In the early days of email, the great debate of direct mail vs. email raged. Today, the focus has shifted to the myriad online platforms for communication, with email facing off against social media for your marketing dollars. There are three times more email accounts than Twitter and Facebook accounts combined. If you're putting all your focus on your trending social media platforms, you may find that your efforts are in the wrong place.

Is Email Social Media's Equal?
Engagement on social media is painfully low compared to email engagement. Customers are five times more likely to see your message in their inbox than they are in a Facebook feed. It's increasingly difficult to get your group or business posts to show up in a customer's feed, and the correct algorithm for doing so changes often.

While you still need to use smart marketing tactics to avoid the dreaded spam folder with email, this marketing approach is much more familiar. Most seasoned marketers know the best way to reach customers with emails, increasing the effectiveness of email marketing vs. social media.

Social Media Sentiments Are Often Negative
Social media is an excellent platform for engaging with your customers, but it's important to note that this interaction isn't always positive. While negative responses are glaringly public on social media, email offers a more discreet form of interaction.

On Facebook, just 49 percent of user interaction is positive, while 32 percent is neutral and 20 percent is negative, according to Freely.net. Positive feedback increases slightly to 53 percent on Google Plus and to 55 percent on Twitter, but this still leaves about 1 in 5 customers interacting negatively with a brand.

Business Communications Take Place Over Email
Email is still seen as the bedrock of business communications. A Pew Research survey found that, while 61 percent of workers say email is important to their job, only 4 percent feel the same about social media. If you're crafting a B2B marketing campaign, email is clearly the way to go. Social media communications simply lack the professional clout to make the right impression with a business audience.

Emails Offer More Information and Flexibility
On a social media platform, you're restricted by the layout and capabilities of the site. Twitter forces you to condense your thoughts into a handful of characters, while Facebook readers have to click to read more if they want to see a lengthy message. In an email, you have the freedom to share your entire message with no restrictions. Email marketing software can help you build attractive and engaging messages that really showcase your brand.

The results speak for themselves. Emails are six times more likely to get a click-through than Twitter posts. The stigma about the difficulty of getting followers is false as well. With the right tactics, you can get as many email followers as social media followers, and these leads are primed to perform better.

If you're looking for a fresh way to improve your marketing campaigns, the result may well lie in turning back to a more traditional approach. While social media certainly has its place, it's not worth ditching your email subscribers.

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