Email vs Social Media

Email vs Social media - spend more time on your emails

Sending newsletters is usually only one part of the marketing communications you might send out to customers. In this post we’ll share why you should spend more time thinking about your emails and less time with your social media channels.

There’s no definitive study comparing social and email – it’s a pretty hard thing to do. Every website owner should review their own results for each of the channels, as it will vary.

Everything that’s contained in this post is gained from our own experience of using the various social channels and email over the past few years…


When you open an email, you’re only reading that one email, not multiple emails, so you’ve got that person’s attention – even if it’s just for a short time (about 8 seconds). But share good content and you’ll not only get lots of people reading it, but people will spend more of their time enjoying it (and that’s important for future opens).

With Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you’re competing with all the people and brands that a person has chosen to engage with, with multiple messages flashing up in front of the user at once. This makes it really hard to distinguish yourself, especially when people’s attention is divided between all the messages and means they probably won’t focus solely on what you have to say.


Not only are you having to wrangle with multiple messages, with Facebook you’re also having to fight the platform itself. Facebook want you to pay to reach your existing fans but they are always changing the rules on what type of content with get you in front of more eyes. With MailPoet you can email up to 1,000 subscribers for free!

Time factor

And with social media posts, timing is so much more important, because the life of a post is fleeting. Whilst a post’s lifetime could be minutes or hours, I’ve found that people are still reading emails I’ve sent out at least a week later.

Email is such an easy way to communicate with your customers because you can write as much or as little as you want – although we recommend you don’t make it too long (see our post about this and other mistakes to avoid in your newsletters), whereas you’re much more limited with how much you can say on social media – either by character limitation or by the nature and style of the network (you wouldn’t write paragraphs of content on Pinterest for example).

You can also present multiple types of content in a single email – allowing you to provide several opportunities to capture the interest of the reader at one time. If they don’t like one thing, then you still have more chances to show them something they might wish to read, rather than diverting their attention to something else.

Then there’s the time element – having a good social media strategy usually means you’ll need to dedicate quite a bit of time to finding fresh things to say to keep up with the fast paced nature of social. But we think it’s really easy to reuse your own existing content and present it in a slightly different way to your recipients without too much effort from you! Have a read of this and other time-saving tips.

How the numbers stack up

There’s no point saying all this without having some kind of proof, so we thought it would be good to share our own results. In order to fairly compare, we have take the total number of likers/followers/subscribers and used an average number of clicks per post to provide a click rate. This is what we found:


Number of likes: 4400

On a good post, we’ll achieve reach of about 27%. On a bad day reach will be as little as 11%.

Click rate as a percentage of total likers: 0.27%


Number of followers: 2300

Click rate as a percentage of total followers: 0.52%


Number of subscribers: 10,800

Open rate: 33% average

Click rate as a percentage of subscribers: 6.3%

As you can see, email engagement is so much higher for us! Sure, there will be a little bias given that we are a newsletter plugin but even so, the results for email far outstrip those of our social channels.

The true ROI

Finally, if you’re sending out sales newsletters, you might want to know that the average ROI was 2500% in 2013 and that was an increase of 16% year on year (source: DMA). The second-highest ROI for marketing activity is Google Adwords, at just under 1500%. It’s a no-brainer in our eyes…

If you are interested in seeing how much revenue you could generate from an email, why not try this handy Email ROI calculator? To help you – response rate means the click rate and the conversion rate means the rate at which people go on to purchase directly from clicking on your email. You can track your MailPoet campaigns ROI using Google Analytics with a paid MailPoet plan.