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Content Marketing Vs. Email Marketing: Which is Better?

Content marketing vs. email marketing is a debate you should not have, as both cater to different target audiences. 

While content marketing captures the attention of new prospects, email marketing plays a crucial role in maintaining connections with people who have already shown interest in your brand.

Email campaigns, a key component of content marketing, help distribute and redistribute content to potential customers, ensuring they feel valued and engaged with your brand.

Instead of pitting content and email marketing against each other, it's essential to recognize their complementary nature. Utilizing both can significantly boost your market growth.

By understanding the basics, you can align email and content marketing with your sales funnel to enhance your buyer’s journey, providing a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy.

This blog post is here to help you grasp the intricacies of content and email marketing. 

Definitions Of Email Marketing vs. Content Marketing

Starting with the basics and crucial aspects of email and content marketing. 

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing

Content marketing is a type of marketing that engages a brand’s target audience with information that talks about their pain points and prospective solutions to them. 

It focuses on attracting visitors and having them enter a sales funnel. Other marketing strategies then move such leads further down the funnel to conversions. Blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, whitepapers, ebooks, etc., are some of the popular content types used for content marketing. 

What is the Goal of Content Marketing?

The primary objective of content marketing is to educate potential buyers about their problems and raise awareness of how a particular service or product can resolve them. This approach ensures your audience feels informed and enlightened rather than bombarded with sales pitches.

Various content marketing tactics attend various sales funnel stages

For example, blog posts are used at the top of the sales funnel to attract prospects, while case studies are used at the bottom to convert the leads into clients.  

Crucial Content Marketing KPIs

The choice of content marketing KPIs is influenced by the platforms where you distribute your content. Since websites and social media are at the heart of this strategy, we will focus on the associated metrics.

Website metric

  • Traffic: This metric measures the number of visitors your website receives over a specific period. It indicates the effectiveness of your content in attracting visitors.
  • Average session duration: This metric tracks visitors' average time on your website during a single session. A higher average session duration indicates visitors find your content engaging and valuable.
  • Bounce rate: This metric represents the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may suggest that your content or website experience needs improvement.
  • Page speed: Page speed refers to how quickly your website pages load. Faster load times are associated with a better user experience and a lower bounce rate.

Related Article: 5 Basic B2B Website Metrics to Track

Social media metrics

  • Reach: Reach measures the number of unique users who have seen your content on social media. It helps gauge the overall visibility of your content and brand.
  • Engagement rate: It calculates the level of interaction (likes, comments, shares, etc.) your social media content receives relative to the number of impressions or reach. 
  • Share of voice: Share of voice compares your brand's mentions or conversations on social media with those of your competitors within a specific industry or niche.
  • Follower growth: Follower growth tracks the increase or decrease in your social media audience over time. 

Related Article: Content Marketing Best Practices Used By Experts

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing

Email marketing is a form of personalized marketing that reaches potential clients and delivers content they might find helpful.

Compared to content marketing, it caters to different segments of target audiences and, based on their demographics, psychographics, etc., pushes for a more customized brand experience. 

While blog posts and ebooks offer one-way communication, emails allow prospects to acquaint themselves with the brand through tailored content, ensuring a noise-free experience.

What is the Goal of Email Marketing?

Email marketing aims to enhance the targeted audience's brand presence in the digital realm. Here, the focus is also on sharing genuinely helpful content to nurture people and turn them into paying customers. 

Recently, newsletters have gained popularity as another form of email marketing. They provide subscribers with valuable insights on various topics and help build a community that can be monetized later.

Other forms of email marketing include:

  • Cold emailing: It involves reaching out to prospects who might not know your brand but can benefit from your services. Cold emails are tailored according to the receiver’s interest and increase the chance of engagement. This email strategy mainly targets people who are interested or ready to buy.
  • Nurture email campaigns: These emails are best used to build lasting relationships with leads who have shown interest in your brand by sharing their emails with you. Email campaigns guide leads throughout the sales funnel with personalized content until they convert. 
  • Drip email campaigns: Drip emails are pre-written, automated, and shared with subscribers or leads over a specific period. They are primarily used to share special offers, events, discounts, flash sales, etc., with the audience. 

