MailChimp recently analyzed more than 1 billion emails sent since January 2009 to track the inclusion of links to Twitter and Facebook. The data shows an 84% increase in email campaigns that include links to Twitter compared to a 66% increase in campaigns that feature Facebook. In 2008, neither site was linked in many email marketing campaigns – a mere 0.49% of users included any social media links in their emails.
What may be more interesting about the study, however, is that social media and email are being used to complement one another. In a 2008 survey by MarketingSherpa.com (http://www.MarketingSherpa.com), 36% of respondents predicted that social media would gradually replace email as the primary way businesses communicate with their customers. Instead, MailChimp’s research shows that the two are working very well together, with each adding its unique benefits.
“We find Twitter, Facebook and email all serve very different purposes in our marketing strategy,” says Candace McWhirter of 7 Stages Theatre. “We use Twitter for short messages, Facebook for networking and email campaigns for in-depth information and updates.”
Twitter was founded in 2006 and quickly grew into a social-media powerhouse, allowing people to share updates, links, photos and more. Unlike Facebook, where friends must mutually agree to share information, Twitter’s public publishing platform allows businesses to monitor what their customers are saying about them.
MailChimp offers several tools marketers can use to integrate Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites (http://www.mailchimp.com/twitter) into their email campaigns and online marketing strategies. Auto-tweet and URL-shortening features automatically shorten the links to users’ email campaigns and then post to Twitter for them as soon as their campaigns are sent. Then, MailChimp will track how many times the campaign was tweeted and retweeted and by whom (http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/tracking-twitter-tweets-about-your-email-campaigns-in-mailchimp/), adding the data to users’ reports dashboard.
MailChimp has also released a special Twitter email template within their application. In the Twitter template, the right side-column displays the sender’s Twitter information as well as their most recent tweets. The user can then edit the main column to include their regular newsletter content. This template allows MailChimp users to fully integrate Twitter into their email campaigns, and further promote their social media presence.
“At MailChimp, we’ve always rolled our eyes at n00bs who proclaimed that instant messaging, then RSS, then blogs, then mobile, then “myfacetwitter” was going to kill email,” says Ben Chestnut, Co-Founder of MailChimp. “What’s important here is that they’re *all* great tools for businesses to stay in touch with customers. And with MailChimp, you can mash up all those technologies into something even awesomer.”