Email Marketing vs Digital Marketing: The ULTIMATE Face-off

Let me guess: You’re wondering which marketing strategy is better: email or digital marketing. Knowing the answer is a pathway to better customer appeal. Before we get into the comparison, remember that email marketing is a part of digital marketing.

Email marketing is a better choice when you want to strengthen your relationships with existing customers. An email is a better way to approach existing clients to make more purchases. On the other hand, digital marketing is ideal when dealing with a broad and new audience.

Knowing which is the better choice will become more obvious by comparing digital marketing to email marketing. Let’s analyze these strategies to see which is suitable for you.

Email Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: A Head-To-Head Comparison

1. Brand Recognition Vs Customer Interaction

The power and impact of email marketing work only for the online audience, making it a favorable marketing solution for eCommerce companies.

Such companies can earn great social media recognition, likes, and shares from email campaigns. The strategy can help build a loyal customer base via direct contacts and referrals.

Increasing brand recognition is typically the aim of digital marketing.

Since the objective is to tell as many people as possible about products and services, digital marketing campaigns rarely focus on how customers interact with advertisements.

With this strategy, many businesses have become well-known, and this brand recognition influences consumer behavior.

Brand Recognition Vs Customer Interaction

2. Wider Audience Vs Target Audience

Email marketing efforts often use adverts relevant to target specific audiences.

Marketers can leverage engaging and relevant content to target a more precise audience, boost sales, and develop a loyal client base.

This is helpful for businesses to address clients about their latest offerings in a more personalized and targeted way.

With digital marketing, the target audience’s range of interests is frequently wider.

Local digital marketing advertisements in shopping centers or billboards target individuals in a specific area, hoping that some will be interested in the goods or services offered.

Similar to local digital ads, adverts that appear in search engine results, advertisements, and mobile apps target various people but are a little more focused.

3. Cost Efficiency

BasisDigital MarketingEmail Marketing
Setup CostModerateLow
Cost Per LeadModerateLow
Maintenance CostModerately HighLow
Cost Per ConversionHighLow

Setting up and maintaining email marketing campaigns is typically less expensive than digital marketing strategies. Furthermore, it offers a cheaper cost per conversion and lead.

I have an in-depth article on month wise email marketing ideas to help you curate a strategic plan.

However, digital marketing can have a higher ROI when leveraged to reach a larger audience. It’s your budget and objectives that finally determine the best marketing strategy for your business.

If you’re tight on the budget yet need to produce leads out of a specific audience, email marketing is for you.

However, with way more to spend, you can connect with a larger audience and boost conversions, thanks to digital marketing.

4. Return On Investment

BasisDigital MarketingEmail Marketing
Conversion Rate1-2%2-3%
Customer Lifetime ValueHighModerately-Low
Cost Per LeadHigh ($50 or more)Low ($20 or less)
Average ReturnModerately-High ($20 for $1)High ($40 for $1)

You can see that the average ROI for email marketing is higher than for digital marketing. That’s because email marketing is a more individualized and focused kind of advertising.

In fact, I’ve covered more on this in my article on Email Marketing ROI Statistics.

You can segment your list based on demographics, interests, and past purchases to send more relevant and interesting emails.

As a result, click-through rates, open rates, and conversion rates increase. However, digital marketing can reach a larger audience compared to email marketing.

From social media marketing to SEM and display ads, digital marketers leverage various strategies to target customers unaware of your brand.

The expense of doing this is higher but may result in more leads and sales. However, funnel strategies are not relevant for digital marketing (click the link to know more).

Return On Investment

5. Personalization

BasisDigital MarketingEmail Marketing
Targeting MessagesCapable of targeting messages to a wide audience, but not any specific groups or individuals.Capable of targeting messages to a specific group of people or individuals.
ExamplesSEM campaigns with targeted keywords and social media ads with targeted hashtags.Email content with personalized stuff like a call to action, tailored subject lines, and more.

One thing to note: If you produce content with automated tools and integrate it with others, your email marketing campaign can reach a wider audience too. This is already true for digital marketing.

You can tailor your messaging to particular persons or groups via email marketing and individualized advertising. Your email list can be segmented based on interests, demographics, or activities.

Let’s simplify it: You won’t send the same email to your boss that you send to your friends. Likewise, you won’t send the same email to existing and prospective customers.

Although digital marketing can be customized, email marketing is more personalized.

This is because digital marketing channels are frequently utilized to reach a larger audience, and focusing your messaging on particular people isn’t always possible.

6. Ease of Use

Let’s say your company is small yet scaling progressively with limited resources. Email marketing is the best strategy because it is easy to set up and run, especially when targeting a specific demographic.

On the other hand, digital marketing tactics like SEM and SEO or PPC ads are ideal when your company has enough resources.

Although somewhat complex to use, these strategies always succeed in connecting with the broader audience. 

Email Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: A Stats-To-Stats Comparison

  • However, Pew Research Institute says that the same population, 66% of US adults, believe or are confident in their email provider for their data security.

These stats suggest email marketing is more targeted, private, and secure. Digital marketing, on the other end, entails a wide spectrum of marketing efforts.

Email Marketing Vs Digital Marketing INFOGRAPHICS

Email Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: Which One To Choose For Your Business?

By considering the particulars of the product and target market, it is simpler to determine which marketing approach is most effective.

Both strategies have unique advantages. Leverage tools like social media posts, videos, websites, and banner ads to connect with a wider audience.

Email marketing efforts can be more individualized and adapted to your consumer base’s preferences.

Although it may take more work initially, email marketing pays off long-term. I’ve talked more about this in my article showing how email marketing is different.

But using digital marketing successfully and swiftly can help you spread your message.

Digital marketing may be carried out swiftly, on a large scale, and whenever you want. Real-time results tracking enables you to make any necessary corrections.

Email marketing, on the other hand, needs more preparation and often takes longer to see results. I have a helpful article on how long it takes for email marketing to work to give you some reasonable estimates.

Your company’s unique marketing requirements, budget, and objectives will help you determine which marketing strategy to choose.

For the long-term growth and scale of business, digital marketing should be at its core. However, to target specific customers, especially the existing ones, go for email marketing.

Email Marketing Vs Digital Marketing Which One To Choose For Your Business

Provide Value First, Sell Later

Emails, a segment of digital marketing, should be the essence of your targeted marketing campaigns. Digital marketing should be in effect for campaigns intending long-term results.

Whatever marketing strategy you choose, the objective is to produce high-quality content and provide value to your customers.

As the adage goes, content is king, and it will be a significant determinant of the success of your strategies.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to do BJJ and play with his pet bunny when not taking a plunge into the vast ocean of funnel design, email marketing, copywriting, conversions, and customer retention.

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