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Email Marketing vs. Search Marketing: Which comes First?

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Are you looking for a detailed comparison of email marketing vs. search marketing? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking to start an online business or grow an existing business using the internet, it’s likely, you’ll hear terms like “email marketing”, “SEO”, “SEM”, “social media marketing”, and lots of other things. In order to be successful, it’s important that you choose the strategy that helps to to get attention, and engage with those who give you their intention.

It can be very confusing to decide which tools to use. In this article, we’ll be talking about email marketing vs. search marketing, so you can decide which is most appropriate for where you are in your online business journey.

The Online Sales Funnel

First, it’s important to understand the process for how people find products and services online. Some people call this the sales funnel, and some people might refer to this as the customer journey.

An Online Sales Funnel Example I Want you to Consider

For a second, I want you to imagine that you’re trying to learn something new. Let’s say, you decide you want to learn how to peel a banana in a new way. I know, peeling a banana is a fairly simple task, so you might think it’s not important to research that, but go with me here….okay?

So, you know how to peel the banana by holding the banana with the stem pointed up, but let’s say you’re looking for alternative options. What’s the first thing you do?

1. Go to a Search Engine

According to stats, 75% of people would start their search using Google–this means, they’ll go to Google and type something like “how to peel a banana”, “ways to peel a banana”, or some variation of that.

2. Choose a Relevant Result

After they type in the keyword, Google will show them a series of results and they’ll choose from the listing based on which titles and meta-descriptions are most relevant to what they’re looking to accomplish.

If you’re website was listed in the top results for “how to peel a banana”, then people could be visiting your website.

3. Land on the Website

Once you’ve chosen a result, Google (or the search engine you used) will redirect you to a blog post, video, or website of some sort. From there, you observe whether the website looks credible to you, and you begin engaging with the information.

4. Engage with the information

You might read the information, watch, or listen to discover “how to peel the banana”. If the information answered all of your information, you might go and take action, but sometimes, there’s a twist.

5. Try to Find more Deeper Information

The twist is…

Sometimes, you don’t get all of your questions answered by a blog post or Youtube video. Instead, maybe there are more questions you have and you want them answered.

In these occasions, it’s nice when you see a lead magnet or a place where you can enter your email address in exchange for information like “Free video course will show you 75 ways to peel a banana”. In cases like this, you’d likely be interested to exchange your email for more information on a topic you’re interested in because it’s a relevant article to a relevant blog post to a relevant optin.

How Search Marketing fits into the Online Sales Funnel

Search marketing is great for attracting “cold traffic” and people who haven’t met you before. It sends people to you based on keywords they’ve entered, which means if you’re ranking for that keyword, you’re attracting a website visitor who wants information you have. They’re already somewhat qualified when they come!


Pro #1: Many people are using search engines to find information

Pro #2: There’s a huge opportunity to get lots of traffic from search

Pro #3: You can meet lots of new people daily using search engines to attract them


Con #1: It can be competitive

Con #2: People don’t usually trust you the first time they meet you

Con #3: Search users may require lots of nurturing before making a sale

How Email Marketing Fits into the Online Sales Funnel

I’m sure you’ve had people who knock on your door to sell you something. Even if they have something you love, it could be the wrong time to make a deal work when they arrive. If you like what they’re offering, but they’ve come at a bad time, the ideal thing to do would be to have them follow up with you later, right?

There are many situations where you would buy if you have more questions answered, if you understood the benefits better, or if you trusted the company better. Email marketing helps to increase the percentage of people who will buy from you because it helps you with the follow-up portion of the sales cycle.


Pro #1: Helps to improve sales

Pro #2: Helps to build trust and engage with potential customers more

Pro #3: It can be automated


Con #1: It doesn’t attract much cold traffic or new relationships

Con #2: It can be competitive considering how much email is used

Conclusion on Email Marketing vs. Search Marketing

Overall, email marketing and search marketing are valuable tools to engage with people online. They each can be used to fulfill separate goals. If you want new potential customers, then search marketing is more likely to solve that. If you’re having lots of traffic, but you want to get to know the people visiting you better, then email marketing is great for that.

Thanks for stopping by. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you can leave them in the comments section below. 

My question for you is…which do you think is better: email marketing or search marketing? Do you agree with me that both are for different purposes? Leave your answers below.

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