As of late, it feels like an arms race between email mar­ket­ing or Mes­sen­ger mar­ket­ing. A world where mar­keters have to pick: the work­horse of today or the most excit­ing chan­nel of tomor­row?

At first glance, I can see why. We’ve seen audi­ences engage an insane amount on Mes­sen­ger — 619% more than email. There’s also a cool 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple who use Mes­sen­ger on a reg­u­lar basis.

When com­pa­nies ask me which one to use, my answer sur­pris­es them: have your cake and eat it, too. Email and Mes­sen­ger togeth­er will make your busi­ness more mon­ey than pick­ing one. Which one you should use when — and for whom — comes down to con­text.

Here are three things to con­sid­er as you decide which areas of your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy need email, and which need Mes­sen­ger.


Every inter­ac­tion your com­pa­ny has with some­one needs a pur­pose. All com­mu­ni­ca­tion should be delib­er­ate, whether it’s with a prospect or a cus­tomer. Your mar­ket­ing goal will deter­mine whether email or Mes­sen­ger makes more sense.

In some cas­es, you have a lot to say — or show. That’s a big rea­son email remains the chan­nel of choice for long-form com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Email wins at get­ting lengthy points across that peo­ple can store and share lat­er. More often than not, though, most mar­ket­ing and sales emails I get don’t fall into that camp.

Chat­ting with you > Talk­ing at you”

This is where Mes­sen­ger’s short­er com­mu­ni­ca­tion style thrives. When you get an email, it feels like com­pa­nies are talk­ing at you. With Mes­sen­ger, those same com­pa­nies are chat­ting with you. It also pays to keep in mind who you’re try­ing to reach. Even though chat­ting is bet­ter for some, it’s not bet­ter for all.


Did your audi­ence use the inter­net between 1990–2005? Chances are email was how they kept in touch with friends and busi­ness­es. It still is old­er gen­er­a­tions’ line to busi­ness­es, accord­ing to Hub­Spot. Email used to be our con­nec­tion to busi­ness­es and a per­son­al CRM. But times have changed.

Younger gen­er­a­tions don’t spend time in their email inbox; they mes­sage one anoth­er. It’s part of a larg­er shift where mes­sag­ing apps have become the activ­i­ty that dom­i­nates 91% of our time on screens. To be a suc­cess­ful mar­keter in 2018, you need to meet users where they spend their time. The most delight­ful mar­ket­ing expe­ri­ences of tomor­row will hap­pen on plat­forms like Mes­sen­ger.


If you and I are any­thing alike, you’ve gone through a few email address­es over the years. Stu­dent email? Good until grad­u­a­tion. Work address? Great until you change jobs. Email address­es tie to finite peri­ods in our lives. Things like Face­book IDs, though, will nev­er change. You’re always going to be you. Mes­sen­ger Mar­ket­ing means you can engage with some­one through­out their life.

Over time, you’ll learn more about prospects that you can use to per­son­al­ize how you engage them. It’s a best prac­tice across plat­forms. Mes­sen­ger has a secret sauce in this camp, though, that many mar­keters don’t real­ize. You can per­son­al­ize in real-time on Mes­sen­ger. Every word they say or but­ton they click can steer them into a hyper-tar­get­ed expe­ri­ence. You’ll cap­ture their intent and delight right away, with­out hav­ing to wait until the next email goes out.

Better Together

Let your audi­ence set the tone for where they want to engage with you. It’ll add val­ue across all your chan­nels in both the short and long-term. There’s some group of your email audi­ence that wants to hear from you, but not in their email inbox. Give those peo­ple anoth­er option for stay­ing in touch, like Mes­sen­ger.

Once you do that, there’s a good chance that you see an improve­ment in both open and click-through rates. Every mes­sage going out the door is only to peo­ple who want to hear from you on that chan­nel. This can help your deliv­er­abil­i­ty score in the long-term, too.

That’s not to say it’s an absolute one or the oth­er. Be taste­ful and use both togeth­er. We have a lot of peo­ple who pre­fer to down­load e‑books on Mes­sen­ger. But after talk­ing with them, we learned that many of them still read it on desk­top. We start­ed email­ing them a copy of their e‑book, too, to pro­vide a bet­ter expe­ri­ence. Think back to the dif­fer­ences between email and Mes­sen­ger we dis­cussed in this post. Use both chan­nels togeth­er in tan­dem when you see val­ue.

There are few times in life where 1+1=3. Mar­ket­ing through email and Mes­sen­ger in tan­dem is one of them. The behe­moth chan­nels of today and tomor­row have their dif­fer­ences. It’s not about how you use one, though, it’s about how you use both. Great mar­keters will use con­text to have their cake and eat it, too.