The thing is -- it never stacks up. People in email marketing know it's not the case and so too does anyone who takes off their social blinkers to take a look at what real-life marketers are telling them. The latest Get Response figures are analysed in Small Business Trends today, looking at what companies will be spending more on this year than last.
There are no prizes for guessing the one channel that soars head and shoulders above all others. That's right, with 58% of companies revealing that email investment is going to increase this year, the channel gets the nod ahead of social, on which 50% are planning to increase spend. We should be clear here -- this is social media advertising. We're not talking free posts -- we're very much in the realm of advertising.
Which brings us to a point. How do social media advertising campaigns often work? Well, savvy marketers will upload their email list and ask Facebook to go and find a similar audience. That's right, it often starts with an email list. Brands can obviously pick out attributes, incomes, regions, hobbies and demographics as a tick-box exercise but often this is aided by an email list.
It will come as little surprise that email comes top for ROI, among those surveyed, closely followed by social advertising. Of course, the point is worth making again -- this ROI with Facebook advertising is increased through that all-important email list that helps an advertiser find similar people on the service.
So just in case you need a line to back up why your organisation does email marketing and doesn't focus on collecting likes and shares, remind whoever's asking that whenever companies are asked, email always comes out top for ROI. It has also just been named the one channel that marketers will be spending more on this year compared to last, and so is proving more valuable to companies than social advertising.
In fact, this will likely prove a good segue into a grown-up conversation about Facebook which, to all extents and purposes, is an advertising channel, like any other. However, those companies which can go beyond being able to imagine a picture of what their customers look like and instead offer an email list which allows Facebook to find people like them, is always going to get more bang for their buck on social.
Email marketing reigns supreme, then, in its own right as well as the means of getting the most out of social.
Not a bad place to be, for a forty-year-old dinosaur.