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Split Testing Social Media Vs. Email Marketing

written by John Chow on March 23, 2011


I guess I could call this part 7 of my Advanced Email Marketing for Bloggers but it’s not really that advanced so I won’t be including it as part of the series. The purpose of this post is to show the power of email marketing vs. social media marketing. Much has been said about how social media is the new king and email marketing is old news but the truth is, social media has a long ways to go.

For the past few days, I’ve been promoting a webinar I’m doing with Jonathan Volk and Zac Johnson. I structured this promotion to allow me to measure the response difference between social media marketing and email marketing.

For the first day and a half, I used nothing but Twitter and Facebook to promote the webinar. I sent out multiple tweets and Facebook wall posts. Then I fired up Aweber and promoted it with email.The difference is pretty shocking. Watch the video and see which one wins.

BTW – The webinar is more than half way sold out. Reserve your seat if you haven’t done so.

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Dukeo March 23, 2011 at 10:14 am

Well, I think the video speaks for itself… Social Media can’t beat Email List right now! By any chance, did you check the number again after 24 hours?

John Chow March 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

Ya, Email was in the lead by a factor of five.

Allen Walker March 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I guess that people check their email much more regularly than they do for their social media accounts in most cases. But having multiple options is good :)

Email List Building March 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hey John,

Nice post. I knew that email marketing would win but wasn’t sure by how much.

Social media may be gaining ground but still can’t compete with email lists.

It’s interesting how much attention social media gets as opposed to email marketing these days.

It’s great that you are keeping people aware of the facts.

PPC Ian March 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

Very good point! Social gets so much attention and hype, but email marketing is still king if you have a solid list.

d3so March 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

most people have email because it’s been around longer than social media. I know people that dont have either a fb or twtr acct but use email.

Blake @ Local SEO Texas March 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm

It isn’t so much that people check e-mail more regularly.. I would argue that some people spend way more time on social media. It is more about targeting and attention span.

An e-mail requires direct action: Respond, Delete, or choose to Ignore
Social media does not require an action. Even if you are checking 24/7 you’re still going to miss stuff; the more people you are following, the more stuff you miss.
I bet if targeted @mentions were used to invite people to the webinar, the response would be extremely high.

design flyer March 24, 2011 at 1:56 am

Thats right real point is about direct action..

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

No surprise indeed.

semmy @ Make Money Online March 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

Yes email marketing is more power full. Because we already make a relationship with the lists

d3so March 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Convinces me enough to concentrate on building my list.
I’m been focusing way too much on social media lately.

Penny Bid Auction Sites March 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I think Shoemoney did a study back a few months ago and basically showed that Twitter was worthless to advertise on.

PPC Ian March 24, 2011 at 9:17 am

Very interesting, I’ll have to check that out. I’m a fan of Twitter, but agree the leverage is less than other channels.

Peter Get My Ex Back Asap March 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I have never had any luck with Twitter for anything I have been doing – didn’t realize the email marketing was so much more effective though lol.

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

Well Twitter really had a boom in terms of advertising… Remember everyone talking about sponsored tweets and…
That really was a boom but email marketing will always remain on the top.

semmy @ Make Money Online March 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

Can you show me the link, it’s interesting to read.

d3so March 29, 2011 at 9:37 pm

that’s true but people are still doing it and i’m making money :)

Fazal Mayar March 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

That is interesting. Email marketing isnt just used by Internet marketers, it’s also used by big brand companies so they can offer their promotions to a list of subcribers.

Penny Bid Auction Sites March 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Yea, and some of those companies have lists in the hundreds of thousands.

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:23 am

Haven’t you heard “the money is in the list!”? :P

iPwnNoobs March 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

its official – social media is a waste of time! ;0
time to delete your twitter eh?

James @ Make Money Online Forever March 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Haha I wouldn’t go that far! You still have to get traffic to your website to get optins and build a list and social media is an awesome way to do that. Take people off Twitter and Facebook and get them to subscribe to your list. Not in a spammy way though. Be cool.

Penny Bid Auction Sites March 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Yea, maybe it is time to trash twitter since it’s nothing but Justin Bieber and stupid WhatWouldYou… hash tags all day long.

Email List Building March 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Twitter seems to be here to stay. Too many people use it, including celebrities. While a lot of the tweets are useless it can still be very useful for good stuff.

Penny Bid Auction Sites March 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Oh yea, I still us it, but I used to do a lot of PPC based on trends and now all the trends on twitter are worthless.

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

What we have to check is the conversion rate, to check if the price per sponsored tweet really worth the money.

Kate Kutny March 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

Great post John about email marketing. I really need to get Aweber and start email marketing soon! Oh and thanks again for inviting me to the webinar.

Blake Waddill @ Local SEO Texas March 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

There is so much noise on social media, it is hard to capture attention. I check my Twitter off and on throughout the day, my marketing list (which I check most frequently) only tracks 44 people, and I still never saw a tweet about this promo. While I can’t speak for facebook, I can say that you can only get so much attention from social media.

E-mail is more direct. If you @mentioned the same number of your followers on twitter as your e-mail list (e.g. you e-mail list has 5000 subscribers, you send mentions to 5000 of your followers), I bet you would have a better response from social media. Unfortunately, mentioning that many people is entirely unpractical/impossible.

Sathish @ TechieMania March 23, 2011 at 11:58 am

Hi John, I know Email marketing is the best way to get good conversion rate, but I have tried Social Media marketing (done few researches till now) and IMO it can beat email marketing if we fully focuses on our niche.

