Email is still more effective in acquiring customers than social media, according to a McKinsey survey, but both pale in comparison to the results generated by organic search marketing.
McKinsey’s survey, reported in Why Marketers Should Keep Sending You Emails, illustrates that the percent of U.S. customers acquired by SEO dropped slightly during the first half of 2013, but customers acquired by email marketing efforts significantly grew during that time period. The chart below shows how social media still fails to generate leads as successfully as SEO and email marketing.
Social media’s failure to acquire customers might be attributed to lack of resources allocated for it. An average of 1 percent of marketing spend goes toward social, Tim Anderson reveals in Choose Your Weapon: SEO or Social Media? Yet one-third of new content discovery involves some form of social engagement.
Key lesson: if marketers can address this discrepancy, they may get more use out of social media for lead generation.
To utilize all three marketing methods, the articles offer the following advice:
- Find the “right blend” of social media and SEO. This means paying attention to Google+, since activity on it makes up a major part of Google’s algorithm for search rankings. One reason for this: Google pilots authorship, which is determined through links and influence in Google+ profiles. Google+ activity also appears in search rankings, and brands can capture a side rail spot by utilizing rel=“publisher”.
- Create mobile content. Websites not optimized for mobile convert at half the rate of standard desktop sites on phones, according to Neil Walker of Quaero, which is an obvious problem for any business. That’s especially true for email marketing. Nearly 45 percent of all marketing emails are opened on a mobile device.
- Meet Google’s requirements. McKinsey notes that 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. Google looks for three things when it evaluates a website: the ease of navigation, the relevancy of content and social activity. Translation: create a website that uploads quickly, is easy to maneuver, and carries content that people talk about.
- Build customized landing pages. Links in an email that send users directly to the offer in the email can increase conversion rates by more than 25 percent, according to McKinsey.
While it’s critical for marketers to invest more resources in social networks and other consumer-engaging channels, they shouldn’t completely shift their budgets away from traditional email marketing and SEO tactics. Instead, they should update strategies so they meet the latest demands in these two areas.