Resources Hub » Infographics » Email Marketing vs. Other Digital Marketing Channels

Article first published in November 2018, updated July 2019.

Marketing is constantly evolving, and there are multiple ways in which marketers may appeal to consumers. Email, social media, and advertisements are resources used to engage customers.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is more or less an umbrella term for marketing that takes place over several different digital channels, including email, social media, and more. This media is often viewed via display advertising, over the internet, using mobile phones and any other digital medium. It’s used not only to inform the public of a brand, but to advertise their products and services as well.

What is email marketing?

In short, email marketing is a more specific form of digital marketing. This channel uses email to deliver a brand’s marketing message to a list of email subscribers who have explicitly consented to receive promotional and marketing material from a brand. This specific channel is one of the most popular because it generates the overall highest return on investment.

Choosing which digital marketing channel is right for your brand

During some research of our own, we asked small businesses which channels they thought would improve their overall brand awareness: We saw that social media, email marketing, and video marketing were listed as the top three digital platforms. These were followed up by content marketing, online paid media, and digital display advertising.

However, which marketing channel holds the most promise? Which one will provide more bang for your buck? The bad news is that no one channel can truly fulfill the needs of each and every brand out there. Why—because in marketing, you have to know who your audience is and where they’re located.

The best way to figure out which digital channel is best for your individual brand is to ask yourself the following: Where does your audience spend the most time?

  • On social media?
  • Watching/Streaming Videos?
  • Listening to podcasts?
  • Checking their emails?
  • Strolling through the internet?

Once you can answer these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of where to best spend your digital marketing budget. However, if you want to know what the data says, then you’ll probably find these figures worthwhile.

Let’s compare email marketing and other marketing channels so you can make the best choice for your brand.

Email marketing vs. other digital marketing channels

Social media marketing vs. email marketing

  • ~74% of Facebook users deleted the Facebook app between 2017 and 2018. (Pew Research Center & Statista)
  • The number of email users is projected to grow 3% each year until 2021. (Radicati)
  • 49% of U.S. consumers are not very or not at all confident that Facebook will keep their data secure. (Hub Entertainment Research & Statista)
  • 66% of U.S. adults feel somewhat or very confident that their email providers will protect their data. (Pew Research Institute)
  • 37% of U.S. consumers say they don’t trust social media companies with their data. (Hub Entertainment Research & Statista)
  • 75% of consumers are willing to share personal data with a brand they trust. (GroundTruth)
  • 30% of millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month. (Sprout Social)
  • 73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication. (WordStream)
  • 48% of Americans have interacted with companies or institutions on at least one social media network. (LinkedIn)
  • 80% of retail professionals indicate email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention vs. social media, which identified by just 44%. (WordStream)
  • There are ~2.34 billion social media users worldwide. (Statista)
  • There are ~3.8 billion email users worldwide. (Radicati)
  • 81% of the U.S. population has a social media account. (Statista)
  • 90.9% of the U.S. population will use e-mail monthly in 2019. (Statista)
  • The numbers show that 52% of social media marketers admit to having experienced challenges when reviewing ROI (Return on Investment). (Curata)
  • Email marketing earns $38 for every $1 spent. (Campaign Monitor)

Paid advertising vs. email marketing

  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. (Economic Impact & Google Ads)
  • For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. (Campaign Monitor)
  • The average click-through rate (CTR) in Google Ads across all industries is 3.17% for the search network and 0.46% on the display network. (WordStream)
  • Average email CTR worldwide is 3.2% and above. (SuperOffice)
  • 64% of consumers say ads today are annoying or intrusive. (SmallBizTrends)
  • 73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication. (ProCurious)
  • 92% of online ads aren’t even noticed. (LinkedIn)
  • 70% of individuals want to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising. (Inc.)

Wrap up

Email reaches more users for less. As you outline your upcoming business strategy, make sure you use email marketing to connect with your customers. With its powerful ROI, far-reaching quality, and continued relevance, email marketing is worth the effort.

Need help setting up your email marketing strategy? Then why not check out our guide to building a foolproof email marketing strategy template and let Campaign Monitor help get you started on the right foot.

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