Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Reviews - Which Gives the Best ROI?

Where should you be investing your time and money?

Proving ROI is one of the biggest pressures for modern marketers, especially as technology keeps changing the goalposts. Where should you be investing your time and money?



One day it’s all about email, the next social media – but what gives the best online marketing ROI? And should you ditch what you know just to make sure you don’t miss out on a new audience? Let’s take a look at three popular marketing channels . . .


Email Marketing

While some have predicted the demise of email marketing, email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Not only is it still one of the most popular online activities – 89% of total Internet users use email – but using email as part of your marketing plan does work. In 2013, almost one in three emails sent in North America were opened.

People are still reading email and marketers are still using it (66% say email gets a good ROI), but to stay ahead of the game and get the most out of your investment in email you need to be on the ball:

  • 79% of people use their smartphone for reading emails so responsive design becomes a necessity. Emails that take ages to load or don’t display properly will be deleted.
  • Ensure the content in your email works. Video content increases click-through rates by 55%, so include more audio visual content in emails.

Social Media

While it may not be as established as email, social media is certainly a cost effective marketing tool. When it’s done well, it’s also a great way to encourage users to convert – 46% of consumers rely on it when making a purchase.

A must for all marketers then? Maybe not. While 15% of marketing managers say that social media has made a quantitative impact on their business, a whopping 49% aren’t able to quantify whether it made a difference to their company.

Measuring the ROI from social media marketing continues to prove tricky, so until analytics improve, adding tracking URLs to any links you post, monitoring interactions such as likes and comments, and ensuring you have a sustainable social media strategy aligned to your business goals will all help you maximize the value of your social media efforts.

Online Reviews

With so many consumers talking about their experiences on social media, is there still a need to implement online reviews on your site? In one word, yes! Recent research by online review solution Trustpilot, shows that reviews have the ability to increase business revenues by 40%.

In fact, most Internet shoppers find it impossible to shop without them – Trustpilot discovered that a whopping 77% of UK consumers consult online reviews9 before making their purchasing decision.

Obviously negative reviews aren’t great for business – 78% of online shoppers would be deterred from making a purchase after reading a bad review. But this isn’t a reason to ignore them. The way you respond to negative criticism can help improve sales – 15% of people are more likely to do business with a company that attempts to resolve someone’s negative experience10.

Moving Forward

  • Don’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket. Ignoring some marketing channels while investing in others won’t get a fully rounded result.
  • Optimise the buying cycle by ensuring the right messages are sent at the right time, across a mix of marketing channels.
  • Remember to keep the message consistent regardless of the channel used, to ensure the best online marketing ROI for your company.

Want to know how online reviews can boost your sales? Download the complete Trust Economy Report by Trustpilot now.

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