Many people have written off email marketing and claimed its use for business is diminishing. It is true that for a lot of businesses social media has seen both their attention and spend associated with email marketing reduce, as direct access to customers through channels such as Twitter and Facebook has been viewed as a superior means of communication. However, it cannot be stressed enough how each digital marketing technique has its own qualities that are heightened when used together in an integrated marketing campaign.
With social media you do get more instant and direct 2-way communication, but emails allow you to deliver more comprehensive marketing messages to a larger and more captive audience. If you have a business promotion then an email is a great way to market it, with links to Twitter and Facebook allowing you to support this message. With an active email database, email marketing can therefore be effectively used to retain current customers as well as build up a more active community on social channels.
Many businesses make the mistake of simply pushing out direct sales messages to their email database, forgetting that the majority of these are people already aware of what it is you offer. Instead, they are more interested in knowing the benefits of being your customer and what it means for them to repeatedly use your products. Create 2 separate email lists; one that goes out to current/previous customers and ones that go out to sales targets. This allows you to tailor your message to encourage customer retention, pushing them towards social media when you can more granularly manage your current customers.