Email marketing provider GetResponse has analysed the influence of social sharing options on email effectiveness, comparing social sharing preferences of email marketers.

It looked at social media sharing via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in more than 2,200m emails sent by GetResponse customers.

The major outcome was that the number of users who include social sharing buttons in their emails increased to 18.3% - an increase of 40% from last year.

Social sharing is everywhere these days; on every post, on most sites, with a multitude of companies providing free tools to make it easy. It fosters more engagement, drives traffic and extends the reach of content around the web. 

GetResponse's study and infographic below reminds us that this isn't just about social media; marketers are also catching on to the power of connecting the dots and bringing email into the mix. 

Of those that already do this, the company's research found that 51.9% included only one social share icon, 40.6% included two, 7.4% included three, and 0.1% included four icons.

As pointed out above, this is an improvement - but these levels are still comparatively low, especially when compared with the exceptionally high performance results for newsletters that included social sharing buttons. Those emails had a click-through-rate (CTR) of up to 115% higher. 5.6% CTR for emails that included social sharing icons, versus 2.6% CTR for those that did not.

The company ran similar analysis last June, also within its client base. Back then you needed to do a lot more; offering at least three social options led to 55% higher click-through rates.  Whereas an email message with a social sharing option generated just 30% higher click-throughs than emails without any social sharing links. 

So, we see that both uptake of social sharing within email – and the results you get from doing this – are growing. Even if this shift is still relatively slow.

Vikki Chowney

Published 11 January, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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Comments (5)



This should really provide developers/marketers the mandate to add more & varied share buttons besides the ubiquitous F (Facebook) & Tweet buttons. In fact they should try to make it more geocentric so that social sites popular in specific regions - ApnaCircle (India), Tianji (China), Viadeo (France/West Europe) - have their share button options integrated in newsletters going out. Tricky but not impossible!

over 6 years ago



I think Rajiv makes a very good point regarding putting enough thought into what sharing links you use. How well do you know your subscribers? Where do you think they like to share content? Sharing in email is not just a slap and dash process.

It's really never been a case of just slapping a button on an email. You should be thinking about where you place them too. At the top of each piece of content or the bottom or both? Where is that sharing action likely to take place naturally for your readers? It's one more element you should test.


over 6 years ago


Dennis Brown

Uhm, is it just me or is the headline for this article garbage?
Whilst a 115% lift in click-throughs is clearly huge, to state it is because of the inclusion of social sharing buttons is like saying the film Titanic took millions more at the box-office than "My Little Pony" because they included a ship...
If the results were from sends comparing the same email, but tested with sharing links and without, then yes, that would be relevant, but as it is, what's more likely driving the improved response is the fact that if the sender is sufficiently switched on to include sharing links, their email is probably just a tad better, too!
Come on e-consultancy, lets have meaningful stats, please :)

over 6 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

Hi Dennis.

That's the exact stat as provided by GetResponse.

Of course it should be taken with a pinch of salt, but the nature of news coverage is to focus on the core outcome, especially when looking at research.


over 6 years ago



Totally agree with Rajiv...

Use your contact data/knowledge to provide them with relevant content - including knowing which social networks are popular in their geographic region.

For example, I've yet to see a RenRen icon make it into an email campaign... but then that's right, as I'm sitting in the UK.. but do our Chinese contacts see it? It's definitely a 'not yet' response here.

over 6 years ago

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