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Email Subscribers, Social Followers Often Act Alike

Email marketing

Email subscribers and social media followers have a lot in common according to metrics that  track their behavior.

More importantly, this behavior applies to how they go from email or social media and click into a core website.

Start with a simple explanation of Facebook followers and the metrics that are used in FB’s Insights report.

When someone follows a Facebook page, they will receive updates from the page on their News Feed, which is the view they get when they first log into FB.

If the post is brief, the viewer sees all of it. If the post is too long, the viewer must clicks on a link that says More.

If the Facebook update is near the top of the News Feed and viewable, FB registers the view.

How is this any different from someone who receives an email newsletter? The answer is, not much.

The email appears in the email reader along with many other emails. Depending on the volume, it may appear at the top or again buried underneath many other emails.

Email settings usually display the subject line and the first several words of the email. Some settings will display more of the email.

In that sense, both social posts and emails content are similarly viewable. Both social posts and email content require people to click on a link to view more of each.

So for both, the first behavior is a view and the second behavior is an open.

Next: Click to Read the Email or Post

Email newsletter marketing tipsThe next step for both is a simple click, which for many businesses is the most important metric.

For the Facebook user, the click will usually go to either the company’s Facebook page or website.

The more valuable of the two usually is the website because it has advertising, transactions, registration forms and other useful benefits for the company.

The Facebook page has value because it has branding and more opportunities for the visitor to click into the website.

In the case of the email subscriber, the click within the email takes him or her to the website (or social media account if the links are on the email).

Again, the behavior of both email subscribers and social followers is similar.

How the Metrics Compare

Every website is different, so it is difficult to come up with patterns that hold true for everyone.

But it’s common within email marketing for the open rate to average about 20 to 25 percent of total subscribers. A common click rate is 5 to 10 percent.

The weekly total reach for certain Facebook accounts often depend on how often updates are posted on the page, but some will see a reach equal 40 or 50 percent of their total followers.

Some sites even reach 100 percent or more of their followers because of repeat visitors. Others get a small reach because of their topic.

One website during a recent month had email visits equal to 36 percent of its total subscribers. It had Facebook visits equal to 21 percent of total followers.

That makes email for that site a more effective promotional channel. But email subscribers for that site (and others) are harder to get and keep than Facebook followers.

High-quality email and Facebook lists seem effective at driving traffic to a Web site. But the same so far can’t be said about Twitter and Google Plus.

The Final Takeaway

A follower is a subscriber and a subscriber is a follower. A company’s ultimate goal for both is audience, reach and conversion.

In that sense, social media followers and email subscribers are alike. The only real difference lies in the effectiveness of each and the return on investment.

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