Little Cannibalization between Email, SocNets

July 15, 2010

There is generally very little cannibalization that occurs between email, Facebook, and Twitter, according to a new study from digital marketing firms ExactTarget and CoTweet.

Email Primary Brand Communication Channel
“Subscribers, Fans and Followers” indicates only 4% of online consumers who perform online brand interaction subscribe to a brand email, are fans of a brand on Facebook, and follow a brand on Twitter. More than half of online consumers (56%) who interact with brands online only interact via brand subscription.


Meanwhile, 32% are both email subscribers and Facebook fans. Much smaller percentages are Twitter followers only (1.3%), Facebook fans only (0.7%), or Facebook fans and Twitter followers (0.1%).

Consumers Check Cross-Channel Consistency
According to ExactTarget analysis, many consumers cross-check the content email messages to that of Facebook and Twitter messages, assessing the quality. This is because some consumers have noticed the lack of coordination across these channels, and have realized that certain brands consistently deliver better content in one channel versus another. As a result, they gravitate towards the medium that consistently delivers the most compelling messages.

Occasionally, these consumers may choose to unsubscribe, un-fan, or un-follow, but more often than not, ExactTarget advises they simply ignore or infrequently check the channels they find least compelling.

Email is Easy, But Competitive
Based on study results, ExactTarget advises that almost all consumers are receptive to commercial messages via email. And for marketers, this is often the easiest form of engagement to obtain. However, this means that while in the inbox, marketers face a lot of competition, making it more difficult for their messages to stand out from the clutter.

Facebook Must Entertain
In addition, ExactTarget recommends that marketers use Facebook to entertain and inform, at the same time. Because these interactions are public, they will have exposure to customers’ friends and contacts. And while promotional content is acceptable on an occasional basis, it is important to keep frequency in check.

Nine in 10 Online Consumers Get Daily Permission-based Email
Other data from the “Subscribers, Fans and Followers” report indicates that 93% of online consumers aged 15 and older receive at least one permission-based email per day. Broken down by age demographic, 15-to-17-year-olds are subscribers at a significantly lower rate (68%). All other age brackets of online consumers aged 18 and older are subscribers at rates between 93% and 96%.

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