For business owners, it's often difficult to fully comprehend the real values of email and social media. These are vulnerable to new developments in technology, internet practices and cultural trends. It's not about what businesses view as the most important promotional tool, it's really a question of what produces the best results.
Social media is a powerful tool. When combined, Twitter and Facebook have more traffic than Google, with upwards of 32 percent of followers actively seeking and sharing product information. These platforms offer a great deal of interactive contact between businesses and consumers. They've also become indispensible to viral and word-of-mouth campaigns.
Email marketing is a particularly effective and measurable direct communication channel. With the emphasis on maintaining relationships with existing customers, we can say that email marketing is subject to more calculated, segmented distribution. Email's proportionally high retention benefits more or less outweigh any alternatives.
What's most obvious and important to understand is that these two platforms operate very differently and offer very different advantages. So why rely on one or the other? It should come as no surprise that merging these two channels has shown impressive and cost-effective results.
It's estimated that around 40 percent of email marketing recipients use social sites to search for commercial information. This could seem like a trivial figure, but despite the social evolution, email is far from dead. Ninety-two percent of adult internet users consistently send and read email. The average digital consumer is estimated to be about 37-years-old and participates prominently in the sharing of commercial content and recommendations. While email already delivers the highest return on investment of any marketing medium, it's even more profitable when combined with social media.
Given the growing importance of integrated communications and convergence marketing, email marketing service providers have been adding tools and features to make it easier for consumers to unite their online channels. Email can now be married to social and professional networking sites, all with the addition of prompts from one medium to the next.