and spend the time it takes to deliver great emails. At the exact same time, run a Facebook ad campaign that grows your email list (a lead gen ad or a link ad).

It’s utilizing the strengths of both tactics, and that’s working smart!

Cons –


  • Reliability of landing in the inbox and the email being opened
  • One-way communication

Facebook Ads:

  • More expensive than email
  • Potential to waste money if managed poorly
  • Time investment – set-up, monitoring, analytics

For an open rate is 8.9%, that means almost 90% of your business’ email list does not open your email. It can be an unreliable tactic when you have a really important message to get out. Email also lacks the social part that is such a strength of social media. When you run Facebook ads, you have the ability to interact in real-time and get a clear read on how your message is being received.

Give It A Try

There are advantages to both email marketing and social media ads, but the best strategy of all just might be using them together for your business!