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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 08, 2011

Silverpop: Marketers missing opportunity to grow email database via Facebook Page

Brands on Facebook are missing out on the opportunity to grow their email database because they are not providing an opt-in mechanism on their Pages, according to a new survey from email marketing firm Silverpop.

by Helen Leggatt

Silverpop-logo.jpgDespite brands' email subscribers significantly outnumbering their Facebook Likes by about 70-to-1 just 10% of brand Pages provide a way for Fans to opt-in to receive email.

Silverpop's survey, reported by Direct Marketing News, suggests little urgency among marketers to add an opt-in email mechanism to their Facebook Pages. Just 38% intend to do so and 22% have no plans at all.

Loren McDonald, VP of industry relations at Silverpop, believes there are several reasons why brands aren't encouraging email sign-ups on their Facebook Page. Some, he says, don't know how, others feel that it may be off-putting to their social networking Fans and some marketing departments just aren't integrated enough.

Would email really be off-putting to social networkers? After all, all of Facebook's half a billion or so users have an email address because it's needed to create an account.

Furthermore, Silverpop's survey illustrates that email remains a widely-used and effective channel, something that research continues to prove despite some who believe it is passé.

"Don't tell me consumers don't like email," said McDonald. "One of the key takeaways from the survey is the opportunity to take advantage of [separate digital marketing channels] to grow each other...It's not a zero-sum game."

With the introduction of iFrames to Facebook, brands now have a couple of sign-up routes to offer their Fans - embedding an email sign-up field directly on their Page or providing a link to an external website.

logo-blue-state-digital.jpgBut which works best? According to a test carried out by U.S.-based digital agency Blue State Digital there's little to separate the two. They developed two Facebook ads that required a user provide their name, email address, and ZIP code. The only difference between the two ads was that one drove traffic to an external site and the other to a Facebook Page.

After 14,000 clicks and 5,700 email sign-ups the results revealed that the conversion rates for both ads were almost identical - 38.4% for the external link and 38.5% for the Facebook Page embedded form.

"With over 98% statistical significance, we concluded that there is virtually no difference in conversion rates between an email signup form embedded on a website and one embedded on a Facebook Page," said Evan Moody, online advertising associate at Blue State Digital.

"While these results may not be as sexy as proving one side right and the other wrong, the data is still compelling."

Tags: Blue State Digital, email, Facebook, SilverPop, social media, social network

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  • Companies have to take social media out of its silo and integrate it with their other marketing efforts. Having an email opt-in button on your Facebook page is a great way to create another touch point with your consumers. If someone comes to you social profile, they are looking for an interaction of some kind. Give it to them!



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