Global Marketers Mixed on Email and Social Media Relationship

econsultancy-email-social-relationship-mar2012.jpg39% of global company marketers say that they view social media and email as complementary channels, while 51% view them as separate, according to [download page] a March 2012 report from Econsultancy in association with Adestra. The proportion of respondents not involved with social media dropped 10% points from 2011 to 2012, and that proportion appears to be split on how to view these channels: this year, the percentage viewing them as separate rose 6% points, while the percentage seeing them as complementary rose 4 points.

The same dynamic exists among agency respondents: the proportion saying their clients view the channels as separate rose 2% points to 49% this year, as did the proportion who viewed them as complementary, to 40%. This increase was offset by a 5% point decrease in those saying their clients are not involved in social media.

Some marketers appear to view social media not so much as complementary or separate from email, but as a direct challenge. According to a report released in February 2012 by Econsultancy in partnership with the Email Experience Council of the Direct Marketing Association, 75% of US organizations say that competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention is either “very challenging” or “somewhat challenging” to their future success in email.

Channels Not Yet Highly Integrated

Indeed, according to Econsultancy’s latest report, only 9% of company marketers say that their company’s email activity and social media marketing are well integrated, although an additional 41% say some integration exists. Even so, 43% say there is no integration between the two channels, and the proportion saying the areas are well integrated has only risen 2% points in the past year.

Agencies report higher levels of integration for their clients: 12% say their email activity is integrated well with their social media marketing, and a further 56% indicate there is some integration. In fact, the proportion reporting the areas being well integrated rose 7% points over the year.

Marketers not yet integrating email and social media may be missing an opportunity: according to March 2012 data from VerticalResponse, SMBs using its email marketing service and also engaged in social media marketing for their business (defined as activity on the company’s social media marketing platform) experience a 28% higher open rate on their email marketing campaigns compared to those not using the social media platform.

And January 2012 analysis from GetResponse suggests that emails that include social sharing buttons have a click-through rate 115% higher than those do not (5.6% vs. 2.6%).

Many See Email as Unsuccessful for Social Media Activity

econsultancy-email-socialmedia-activity-success-mar2012.jpgData from Econsultancy’s “Email Census 2012″ indicates that separation between email and social media marketing may be due in part to a lack of perceived success on the part of email marketing in generating social media activity related to the brand, products, or services. 40% of company respondents see email marketing as either not very successful (33%) or unsuccessful (7%) in this regard, while a further 35% are unsure. By comparison, only 1% see their email marketing as very successful in generating social media activity, while 24% say it is quite successful.

Agencies report a higher satisfaction level: 45% say their clients’ efforts are either very successful (4%) or quite successful (41%), compared to 37% who consider email either not very successful (37%) or unsuccessful (2%).

Other Findings:

  • Agencies say that incentives to engage (61%) and share-with-network functionality (60%) are the most successful email marketing techniques for generating social media activity. Among company respondents, the leading techniques are share-with-network functionality (51%) and consistent cross-channel content (50%).
  • Lack of social calls to action and lack of engagement are the two reasons cited by most commonly by companies and agencies for email marketing being unsuccessful in generating social media activity.

About the Data: The Econsultancy data is based on a survey of 846 respondents, of which 70% were client-side, and 30% supply-side. 77% of the company marketers are based in the UK, 9% in Europe, 6% in North America, 4% in Asia Pacific, 3% in the Middle East and Africa, and 1% in another region. 66% of the agency respondents are based in the UK, 10% in Europe, 10% in North America, 6% in Asia Pacific, 5% in the Middle East and Africa, and 3% in another region.

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