Email marketing and social media: The Yorke and Cole of marketing comms

email marketing and social media

The greatest footballing strike partnerships have an almost telepathic understanding. Take Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, for instance. After Cole signed for United in 1995, he started off slowly, until Fergie signed Yorke for almost £13m in 1998. That’s when the magic happened.

That season, the pair scored 53 goals between them, leading Manchester United to a historic treble-winning campaign.

Email marketing and social media is digital marketing’s answer to this dynamic duo; a combo which can gain incredible results for businesses. The best thing is, it costs nowhere near as much to get great results.

*Disclaimer: we’re well aware that it all went downhill when they both signed for Blackburn Rovers, but we’re ignoring that for our analogy.*

When to use what

Social media and email marketing work hand-in-hand to complement and bolster each other, but both are also tools that can easily be misused. Social? That sits at the top of the marketing funnel: it’s a useful tool to raise awareness of your brand and your offering, to let potential customers know who you are and what you’re all about, and to let your brand’s personality shine through.

Email marketing tends to work better at the interest/evaluation stage onwards: with recipients having had to sign up to your mailing list, they’ll already have some knowledge of your offering and have already demonstrated some level of interest.

Social media isn’t a replacement for email marketing. Social posts tend to have a shorter shelf life than emails, and consist of fresh, topical and short messages that are easy for readers to digest. That’s not to say that social media should be seen as a completely separate entity, however. Cohesion is needed between the two - the same branding, the same tone of voice - to ensure that you adhere to your brand identity across the board, and the two should be used in tandem for the best results.

Doing it right

Here at Winbox, we create a wealth of content for our clients - and this content comes in many forms. Whether it’s blog posts, videos or audio, it’s all great content that can be used in a huge number of ways.

Of course, we include them in our clients’ email newsletters, but this content should be shared across your social channels too for maximum impact. Don’t just share links, though - social media is just that: social. Imagine trying to organise your football team with no communication: without actually building relationships on social media (commenting on updates, having conversations, engaging with followers), you’ll be more like Shevchenko and Kalou than Cole and Yorke: inefficient, and potentially very costly.

How to link up to achieve your goals

While some may think that a focus on both email marketing AND social media will equal a lot more work, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways in which the smallest of actions can have massive results, giving you a far greater chance of success than simply using one or the other.


  • Advertising your newsletter sign-up page via your social channels

  • Adding social share icons to your email to encourage readers to share your content

  • Pulling content from social media to feature in your newsletter

  • Re-purposing the content you use on one channel, and making it suitable for the other

  • Setting up notifications for new newsletter subscribers, and ensuring that you follow them on Twitter, giving your brand a presence in two different contexts.

Two up front works best

Email marketing and social media, when combined, are a powerful force. While some businesses may see success in using just one of the two, there’s no denying that using both together can turn something good into something great.

While your current email OR social campaign may be reminiscent of the incredible goal scoring record of Ruud van Nistelrooy during his time at United (who wouldn’t love the equivalent ROI to 95 goals in 150 appearances?), remember one thing. Before his arrival, United won the league three seasons running, and did the same again after he left. While he was there? One title in five seasons.

For us, that stat says it all. By using either email or social, you may think you’re achieving your goals - but try experimenting with the relationship between the two, and you’ll have yourself a league-winning campaign.

Winbox Owner, Marc Woodland, will be speaking at a Bristol Social Media Week event on Wednesday at the Everyman Cinema. You can see more details about the event here.