Social media has become much more than just a platform for sharing your favorite recipe or posting selfies. Services like Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat have become must-have tools for companies looking to spread their message across a wide audience. So does that mean only out-of-touch dinosaurs use traditional email marketing?

Now hear this: email marketing is not dead. In fact, when it comes to overall conversions, studies show that email marketing is legions ahead of social media. The CMO Council reports that email marketing pulls in an average 4,300% return on investmentdinosaurs say what?

Email marketing doesn’t seem to get the credit it deserves (don’t worry, we’re not biased, follow us on Twitter). We don’t think you need to choose one or the other, both have their benefits, but rather email and social marketing should work together to grow your business.

Here’s why we think you should be prioritizing email marketing and social media:

The numbers don’t lie

There are about 2.5 billion email users worldwide, almost three times the amount of Twitter and Facebook users combined. What does that mean for marketers? A huge opportunity to generate traffic and revenue using a platform many people already have.

Social media platforms themselves depend on email for things like password resets and confirmation messages. Typically, you need to register an email address to even sign up for any social site.

Email: the original social media?

It may be hard to imagine a world without constant Facebook updates, but before flashy social media, there was email.

Email has staying power, it isn’t a trendy app or website of the moment. Who knows where our favorite social networks will be in a few yearsanyone remember Myspace? While the hottest new social platforms have a shelf life, email has longevity. It might seem outdated, but it’s here to stay.

We think social media is an amazing modern marketing tool, and it’s easy to integrate social with email marketing. Use your social media platforms as a way to promote email content, like e-newsletters. And in your e-newsletters, link out to your social media pages or create incentives to follow your social accounts.

Better for B2B

Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are great for businesses to communicate with their audience at a rapid-fire pace. But when it comes to cultivating lasting partnerships and professional relationships, email is the better choice. Not only is email a more traditional and familiar communication channel for many people, but it’s a way to build up your reputation as a strong and relevant marketer.

Our advice for using social media for B2B? Think of it as a creative outlet. Social media can be a great way to break up your marketing plan with fun, fresh messages. Use social media to present light, “chocolate cake” content to your audience that can then link back to your website or email assets.

There is a time and a place for a social media post versus an email. Knowing when to use social media versus email marketing to deliver a message is keynothing screams “newbie” like an in-depth Facebook post addressing your investors on the latest company merger.

Inbox versus newsfeed

The big difference between sending an email versus a tweet or Facebook post is that subscribers have to interact with your message if it lands in their inbox. That’s a big ifyour email has to jump through several deliverability hoops, like:

  • Whether or not you’re CAN-SPAM compliant.
  • The strength of your sender and IP reputation.
  • The cleanliness of your contact list (this ensures you’re sending to valid addresses to avoid getting blacklisted).

Long story short? Deliverability is complicated, but we’ve broken it down for you in our new, interactive Email Deliverability Guide.

Even in the most cluttered inbox, no matter how hard you scroll, your message is still waiting. With social media posts, it’s a little trickier. You’re hoping to hit a perfect, optimized window of time to maximize engagement. Just like email marketing, the email itself has a longer shelf life than any instantaneous social post.  


If focusing energy on both social and email marketing seems like a tall order, just remember how easily the two can work together. Cross-promote your content across all platforms, email and social, to grow your brand, business, and reputation as a marketer. Remember these quick tips to help keep your head on straight:

  • Keep your emails optimized for mobile devices, so that people can move seamlessly from an app to their inbox, and vice versa, without missing any information or graphics.
  • Know your audiencecheck out our Email Marketing to Millennials blog post for advice on how to engage those crazy kids.
  • Don’t neglect email marketing to focus totally on social media, and vice versa. Cross-promote across all platforms to further grow your brand or business.

For even more email marketing, dive into our Email Marketing Survival Kit to learn the do’s and don’ts of running your own campaign.

Lauren Alworth
As a summer intern on the Content Marketing team at SendGrid, Lauren is slowly but surely getting her feet wet in the email marketing world. She studies Public Relations and English at Boston University. In her free time she can be found hiking, horseback riding, reading historical biographies, and using the Oxford comma.