Is Social Media a Friend or Foe for B2B Email Marketing?

The recent trend of the ever increasing popularity of social media and its interaction with click throughs within the B2B marketing community, has meant businesses have been increasingly spending their marketing budgets on developing their social media footprint often at the expense of the established B2B marketing tools of email and telemarketing. VSL has always kept a keen eye on new marketing trends and accordingly we have adapted our marketing strategies to accommodate and best utilise the new media to enhance our services at thus the results for our clients. For we understand like for all things in life, the best results are achieved with the correct mix of ingredients/solutions.

Certainly recent trends show a decline in overall business email usage, but this is as much to do with companies communication policies being enforced and the medium showing a maturing within its users by concentrating more on quality and relevance over quantity. However for these very reasons B2B email marketing remains just as, if not, more important.

With each new wave of technology, the new marketing platforms have been adapted to promote and sell services and products.. The new marketing social media include mobile marketing, apps and social media sites, with VSL being no different Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn etc.

As popular as social media is, VSL like all other professional B2B marketing organisations understand that email marketing is still the preferred way of communication for business people receiving marketing offers.

Don’t kill the messenger

In a recent survey, 75% upwards, in different age groups of business professionals prefered being marketed by email. However, it was also apparent from the feedback that many businesses tend to mismanage their email marketing, to the point it can be seen as spam or an

annoyance. Emails that are too frequent can lead to prospects to immediately unsubscribing or blocking.

At VSL we still see email marketing as a crucial marketing tool, precisely because of the personalization of the message it can deliver. We ensure that emails appear to be tailored and relevant to each recipient – through the field of work, position and message itself, which increase the chances of the customer to act on it.

We see email marketing as far from dead, as it is still exceptionally cost-effective which according to the Direct Marketing Association still achieves a 4,300% return on investment (ROI).

So if emails are still so effective in engaging with customers, how has social media marketing impacted on the B2B marketing marketplace?

What we have learnt in VSL is that email marketing and social media complement each other, but are more effective in particular specific tasks. A recent survey of professional marketers showed that 97% believed social media complemented other forms of marketing tactics, opposed to just replacing them. For example social media is more effective at brand recognition and B2C marketing than direct B2B marketing.

Social media may have brought in new ways to market and target the audience, but email marketing is still used to target lists of the more prospective clients. It sends the marketing message straight to the inbox of the relevant person.

With well-thought out subject lines and appealing content, email marketing can achieve greater ROI. The new media can lead to good click through rates, but may not necessarily conclude in a sale, the way email and follow-up emails can, this is especially true of “bigger ticket” products and services.

Pros and cons

Two main advantages of a well crafted marketing email is that it can be personalised and is not restricted to word count limits as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn ads.

However if a marketing email is done wrong through over-marketing or bad content it can lead to spamming issues. This is why when VSL sets up an email campaign a great amount of attention is spent on the content and relevance to avoid the dreaded spam bot.

With Social media marketing the main advantage is that it is much more suited for short and catchy messages; it doesn’t require much reading and usually gets straight to the point, complemented with a follow through link for more information or a call-to-action.


VSL will consult and advise with its clients before launching the email marketing campaign on how best to use their social media presence, to complement the campaign to achieve that perfect balance. We have seen increasingly that both forms of marketing compliment each other and create both; the informational and social aspect, of the business offer or promotion. Email marketing adds depth to a message, and social can be used to communicate and share content with other prospects. So as the Baker said to the DJ “The answer is all in the mix!”

If you would like more information on how VSL optimises its end to end email marketing campaigns, then please email us at or call us on +44 (0)1403 788480.

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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.