Surprising stats about email marketing vs. social media

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I recently uncovered some interesting facts about email marketing while researching for some new materials we’re creating and they really got me thinking.

Email marketing statistics
  • Email is 40x more likely to create customers than social media (source)
  • 60% of people who sign up for company emails expect to get promotional emails (source)
  • 20% of people who follow companies on social expect promotion (source)
  • On average, email reaches 85% of people it’s sent to (and the open rate average is 25%—though it’s not uncommon to see much much higher open rates, including my own) (sources: various, including compilation here)
  • On social media (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) a good engagement rate is 1-3% (source) 


It’s incredibly difficult to gain traction on social. Like so much in marketing, it is a numbers game in many (not all) ways.

You may think that this makes me an anti-social (media) person but I’m actually not! In fact, I argue that we should be thinking of our social outlets in the same way we think about blogs (which—real talk—most organizations should prioritize over building social content).

Like blogs, our social channels should artfully engage people enough so that they’re motivated to get even better content via email.

Social media, just like SEO, is unpredictable and often volatile (anyone remember many years ago when pages’ reach on Facebook went from 90% of fans to 1-2%?).

Invest energy in reminding people that you have an awesome email newsletter (literally tell them that) and deliver it on a consistent schedule.

It will pay off—pinky swear!

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