Inbox clutter has made it seem harder than ever for email marketers to convey compelling marketing messages to even their opted-in subscribers. But at the same time, the popularity of social sharing has helped some messages circulate far beyond their initial audience.
According to Q4 2011 research from email marketing software provider Emailvision, more than a third of email marketers around the world said email promotions that included a discount got more shares than any other type of campaign. Humorous marketing emails ran a relatively distant second, with just under 21% of marketers saying these emails got the most shares. And email campaigns with direct incentives for sharing showed no higher success rate in terms of shares than email announcements with new information but no sharing incentive.
Respondents unsurprisingly named Facebook and Twitter as the two most important social networking sites for their brand, and a plurality considered building brand awareness to be their top objective for social media marketing.
This suggests that email “share with a friend” programs are not necessarily aimed at directly growing subscriber lists or persuading new prospects to opt in—just 7.4% of respondents said the primary purpose of their social marketing was to get new names for their database. Instead, email marketers are hoping that passed-along emails and other content shared through social channels will help build awareness or reputation, and, conveniently, the messages most likely to accomplish these goals are the ones with deals and promotions that should also help marketers increase sales and gain new customers.
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