Reaching Key Decision Makers—B2B Email Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

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Despite concerns in the media over the death of email marketing, B2B email marketing continues to be the most effective strategy for reaching key decision-makers, year after year.

How Effective is B2B Email Marketing?

B2B marketing is all about reaching key decision-makers—and email marketing is the best way to do that. The goal of B2B email marketing is to provide senior executives with useful and highly relevant information, directly in their inboxes. This is a well-known and effective strategy for establishing credibility with key decision-makers.

However, each year, new media reports emerge calling for the death of email marketing. Whether the reasoning is new privacy regulations or increased use of social media, the media continues to predict the end of email marketing in the near future.

Statistically, these reports are wrong. Even with the explosion of marketing technology and tools in recent years, when it comes to reaching executives, email marketing is still the most effective strategy. In fact, according to HubSpot Research’s Global Survey, November – December 2019, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the previous 12 months. With the ROI of email marketing increasing as well, it is clear that email marketing continues to be highly effective.

In addition, marketers themselves vouch for the effectiveness of B2B email marketing. 45% of B2B marketers agree that email marketing is the most effective digital marketing tool. Plus, in 2019, 49.5% of marketers said they planned to increase their email marketing budget. Despite what the media predicts, these statistics demonstrate that email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tools out there.

How Effective is Social Media Advertising as an Alternative to B2B Email Marketing?

As we discussed briefly, some might consider social media advertising to be an alternative to B2B email marketing. The appeal of advertising online, in general, is understandable—it seems like a cost-effective way to reach a large number of individuals on the websites they frequently visit. However, it’s becoming clear that indiscriminately advertising on a large number of websites is an ineffective marketing strategy.

For example, in 2017, JPMorgan Chase narrowed down its advertising reach from 400,000 websites to 5,000 pre-approved websites—and saw no decrease in performance. This example demonstrates the ineffectiveness of online advertising for the sake of reaching a broad audience—this strategy doesn’t necessarily lead to increased sales. Plus, it is time-consuming to hand-select websites that are best suited for advertising.

On the other hand, many seasoned marketers emphasize the importance of social media advertising as these platforms grow in popularity—but not as an alternative to email marketing. Instead, some argue that email marketing and social media advertising should work together for the best results.

All of this is to say that social media and online advertising may be important elements of successful marketing, but they can’t replace email marketing in a business’s B2B digital marketing strategy.

Email vs. Social Media

On a number of direct comparisons, B2B email marketing comes out ahead of social media advertising in terms of effectiveness.

First, on the most basic level, more people use email than any given social media platform. Even Facebook, the most used social media platform in the world with 2.6 billion monthly active users, falls short of the world’s 3.9 billion email users. More email users mean more potential eyes on your marketing messages.

Additionally, the informality of social media is counterproductive to the relationships and credibility marketers must establish to succeed in B2B marketing. Social media platforms are simply not ideal venues for business discussions. Amongst the personal posts that dominate the most popular social media platform, Facebook, business discussions are out of place. Plus, there is a high chance that social media users will simply scroll past an unsolicited advertisement in their newsfeed—whereas email marketing targets users who have engaged with a company in the past, making them more likely to be responsive to marketing messages.

Finally, email marketing has proven its worth in terms of ROI. For every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses make $42 in return, according to the latest reports. This is a substantial ROI, especially compared to the $10.51 businesses make for every $1 spent on mobile marketing. This disparity speaks for itself—email marketing is worth the investment. 

To sum it all up, regardless of the media’s warnings about its impending doom, B2B email marketing is still the most effective strategy for reaching key decision-makers. With its high ROI, large user base, and popularity among marketers, B2B email marketing isn’t going away anytime soon.

Next Steps

SOMAmetrics designs and executes its proven 4-step high-quality lead generation programs to deliver more leads that close faster and at a higher rate for 20% of what it costs clients to produce in-house.

As a next step, download this white paper that describes the most effective way for B2B companies to generate high quality leads for their sales organization.

Then, let’s schedule a quick call to discuss how we may be able to help you build your high-quality lead generation programs.