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Including social media links in promotional emails improves their click-through rate (CTR), according to a recent study from email marketing technology firm GetResponse.

Social Media Links Improve CTR 30%
GetResponse research indicates that on average, promotional emails sent by small-to-mid-sized business (SMB) marketers that include links to at least one social network have a 9.4% CTR. Meanwhile, promotional emails without any social network links have a 7.2% CTR. This means promotional emails including social network links generate an average CTR 30% higher than promotional emails without the links.

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The More, The Merrier
Results of the study show that email messages with no social network links return an average 7.2% CTR, while email messages with one social network link returned an average 8.7% CTR. This CTR jumps to 9.3% for messages with two social network links, a roughly 7% increase from messages with one link and 29% increase from messages with no links.

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In addition, messages with three or more social sharing links generated an 11.2% CTR, which is 20% higher than messages with two links, 28% higher than messages with one link and 55% higher than messages with no links.

Twitter Offers Best CTR
Broken down by specific social network, Twitter offers the highest CTR (10.2%), followed by Facebook (9.1%). Digg offers the lowest CTR of major social networks (5.3%), meaning messages with Twitter links are almost twice as effective at generating CTR as messages with Digg links, but only 12% more effective than messages with Facebook links.

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Most SMB Marketers Don’t Use Social Media in Email
Despite demonstrated improvements in CTR, only a distinct minority of small-to-mid-sized-business (SMB) marketers use social media links or icons in their promotional emails, according to other study results from GetResponse. Data indicates that 18.7% of SMB marketers linked promotional emails to messages on their Twitter accounts. Another 13.5% included clickable sharing links to social media networks.

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