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Users Still Sharing by E-Mail

E-mail links get highest conversion, engagement rates

December 23, 2009

E-mail is still the king of online sharing, according to separate studies from StrongMail and ShareThis.

Fully 86% of sharing activity related to social programs run on StrongMail’s platform in Q3 3009 was done via e-mail. Facebook got only 6% of shares, while another 4% were tweeted.

Though Twitter shares did have the highest click rates, and e-mail the lowest, conversions were a different story. Content shared by e-mail was most likely to lead to purchases, subscriptions and other conversions. Embedded badges, which boasted a high click-through rate, were also better for conversion than Facebook or Twitter.

Conversion* Rates for Online Content Shared by Internet Users Worldwide, by Sharing Method, Q3 2009

A study of sharing activity across the ShareThis network in October 2009 also revealed that e-mail was the top channel for distributing content to friends, with 46.4% of all shares. About one-third of shares went to Facebook and less than 6% were tweeted.

As in the StrongMail study, ShareThis found that shares on Twitter had the highest click-through rate, while e-mail links were least likely to be clicked. But looking at engagement, e-mail shares led to the most page views per click, at 2.95. Users clicking through from Twitter only visited an average of 1.66 pages each.

Number of Page Views per Unique Click for Online Content Shared by Internet Users Worldwide, by Sharing Method, October 2009

Both studies contrast with earlier data from the AddToAny widget, which showed Facebook with the largest portion of all content-sharing activity.

“When it comes to enabling consumers to share a brand or offer with their personal network, email remains an effective power house for getting the word out and driving conversions,” said Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services and marketing development at StrongMail, in a statement.

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Check out today’s other article, “Retail E-Commerce Sales Flat for 2009.”


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