In late 90’s email marketing emerged as another source of marketing for businesses apart from the traditional ways of marketing. Email Marketing involved using emails to send ads or inform about products, sales and offers to potential or current customers. Personalized e-mails were sent to acquire new customers and to current customers, convincing them to purchase the product or service. In those days, as it was an emerging channel of marketing for businesses, there was less competition out there. Hence, Click through and Open Rates were quite high making email marketing an inexpensive and efficient form of marketing.
Enter Social-Media, and marketing underwent a powerful transformation. Social-Media Marketing, a form of eWoM marketing is free and can go viral very quickly if social networking platforms like Facebook and/or Twitter are used. Email marketing is going through the inevitable, a decline in click through and open rates, reaching rock bottom value of 0.01%.
The reason for such a low percentage is quite simple and obvious. Email marketing takes time and should be highly targeted to avoid being classified as a spammer. On the other hand, Social-Media Marketing creates a deep bond between a business and their potential customers by helping them have real-time and personalized conversations. The main difference between email and social media, though, is that email is private by default, whereas social media is significantly open. With email, a person cannot observe which brand or business his friends and acquaintances prefer; whereas with social media one gets an idea of not just what his friends prefer, but can also get to know what are the reviews of the public in general about a particular brand or company. Reports show that customers are more influenced by the opinion of a friend or acquaintance who has used the product or service as compared to those influenced by an email. The fundamental shift of consumers from email to social media have made businesses rethink their future marketing channels to reach their customers.
Social-Media Marketing is slowly killing email marketing which has been beaten down by regulations. Last year Mark Zuckerberg spoke out against email marketing, claiming that in the future, email will be replaced by message-based services. Today, more and more SMBs are switching to Social-Media Marketing to generate brand awareness, improve search engine rankings and network with a broader audience.