Updated: Jan 13, 2021

As a digital marketing agency, we often see businesses focus solely on certain types of digital marketing services. With so many varieties of digital marketing options, it is important to choose the methods that will deliver results for your goals. In this blog, we have dissected the three key differences between email marketing and social media marketing as even though they might appear similar there are some important differences between the two.

Audience specific

Email marketing is delivered via an email list, this list can be segmented, for example to existing clients and potential clients. This means that different content can be aimed at those audiences. Email marketing focuses on your recipient taking action once they have read the content of your email. Email marketing can send specific offers or information based on the email list and that is one of the best features of this type of digital marketing.

Social media marketing doesn’t possess the same opportunity for targeted content that email marketing does. Social media marketing offers the same message to everyone, regardless of what their relationship is with your business. Social media marketing focusses more on brand awareness and brand loyalty leading to an increase in sales, rather than direct action. Social media marketing plays a long game.


Email marketing only allows for a specific type of response, predominantly; purchase or delete. The only interaction you will have with the people on your email list is when they become a customer. Email marketing is concise and simple.

Social media marketing commands much more input. A successful social media marketing campaign will instigate engagement with followers and that will require response beyond the original status update or tweet. Social media marketing builds relationships with followers before converting them to clients and that requires thought and effort from the social media manager. We can’t say it enough, you must be social on your socials.


Email marketing comes with a whole host of useful statistics. You will be able to see how many people opened the email, how many times the links were used and how many emails did not reach a recipient. Email marketing is also less time-sensitive than social media marketing as the email will sit in an inbox until the subscriber chooses to open and read it whereas social media posts, albeit they remain visible, are unlikely to be viewed once they drop off the timeline. Social media marketing has a much faster pace and the content has a shorter lifespan than that of an email.

Social media marketing analyses the statistics of content differently. You can measure how many people specifically liked a post and the reach of each post can be monitored. Again, engagement with content is the key to successful social media marketing.


So, although social media marketing and email marketing have their different uses, they are similar in certain ways too. They both deliver content to an audience that has already shown interest in your business or product. They both operate online, and they can both prove to be extremely successful when executed correctly. The true success of both social media marketing and email marketing truly depends on your business’ relationship with the recipient of the content. Poorly planned and un-engaging content on either platform will not reap results. We often talk about engaging content for social media marketing, however, it is important that email marketing offers the same thing to invest in building a rapport with the recipient and get to a place of trust, understanding and mutual benefit, which is what we strive to have in any kind of relationship, right?

Get in touch with Purely Personal Marketing for more information on how our expertise and creativeness can help your business reach more customers.  

For information on Social Media Marketing, just drop us an email at

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