This was the first year that Experian measured brands’ use of Instagram in email marketing, but it is already above Google+, which itself saw an increase from 12% to 22% share.
The leaders are obviously Facebook and Twitter, but both slipped slightly: 93% used the former (down from 98% in 2012), while 88% used the latter (down from 91%). Perhaps study results from 2012 continue to hold true: an Experian report back then said that emails promoting Pinterest were seeing stronger response rates than those promoting Facebook or Twitter.
The most common way of displaying or promoting social media in emails continues to be in headers or footers (96%). Slightly more than 4 in 10 brands are also using sweepstakes with social tie-ins and banners to promote their social presence. Interestingly, when it comes to the use of buttons, pin it buttons are used by more brands (35%) than tweet this buttons (21%), although both trail like buttons (43%). (Research has shown that emails containing social sharing buttons have higher click-through rates.)
In other results from Experian’s study:
- Some 45% of brands in 2013 used pop-up windows or layovers on their websites to collect email addresses, double the proportion from 2012;
- 3 in 4 brands used animated GIFs in their email creatives, up from 52% a year earlier;
- Almost all brands performed subject lines testing on their email campaigns, and these were the tests which they found to have the most impact on their campaigns; and
- 3 in 4 brands sent promotional mobile campaigns with coupons and discount codes, while 33% sent location-based messages (see here for the mobile offer types most likely to spur action from consumers).