Many email and social media marketers are beginning to realize that by combining the strengths of both tactics they have an opportunity to increase effectiveness, rather than compete with each other.
Until recently, most efforts have focused on linking existing email strategies with emerging social ones. As combined efforts become more advanced, sophisticated integration will mean segmenting email and social audiences to understand how they overlap, what they want and how messages should be customized for the two tactics.
Based on research from ExactTarget, the motivation for opting in to marketing emails somewhat different from what most studies show regarding liking brands on Facebook or following them on Twitter. Discounts and promotions were the clear winner, followed by freebies and sales. Reasons like wanting to interact with the brand or show their support came in at the bottom of the list.
For social followers, discounts and deals are still highly important. They came in second in a March 2010 survey by Morpace about joining Facebook fan pages. Chadwick Martin Bailey found they were the primary reason to follow a brand on Facebook or Twitter in February 2010. Razorfish reached similar results in August 2009.
But the more public nature of opting to join fan pages, like brands or follow marketers means motivations like showing support for the company are also important to social marketing. In the Morpace survey, that was the top reason to join a fan page. Other researchers also found substantial numbers of respondents eager to show their support or follow brands simply because they were customers.
These motivations bolster assumptions that email is a more passive channel, while the more active brand advocates are to be found following brands on social sites.
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