Penny Bid Auction Sites March 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Yea, you do have to build that list and get on the email bandwagon.

Hosting Mexico March 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I think that a good marketing plan should include a mix of all the channels at your disposal.

John Chow March 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Yes of course. My post was just meant to show the diff between the two. I am not recommending one to take email over social media. It’s always best to have a bunch of options.

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:30 am

Although if you ever need to choose, no doubt you should go for email marketing right? :P

John Chow March 25, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Of course. That goes without saying. :)

Avery Thompson March 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for the great information John! Believe it or not, this is my first time accessing your site and I’m floored. I had a chance to browse around and I’m learning so much from your information. I can assure you that I will be back to get more. Thanks alot for bringing some insight to me!

semmy @ Make Money Online March 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm

wow..thank you very much for this information John and you’re including the video to show the prove. Many thanks. using social media is wasting time. Money still on your lists.

Mike March 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I really think the best way is to use both. Email marketing though has more of a personal feel to it compared to being out in the open of social media.

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Penny Bid Auction Sites March 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I’ve heard that social media marketing doesn’t really return a very good ROI.

Email List Building March 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

There are people who are doing very well with it though. As John says the best thing is to use everything at your disposal. Testing things like John does will give you the proof of what is working and what’s not.

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

I suppose it depends on the plan you have, what you offer and the audience you’re offering to…

jasmine March 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm

i think social media is the best way compared to email marketing, because now a days, most of the people are using social media websites compared to emails, even some may not checking their mails also.

John Chow March 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

You are not even close. The #1 Internet activity is checking email. 92% of the internet population goes online to do that. Only 16% go online to use social media sites.

You really should have done some research before posting that comment. It just shows how out of touch you are with reality.

Blake @ Local SEO Texas March 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

That data is over 3 years old. A lot has changed since 2008. Living in the past John? JK – e-mail is still obviously more universally used than anything else on the internet.

John Chow March 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Ya, I know it’s 3 years old and social media is higher than 16% now but it’s now where close to 92%. :P

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips March 24, 2011 at 4:06 am

I think that is your strong point that you draft everything perfectly.

You planned your promotion and with this you able to know which one is correct and which one is not.

ZK @ Web Marketing Tips March 24, 2011 at 4:27 am

You certainly organise your schedule quite well and as a result you will be able to differentiate the output.

shooby March 24, 2011 at 5:09 am

Hello, Thanks for sharing this. I will review your eBook and follow your instruction which you wrote. I think social media is a great way, it help me in my work and my life . it make me connecting with world.

Nick Stamoulis March 24, 2011 at 7:19 am

I say why not get the best of both worlds and use both social media marketing and e-mail marketing to promote the same thing. Social media hasn’t driven e-mail marketing into extinction like many thought it might, but social media has limits of its own. The two platforms need to work together to get the best possible promotion.

Jon March 24, 2011 at 7:27 am

I don’t think Jasmine even SAW the video to make a statement like that. Social media is still just that… social, so email marketing is still as effective as ever because you can build a more personal relationship with your list. Thanks for the great video, John. I can’t wait until that webinar too! I’m stoked.

fas March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

But email marketing is more expensive as well

John Chow March 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

You get what you pay for? :)

make money blogging March 25, 2011 at 8:32 am

That’s realtive.

Cyprus Web Design March 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Maybe email marketing has better ROI but i think social media can be more effective. I believe in Marketing where the good marketer is not using the “pushing” method to customers but he is able to get people’s attention and make them come by their selves. But thats just me

anitha March 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

social media marketing is totally different from email marketing

Brooklyn Dentist March 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I wish I could attend your webinar with Zac Johnson. I am a big fan of both you. Hopefully there is still a slot available when I got my schedule fixed for that day.

semmy @ Make Money Online March 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

same like mine here. Looking forward John webinar.

Latest Entertainment News March 25, 2011 at 1:37 am

social media marketing which helps us to earn more traffic and earnings but email marketing is different from it

Nice Photo Gallery March 25, 2011 at 1:44 am

I will check it out… Thanks for the info.

Ari Lestariono March 25, 2011 at 8:22 am

Promotion is something you can done and doing it in a long terms, like running a marathon rather sprint test.

Andrew @ Blogging Guide March 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

You’ve hit it smack down on this article you have here. I’ve always thought of them as two separate methods that are only complementary. More like gain new leads via social media then use them on your email campaign. Great job. Keep it up.

George Tee March 30, 2011 at 12:40 am

That was an awesome comparison, john. Email marketing got more sign up than social media. Traffic from social media updates comes in bursts lasting as long as it takes for the message to fall off the bottom of the feed while on Email marketing has a very long tail, so consider the timeliness of your message. One can do both at the same time.

entertainment news April 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

social media which will earn a lot traffic for us

singer divya April 2, 2011 at 2:52 am

face book and twitter are the best social media sites to earn and do business in online, all over the world.

anitha April 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm

i love facebook to share my thoughts

guru April 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

That just re wrote everything I knew about social/email marketing. This totally confirms it, the money is in the list.

latest technology updates April 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

good list mate, i also wrote something about this in my blog, but here i found some thing really interesting words, which will be useful for me to update.

Sergio Felix May 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Facebook is pretty much bloated by all the constant updating in the timelines and with tweeter is very easy to miss tweets unless you’re actively watching the stream of your favorite person.

An email broadcast, goes well… directly to you, there’s no way you can miss that unless you’re subscribed to a ton of lists which is hardly the case these days.

So yes… email list is still king.

Thanks for the video John.