As we have said before on this blog, social media is not killing email, and the two are complentary partners.  

New global research from e-Dialog reinforces this view, showing how email can drive interaction on social sites, and that brands’ behaviour on Facebook and Twitter can make customers more receptive to emails. 

Here are a few highlights from the study (registration required), and an infographic showing some of the headline stats. 

Social media is driving email

Our Email Marketing Buyer’s Guide 2012 finds the industry in good health.

The UK market for email marketing platforms and services grew by an estimated 15.5% in 2011 to a value of £388m and has grown steadily in the eight years we’ve been tracking it. 

Email marketers can use social media to their advantage. For example, they can add social sharing buttons which can mean emails are spread beyond the subscriber list. Recent stats suggest that social sharing buttons can increase clickthroughs by up to 115%

Email marketing will continue, but it will have to evolve to fit into the changing times, by moving from load and blast to a focus on relevant one to one communications. The coming years will see email evolve even further, to adapt to the growth of social.   

The e-Dialog stats show the importance of email for social media interactions. For most people, email is their first contact with a social media site, as they’ve been invited through email to join by a friend. 

Users must also have an email address to sign up to a social site in the first place, while members are updated of notifications via email to draw them back onto the site.

Email is also valuable when brands post promotional messages, launch a competition or post news updates on social sites, as the first notification members receive is often via email. 

(Purple for US respondents, blue for Europe and yellow for APAC)

The stats also suggest that brands’ behaviour and responsiveness on social sites can have a positive effect on future interaction with emails

Some studies have shown that brands are failing in this area, and not responding to customers on social sites as much as they should be. 

For example, these stats show that companies respond to just 5% of questions on Facebook, while just 25% of UK’s top 25 retailers respond to customers on Twitter.  

The stats below show the value of interaction with customers on social media, with the majority of respondents more open to emails: 

(Purple for US respondents, blue for Europe and yellow for APAC)