Why email marketing beats social media in lead generation, and what you can do about it

When it comes to lead gen, email marketing will always beat social media

Social media has many legitimate marketing uses. When used right, social lets you build a genuine relationship with your customers. It helps you find out what people are saying about your brand and it enables you to share interesting content with your audience. Regardless of whether they’re in B2B or B2C, most businesses today can’t afford not to have a social media presence.

But there’s one thing that social media isn’t great for: lead generation. Social media works effectively for many marketing activities, but generating new leads isn’t one of them. In fact, when it comes to generating leads, the good ol’ email will always beat social media. One 2014 study from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company suggests that email conversion rates are 40 times higher compared to Facebook and Twitter combined. “The rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher,” according to the report.

An understanding of its drawbacks as a lead gen tool is critical to getting the most out of social media marketing. So why is email, a relatively old channel, better suited for generating leads? Here are a few reasons why.

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Why being called a “social media guru” is bad for your marketing career

Hashtag social media guru

Once in a while, I get introduced by people as a “social media guru.” I know they mean well when they do that; perhaps they even intend to compliment me when they say it. But that title—”social media guru”—never sat well with me. And it probably never will.

At first, I thought that my annoyance with that term stems from the “guru” part. There’s something about that word that feels pretentious. It suggests false expertise. It also suggests a know-it-all attitude, which I hope I don’t actually project.

Recently, however, I realized that the “social media” part is equally problematic. “Guru” reminds me of a buddha: wise, calm and serene. But add “social media” in front of it and the new term reminds me of a sly person trying to sell his (outdated) books to the masses.

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8 Ways To Avoid Burn Out As A Social Media Marketer

8 ways to avoid burnout as a social media marketer

Late last year, I briefly entertained the idea of quitting my job and looking for a new gig. A job that had nothing to do with social media. Something that didn’t involve any type of tweeting, pinning or liking.

That feeling didn’t last long at all. Less than a day, to be precise.

In retrospect, the reason I felt like I needed to quit social media marketing was because of a mild (but significant enough) burn out.

I am not alone: burnout among social media marketers is quite common. PR pro Arik Hanson recently shared his thoughts on this phenomenon, predicting that “burnout for early adopter social media marketers” will happen more for 2015. Some reasons for this, according to Hanson, include the lack of senior roles and the fear of being pigeonholed into a social media position.

Contrary to what some may belief, being a social media marketer isn’t just all about tweeting and lurking on Facebook the whole day. The role is becoming more strategic than ever. It’s also incredibly stressful. Getting burnt out is a real possibility.

If you’re part of the growing number of social media marketers who’s thinking of calling it quits, here are eight ways to reignite your passion for what you do.

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