By Graeme Grant, VP Predictive Intelligence

In today’s social media-obsessed world, I feel like email has become the Rodney Dangerfield of marketing: it gets no respect. But why? We’ve been having this debate for years now and, time after time, research has proven that email outperforms social. Shouldn’t there be a higher value and emphasis placed on email? I think so.

A Forrester brief, ‘Stop Measuring Social Engagement,’ offers yet more evidence that email is king. The brief states that just one in 1,300 fans interact with social posts from brands they follow. In email terms, that is a mere .08% click rate. Hardly what I’d deem a success. With email, on the other hand, you typically see open rates of ~15 percent and click through rates of 2-3 percent. That isn’t just better than social – that’s 25x better! And it is virtually costless to send on a marginal basis. With numbers like this, why are we even having this debate?

The power of email is not news. Well over a year ago, eMarketer estimated that email prompted purchases at least three times more than social media. And far maturing, email is only getting better! Think about how far we’ve come in advanced predictive analytics since eMarketer’s report – how much smarter we can be when it comes to email. Today, email can demonstrate immediate value by being tailored to every individual shopper. And, as I wrote previously, it’s also a great near-term omni-channel solution because email addresses are unique and follow the user regardless of channel.

That’s not to say retailers should ignore social media or other new consumer innovations. They matter and it is important for retailers to stay current. But you also have to match your investments with what they return. And email is one that delivers results. Retailers who don’t reflect this reality in their 2015 strategies are making a mistake. If you want better results in 2015, trust and invest in your mainstay – email marketing.