Email Drives Social Networking

July 6, 2010

Email can act as a key driver for consumer social networking use, according to a new study from digital marketing firm e-Dialog.

Email Primary SocNet Driver for Half of Consumers
When participants in “Global Perpsectives” were asked what prompts them to go to social networking sites, an email to their personal email address was the clearly the primary driver to social networking activity. Overall, 53% of respondents across borders stated that email to a personal account was the primary driver to social networking activity.


While a large number of consumers also sign in directly to these social networking sites (35% overall), email topped all other forms of direct communication, including SMS mobile messaging (19% overall).

Broken down by region, consumers in Asia-Pacific selected email to a personal account (42%) and direct sign-in (31%) at the highest rates. North American consumers use these drivers at relatively low rates (25% and 23%, respectively). North Americans’ use of all drivers occurs at rates well below the global average, except for “other,” which slightly exceeds the 7% overall rate at 8%.

Consumers Ready to Share Marketing Content on SocNets
Roughly half of consumers in the “Global Perspectives” survey have clearly indicated that they are willing to act as brand advocates in order to connect email content to social networks. When asked what sort of marketing information they would consider appropriate to share through social media, the following attitudes and behaviors were revealed:

  • Special offers and promotions: Overall, 54% of consumers worldwide would share offers and promotions on their social networks. While this rate is highest in the Asia-Pacific region (67%), nearly half (46%) of North American consumers and one-third (34%) of European consumers indicated a willingness to act as social network brand ambassadors.
  • News on new products: Overall, 42% of consumers across regions stated they find new product news to be appropriate content to share. This percentage was highest in Asia-Pacific (50%) and lowest in Europe (27%). e-Dialog advises that marketers must be ready to embed social sharing mechanisms in their email marketing efforts not only on promotional offers, but also on new product announcements.
  • Support information: Nearly one-third (32%) of consumers globally deem helpful information, including tutorials and product support content, as share-worthy (shared by consumers on their social networks). There was not tremendous difference by region.


It is also worth noting that globally, 26% of consumers answered “none of the above” when asked what information is worth sharing via social network. This viewpoint was especially present in Europe (46%) and North America (37%), while far less prevalent in Asia-Pacific (13%).

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