April 5, 2012
New Study Reveals Why — and How — Consumers Connect with Brands Online: Latest Research from Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey Details the Similarities Between Facebook Marketing and Email Marketing
The reasons that consumers "Like" businesses and nonprofits on Facebook and subscribe to their mailing lists are very similar, according to a new study conducted by Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey. The study, which details the reasons why and how consumers "Like" pages on Facebook and subscribe to email lists, also revealed that consumers are more likely to opt in to receive communications from local businesses than national businesses in email and on Facebook. "The parallels between email and social media marketing are strong because both are forms of permission marketing," said Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media at Constant Contact, in a news release. "Whether someone 'Likes' your page or 'opts in' to your newsletter, they are effectively giving you permission to communicate — one happens to be in the newsfeed and the other, in the inbox. This study reveals the similarities behind 'liking' and subscribing as well as 'unliking' and unsubscribing. The main reasons people unlike or unsubscribe have to do with relevancy and frequency. Content isn't king — relevant content is king. Effective marketing is about earning your audience's permission and delivering relevant and actionable content without being overly intrusive. This data shows the importance of not just producing great, engaging content, but following best practices and finding the right balance between over-doing it and not communicating enough."
"While consumers decide to opt out of email and Facebook communications for very similar reasons, they also decide to opt in for similar reasons: to receive discounts and special offers," said Kristen Garvey, vice president of marketing at Chadwick Martin Bailey, in the release. "Consumers want great offers, and this is good news for marketers. Regardless of whether it comes through email or on Facebook, a great offer can be a front door to new business, and a really good opportunity to begin to build a long-term relationship with new customers."
The study analyzed the behavior of 1,481 consumers ages 18 and older in the United States and revealed 10 key findings:
- Producing content that is not relevant and over-communicating drives consumers to unlike and unsubscribe
- Despite the widespread use of mobile devices, 84% of consumers primarily access email from their computers
- While 30% of consumers access Facebook from a mobile device, 82% prefer their computers
- The organization it is from and the subject line are the top reasons consumers open emails from a business or nonprofit
- Lack of interest and over-sending are the top two reasons consumers do not open emails from a business or nonprofit
- The top reason consumers subscribe to a business's email list are to receive discounts and special offers
- Consumers primarily "Like" Facebook pages for discounts and promotions
- Consumers decide to opt in to email and Facebook for similar reasons
- Over-emailing and irrelevant content are the top reasons consumers unsubscribe from email lists
- A quarter of consumers prefer to opt in to local businesses over national businesses via email and Facebook
"Small businesses clearly have the edge over larger organizations. By comparison, small business owners excel at customer experience and building lasting relationships. That personal touch translates exceptionally well through engagement marketing practices, including both email and social media," said Schmulen. "Relationships are the cornerstone of any business, and they are one of the top reasons that emails get opened. Additionally, a quarter of respondents indicated that they prefer to opt in to local businesses via email and Facebook over national businesses because of the personal relationships that they have with the organization."