Tink Taylor, managing director, dotMailer.
If there’s one debate that seems to rage on without a conclusion, it’s attempts by marketers to put a value on a Like on Facebook or a follower on Twitter. To those of us that live in the direct marketing world, putting a value on customer opt-ins is nothing new.
A few years ago, the DMA put the value of an email address to a marketer at £9.11. Of course, this is a sweeping average and I would encourage companies to calculate the figure for their own business (I’ve recently seen retailers come up with values ranging up to £350 per address). But how does this figure compare to social opt-ins?
Research shows, even if someone Likes your brand on Facebook, only 16% will see your posts due to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm. Compare that to email and you’d have marketers yelling from the rafters if deliverability rates reached such low levels.
Despite the human urge to compare apples and pears, the challenges marketers face across these channels are similar. With email, consumers will actively engage and seek out up to 20 of the brands they receive emails from, which mirrors some of the difficulties with engagement on social media.
It’s physically much easier to Like a brand on Facebook (one click) than it is to sign up to email newsletters but the opt-in itself, in both cases, is only part of the problem. The bottom line is creating content that encourages recipients to engage, whether by opening an email or liking a status update.
There are a number of incentives for linking the two channels together. While social media is great for building brand engagement and affinity, it’s email where real ROI can be seen, with email and search ranking significantly higher for revenue generation than social channels in a recent IAB study.
What about all those people that Like your brand on Facebook but aren’t signed up to receive your emails? Encouraging them to receive your emails too is especially important given the statistics above about the known value you can put on an email address.
Recently we’ve been working with a leading UK celebrity chef to counter this problem. The chef in question has millions of Facebook fans but a relatively small email list. We suggested a simple competition whereby fans sign up and give their email address (with the correct permissions) for the chance to win an opportunity to have this chef cook dinner for them in their own home. By linking the collection of email data via social Likes, we can start to put a value on the number of Likes converted.
Imagine a world where you can link the data in your email database with the sales data you have in your CRM to data about the interests of your Facebook fans. Add in tried and tested email marketing techniques like segmentation and triggering and you could put together highly sophisticated and, largely automated, marketing programmes.