20 Reasons Why Social Media Won’t Replace Email

Email marketing is still an important tool to your ad agency new business program.

The rise in popularity of social media only enhances email. The two can work powerfully together. Two excellent articles, Chris Crums, writer for WebPro News, “10 Reasons Social Media isn’t Replacing Email” and VerticalResponse CEO Janine Popick, “10 More Reasons Why Social Media Wont Replace Email. Chris always has great marketing insights. Janine also provides some insightful resources and practices what she preaches for both email marketing and social media. I recommend them both.

Here are their 20 reasons why social media wont replace email:

  1. People still send hand-written letters.
  2. Nearly all sites on the web that require registration require an email address.
  3. Email notifies you of updates from all social networks.
  4. We haven’t seen any evidence yet that Google Wave really will catch on on a large scale.
  5. Email is universal, and social networks are not.
  6. There are plenty who have no interest in joining social networks.
  7. Email is still improving.
  8. Even social networks themselves recognize the importance of email.
  9. More social media use means more email use.
  10. As far as marketing is concerned, email is doing pretty well.
  11. Twitter and Facebook are fantastic products and companies; but that’s what they are, companies.
  12. Your email recipients are still going to use business email for business purposes.
  13. You can’t easily segment your friends and followers to do targeted marketing (through social media)
  14. You can’t tell who clicked on a link with some social media outlets.
  15. That said, you can’t tell who didn’t click on the link so you can follow up with them with a different message.
  16. You cannot personalize your Facebook updates.
  17. You cannot size your graphics or use more than one in Facebook.
  18. You can’t track how many clicks you got on your links in Facebook.
  19. You are limited to 140 characters in Twitter.
  20. You almost have to have separate social media accounts for your business and your personal life.

Additional resourceful articles that may be of interest:


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. You might find our most recent blog post of particular interest, it’s titled Get Your Email On (http://blog.indiemark.com/2009/10/22/brian-says-it%E2%80%99s-time-to-get-your-email-on/) .

    It’s written by Brian Massey a noted columnist and author whom we work with regularly. Brian goes as far to say “If you don’t have your email marketing efforts nailed, you have no business investing in social marketing.”.

  2. Scott, I just read the article by Brian. Good info. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My pleasure Micheal.

  4. Oops…Michael. :/

  5. just posted something along the same lines, asking this very question:

    Good points and still lots of questions!

  6. Twitter has become so much fun to use, now that there are so many new tools to play with.

  7. Nice straight-forward article with good case studies as examples. While most companies don’t have the brand cache of Pink or Coke, we all can learn about what facets of their success we can replicate by understanding how to provide value to the consumer (that’s why the coupons from Sears work so well).

  8. #3 alone—email being the conduit for all social media notifications—is strong evidence to support email’s co-existence with social media. I think of social media as “distributed email” where people can communicate from any platform social media or otherwise and use email as a dashboard or clearinghouse.

    It goes back to the old adage, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Until social media, email was the only quick, easy and cheap mass communications tool. Now that social media is here, the use of email in certain situations may have diminished, but it still serves a purpose.

    Television didn’t kill radio, and social media probably won’t kill email… at least not in the near term.

  9. Isn’t email social media?

    – It’s something that spreads through people
    – It can spread really fast
    – It’s part of the information network

    Many people don’t realize it, but what we call social media, is just the current evolution/revolution of the internet, one that has gotten EVERYONE talking. In many ways the internet used to be a lot more social before. Where as sharing and communication were more unconditional (often anonymous), now it’s more about building brands, commercial and personal.

  10. Tempered Angel says:

    All online marketing opportunities work in conjunction with each other. The level of success depends on which medium is best suited for the business, industry and competitiveness.

  11. Well social media is a place where u can have the interaction with your target audience where as in email you don’t know your message deliver to the target audience or not

  12. Social Media is really getting more effective in terms of marketing through facebook and other social websites. Because of its varieties of branding and marketing and many popular agencies are also getting involved in it to promote their brands and services online. Great collection.

  13. Dang
    I just typed a whole long message, but when I tried to submit it my Internet Explorer crashed.
    Did it come though or do I need to retype the whole thing?

  14. Sorry Justin. Apparently it wasn’t saved.

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