Social marketing continues to grow in importance but, with email marketing delivering an ROI of 4,300% according to the Direct Marketing Association, many marketers are ignoring the social platform at their own peril, according to John Paterson, CEO for Really Simple Systems. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

However, in an era where competition for marketing budget is tough, generic email marketing performance statistics are no longer good enough. As Paterson argues, tightly integrating email marketing with CRM is key to automating campaign management and gaining insight into individual customer response to demonstrate ROI, effectively target on going campaigns and improve the relevance of day to day customer interaction.

Digital Marketing is often focused on Social Marketing but in the rush to embrace the new, it is important not to overlook those areas of marketing that are proven to deliver measurable value. And that includes email marketing. According to ExactTarget, 91% of consumers check their email daily; while 74% prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle). The result? Two thirds (66%) of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association).

Business to Business marketing is just as effective. While decision makers spend limited time on LinkedIn and Twitter, 100% use email and email marketing has a return on investment (ROI) of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association).

Of course, email marketing is no longer the only game in town. With 59% of companies integrating email and social channels according to Econsultancy, it is essential to minimise the overhead and, critically, improve the level of insight into the success of each campaign.

An email marketing tool that is tightly integrated with the CRM system radically reduces the processes the marketing team needs to go through to create a new campaign. There is no need to download contacts from the CRM and upload them into the email marketing platform to run the campaign. Furthermore any feedback in terms of campaign performance is automatically available within the CRM - it does not have to be downloaded from the email marketing platform and then uploaded in to the CRM.

A tightly integrated system should also deliver far more detailed insight into the email marketing system. While it is great to know campaign success and demonstrate that, for example, 500 customers read the email newsletter; it is far more useful to know exactly which customers showed an interest.

Armed with this insight, the organisation can, of course, follow up with another targeted offer. Furthermore, with this information integrated with the CRM, the business ensures that the customer services team knows the customer has read this information, as does the sales representative.

The entire process is joined up, making it far easier for marketing to track the success of a campaign from initial email right through to sales. Can social offer that level of end to end control?