INFOGRAPHIC: Facebook Engagement Resembles Email

Consumers’ choices to interact with businesses and nonprofits are very similar on Facebook and via email, according to a new study from engagement marketing firm Constant Contact and market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.

The study of 1,481 U.S. consumers 18 and older found parallels between why consumers like Facebook pages and opt-in to email lists, including a tendency to interact more with local businesses than with national companies.

Here are some key findings from the study:

1. Producing content that’s irrelevant and putting out too many messages drives consumers to unlike and unsubscribe.
2. Despite the widespread use of mobile devices, 84 percent of consumers primarily access email from their computers.
3. While 30 percent of consumers access Facebook from mobile devices, 82 percent prefer their computers.
4. The sender and the subject line are the top reasons why consumers read messages from a business or nonprofit.
5. Lack of interest and over-sending are the top two reasons why consumers do not open emails from a business or nonprofit.
6. The top reason why consumers subscribe to a business’ email list are to receive discounts and special offers.
7. Consumers primarily like Facebook pages for discounts and promotions.
8. Consumers decide to opt-in to email and Facebook page posts for similar reasons.
9. Over-emailing and irrelevant content are the top reasons why consumers unsubscribe from email lists.
10. One-quarter of consumers prefer to opt-in to local businesses over national organizations via email and Facebook.

And Constant Contact General Manager of Social Media Mark Schmulen said:

The parallels between email and social media marketing are strong because both are forms of permission marketing. 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.

The main reasons why 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.

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.

Relationships are the cornerstone of any business, and they are one of the top reasons that emails get opened. Additionally, one-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.

Chadwick Martin Bailey Vice President of Marketing Kristen Garvey added his own comments:

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. 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.

Readers: Have your experiences with marketing via Facebook and email meshed with the findings of this study?

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