What’s that you say, “Facebook?” Not even close. “YouTube,” closer, but still off by a mile. The largest digital social media platform in the world is (drumroll please) email. About 80% of all social interactions between people online is still done via email, and according to Tynt.com, a corresponding percentage of links, content and copy are still spread by good old-fashioned email exchanges. But here’s the real irony of today’s Social Graf: One of the fastest growing sources of content we send to each other via email is, in fact, other forms of social media. In other words, we’re using one social medium (email) to spread other forms of social media to each other.
Even more interesting are the findings of a new report from Experian CheetahMail, which indicates that emails that contain a reference to other social media are more likely to be opened and shared. Okay, so the Experian CheetahMail report is talking about emails from marketers, but that’s what they track, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same principle holds true when it is peer-to-peer emailing.
As for the specifics, the report found that when emails contained the name of a social media site such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest in their name or subject line, response rates went up as follows:
That said, the report, which is based on second quarter 2012 results, shows some shifts taking place in the email effectiveness of various social media platforms. For example, and not surprisingly, Facebook has matured, and isn’t generating the kind of “lift” that it has been.
“’Like us’ campaigns are no longer showing the 10% lift in unique clicks we saw in 2010,” the report reads. “Open rates are now similar to all other mailings, and the unique click rates are slightly below the other mailing rates.”
Twitter, on the other hand, is just as tweet, the report finds, noting, “Unique open rates for Twitter ‘Follow us’ mailings are 9.5% higher than those for their other mailings, but unique click rates are virtually identical to all of their other mailings.
And as you might imagine, Pinterest is generating the most new interest among email recipients: “‘Pin us’ mailings are generating open rates that are 11% higher than other mailings, and unique click rates that are almost 25% higher.”
By the way, while email generally gets overshadowed in the discussion surrounding newerfangled social media, it continues to grow both in terms of volume and overall open rates. According the second quarter report, total volume grew 10% and open rates climbed 1.5% over the same quarter last year.