Is social media a threat to e-mail marketing? Not anytime soon. 22

Posted on August 19, 2010 by Rob Petersen

The Tweet (and Re-Tweet) I received most this week originated from Sunday’s #blogchat on Twitter with Mack Collier and his guest, Chris Brogan.  In this #blogchat, there were over 4000 tweets from 800 contributors to 1 Twitter site in 1 hour.  It was a speed that would make Evelyn Wood dizzy.

The Tweet/Re-Tweet was: “93% of people opt into msgs via email versus 19% in FB and 5% in Twitter (I might be wrong on FB but it’s less than 30%).” In a related tweet, e-mail was referred to as the “#1 social network.”

Touche e-mail marketing.  Too bad social media.  If you thought social media was a threat to e-mails, think again because:

  • The gap is huge
  • E-mail marketing is a 1-to-1 relationship vehicle; social media is 1-to-many
  • The opt-in numbers suggest subsequent actions such as requests for more information, conversion and, of course, sales will be much, much greater with e-mail than social media

But, is this a competition or a collaboration?  Another perspective is it’s a sign of progress because:

  • E-mail and social media are now part of the same relationship marketing consideration set
  • One builds off the other. E-mail often works off a list of known customers and prospects; social media adds incremental outreach, new leads and brings out advocates
  • Duplication adds frequency, essential to getting someone to take action
  • Opt-in progress of social media is encouraging considering its relative newness as a marketing channel
  • Using both is going to give reach and impact a boost

According to comScore, Facebook now draws 145 million unique visitors monthly and Twitter gets 24 million uniques per month; 29% who use the service for retail purposes.  So, even though the opt-in percentages are much smaller, the reach potential is substantial.

Since people took an interest in this issue, do you have a particular opinion?  Do these numbers surprise you?  Do they cause you to choose one over the other or show the value of integration?

If you don’t know about #blogchat, it’s about the best hour you could spend on a Sunday evening.  It’s at 9 pm EST on Twitter at #blogchat.  And Mack does a great job, both as host and giving great value to his audience.  If you don’t know about Tweet Chats, they’re a great source of learning, networking and are usually good fun.  Here’s a brief definition.

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