Twitter Versus Email – Which Is More Effective?

An article in the Huffington Post in April 2012 suggested that Twitter is a more effective marketing tool than email. I was reminded of that when someone asked me about Twitter recently.

You will only agree with the aforementioned article if you are cursed with two costly and career-ending weaknesses.

  1. You always believe what research tells you
  2. You have difficulty with basic arithmetic

Otherwise the piece is pure moonshine, as one of my more numerate colleagues pointed out:

“If I read it right only 7% of those questioned said they’d followed a business on Twitter.

Of those 32% would then buy.

Email got 93% saying they’d opt in with 21% then buying.

So with a mythical 1000 people:

22.4 would be Twitter buyers.

195.3 would be email buyers.

So that makes email the clear winner to me.”


About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.


  1. Justin

    It’s the common trap everybody falls into.

    We’re not just looking for “likes” or “follows” or just trying to get our names out there. We’re trying to make sales.

    People keep tracking the former when they should be tracking the latter.

    There’s also a narrow-minded focus on individual technologies or tactics rather than more general rules of psychology. The truth is: “Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change, principles never do.”

    1. Drayton

      Very perceptive, Justin

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