Related Article: Drip Campaign vs Nurture Campaign

Crucial Email Marketing KPIs

  • Click-through rate: It measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link in your email. It indicates how engaging your content and call-to-action are.
  • Open rate: This metric shows whether subscribers are opening your emails. It indicates the effectiveness of your email’s subject line. 
  • Unsubscribe rate: It calculates the number of subscribers that have opted out of receiving emails, which might mean that the content shared with them is not personalized enough. 
  • Subscriber list growth: It helps keep a tab of the subscriber's growth as the metric showcases whether the content delivered is customized according to the subscribers. 

Related Article: A Simple Guide For Email Nurturing Campaigns 

Content Marketing vs. Email Marketing ROI

Understanding how content and email marketing contribute to return on investment (ROI) is crucial before jumping to conclusions about both strategies. 

How to Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI considers the number of clients generated by blog posts and lead magnets, etc., and compares it with the investments made to produce the content.

Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI

For example, if investing $1000 in writing and publishing five blog posts over a month results in acquiring clients worth $2000, then the return on investment is 100%, doubling the initial investment.

Average Content Marketing ROI

According to research, the average return on content marketing is $2.77 for every $1 spent, giving an average ROI of 177%.

You can take 177% as your content marketing ROI benchmark and focus on achieving and going beyond it. 

How to Calculate Your Email Marketing ROI?

Calculating the ROI for email marketing involves comparing the revenue generated from email campaigns to the costs associated with those campaigns.

Calculate Your Email Marketing ROI

For example, an email nurturing sequence generated two clients worth $2500 in total revenue, while the email campaign itself required an investment of $1000 to create. Thus, the campaign's net profit is $1500, giving us an ROI of 150%.

Average Email Marketing ROI

On average, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the return amounts to $36. It gives an average ROI of 3500%. 

Though the email marketing ROI looks much more lucrative than the content marketing ROI, both depend on various factors and should be equally leveraged to get the most out of your combined marketing ROI. 

How is Content Marketing Related to Email Marketing?

Email marketing ROI shows that it is not a marketing strategy you should ignore. However, content marketing holds value equally as it solidifies your position in the SERPs. 

The best case scenario here is to create a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines how to use content creation and email campaigns to attract, engage, and convert your target audience.

Content and email marketing strategy is made of three aspects. 

i) Cross-Promotions

Valuable content will help you generate a dependable email list, which, in turn, you can use to promote your content more personalized to people who have already shown interest. 

ii) Feedback Loop:

Depending on an email's open and engagement rate, you can understand which topic resonates well with your target audience. This information can guide you to create better content and enhance your marketing strategy overall.  

iii) Aligning Content:

It is crucial to ensure that your content and email campaigns complement each other to provide a cohesive brand experience, whether blog posts or lead magnets, all types of content can be effectively promoted via email. 

What is Content and Email Marketing Strategy?

What is Content and Email Marketing Strategy_

Here’s a guide to help you build your content and email marketing strategy. 

1. Define your target audience

This step is critical no matter which marketing campaign you are starting. A clear idea of your target audience via their demographics, interests, and pain points can definitely help you produce better content. 

2. Setting goals

Setting clear KPIs makes it easier to track progress and have a vision of what you want to achieve through a specific marketing campaign. The average ROIs already discussed can help you create benchmarks to get started. 

3. Content planning

A content calendar will be your biggest asset if you align your content and email marketing. This calendar can include blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, newsletters, promotional emails, and automated drip sequences to help you never miss an opportunity.

4. Content creation

You must develop relevant, valuable content that resonates with the target audience. It includes blog posts, videos, infographics, eBooks, etc. To save time, build email templates to promote blog posts via email regularly.  

5. Content distribution

Initially, you may start with no traffic and need to concentrate on SEO and social media to generate traffic and grow your email list. Once you've reached your target number of email subscribers, you can shift your focus to delivering more personalized content through email.

6. Email list building and personalization

The best way to customize your emails to your reader is to segment your email list according to buyer personas. It will help you hit the right pain points and lower the unsubscribe rate.   

7. Email testing

Yes, your emails need to be tested. Chances are you’re following the same layout for most of your emails, and that’s why it needs to be tested. Experiment with different subject lines, content formats, send times, and CTAs to optimize email performance.

8. Measurement and analysis

Tracking key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI to evaluate the effectiveness of content and email strategies and make data-driven improvements.

Email Marketing or Content Marketing: Which One Will You Choose?

We hope you choose both, as email and content marketing have undeniable benefits when used together. 

While it might take some time to start your email campaigns, your primary focus can be to build an established repo through content marketing that can be further combined with email marketing. 

Build your email and content marketing strategy and take your marketing ROI to the next level. 

Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure

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