Social media and e-mail marketing can still be friends (or atleast relatives)…

The fear of a social media (hostile) takeover is growing these days among digital marketers.  In fact, according to MarketingSherpa, 23% of e-mail marketers thought “competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention” was a challenge for the channel in 2009, and 71% believed it would gain in importance in 2010.

While social media is gaining traction by the day, we marketers should not fear an early demise of other internet-related marketing channels.  Or, traditional marketing channels for that matter!   If you do “fear the Reaper” when it comes to social media, take heart…here are some statistics from several studies that might cheer you up… (as usual, this data came from eMarketer).

  • ExactTarget’s “2009 Channel Preference Study” found that e-mail was the preferred written communication source, with 57% of US Internet users preferring it for written communication compared with 24% for texting and just 10% for social networking.
  • In an Accenture study of millennials, respondents reported spending more time communicating via e-mail than by social networking.  
    • That said, texting took up 3.9 hours a week—1 hour more than social networking, blogging and tweeting combined.
  • More than seven in 10 e-mail users told Windows Live (through their blog) they would rather talk to their friends and family through e-mail than through social networks.
    • That said, text messaging is still king with almost half of the respondents to the Windows Live blog saying they prefer texting to e-mail as a communications channel.

US E-Mail Users Who Prefer E-Mail vs. Social Networks for Online Communication with Friends and Family, January 2010 (% of respondents)


US E-Mail Users Who Prefer E-Mail vs. Text Messaging for Online Communication with Friends and Family, January 2010 (% of respondents)


So what is an internet marketer to do?  I say we have to figure out a way to fully integrate our social media and e-mail marketing campaigns.  Only then will we be able to capture this “digital” market’s attention.

Happy marketing!

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