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Can Social Media Marketing Provide The Same Payback As Focused Email Marketing?

Businesses will continue to rely on email marketing, despite the rising ballyhoo about social networks as the ultimate marketing tool. While some enthusiasts claim that social media marketing is taking the place of email, it’s more an attempt to get clicks and attention than disseminate facts. Just look at your inbox now; how many emails are from brands you chose to give your address to?
Recent search engine modifications strive to ensure that social media product branding continues to grow in popularity. It’s cool, it’s sexy and it’s profitable for those who promote it as a primary marketing tool. However, it’s also profitable to a lesser degree to the businesses that apply it. But is it a cost effective marketing tool?
Major retail companies continue to fire out targeted emails that hook into the buying power of the public in a way that current social media marketing can’t hope to match. According to The Columbus Dispatch, the return on email marketing campaigns exceeds the return on social media marketing campaigns by better than 3-1 per advertising dollar. In 2012, business email campaigns provided retail companies with nearly $40 in sales per advertising dollar whereas social media marketing produced less than $13 per dollar spent in advertising.

Social Networking: A Cash-consuming Surrogate for Business Email Marketing or a Partner

According to a 2013 survey released by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, business owners average 4.4 hours per day in social network interaction. The Ipsos report claims that 63% of young Americans use social networking to pull current information on brands and products. Senior executives and company decision-makers are also more likely to stay in-the-know via social media. The media’s message to modern marketers is simple: It pays to play in a social environment.
But consider the expense of full-fledged setup and management. In a 2012 report on the costs of social media, Mack Collier culled together some of the top minds in the field. Here are his conclusions:

  • Customized Blog Creation – $1,000 to $5,000
  • Monthly Blog Maintenance, Including the Cost of Web Hosting – $500 to $4,000
  • Twitter Account Setup – $500 to $2,000
  • Monthly Twitter Maintenance – $500 to $2,500
  • Facebook Page Setup – $500 to $2,500
  • Monthly Facebook Maintenance – $500 to $3,000.

We haven’t discussed the costs of custom videos, social media contests, consulting fees or any Google Plus entries. Social media marketing is expensive. Before casting all of your funds into the whirlpool of endless blogging, consider your intended business goals. What solution best fits your marketing strategies?

Combining the Best of Both Concepts

Perhaps the arguments should end. Wise managers are already learning how to merge business email marketing with social media marketing.
Social media marketing is time consuming and very expensive, yet it reaches consumers on a daily basis via their daily surfing habits. Email marketing is time-tested, effective and cost-efficient. Consider the common denominators:

  • Both require an email address
  • Both require a website, a strong landing page and reliable web hosting
  • As a whole, Internet users prefer email as a primary means of contact
  • Email prompts social network enthusiasts to make online purchases
  • Social media prompts users to read business issued emails.

When the two are combined into a single marketing concept, social networking enhances the bi-directional features of email communication and email ramps up the return-on-investment associated with social media marketing. Perhaps it time you focused on the best of each concept. After all, the final measure of how successful your marketing package performs boils down to costs versus sales.

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