Less than half of marketers are using branded Facebook pages to collect email subscriptions. That’s right, half. What does the half that grabs prospect and customer email subscribers from their Facebook pages know that the other half seemingly does not?
Our friends at DM News shared some interesting numbers on how marketers are actually using social media, and despite the talk of social conversions, marketing across social and email channels is rarely being utilized to it’s potential.
As of May 2011, 51% of marketers now have a branded Facebook page. That’s the good news. However, only 44% (or 22% of ALL marketers) of them actively use their Facebook page for collecting email information from fans for cross-channel marketing efforts. That’s the bad news.
It certainly isn’t a technical obstacle. Considering all of the creative ways that companies design their Facebook pages, putting up a simple email list subscription form is hardly difficult. That’s why it’s so shocking when companies like Suave and Green Mountain Coffee don’t even offer an email signup on their Facebook pages. (An example of someone doing it right is our client, Mitchell’s Fish Market.)
What’s more, most email software platforms will now provide you with all the code to put on your Facebook page, meaning you don’t have to know XML from Ajax and still be able to create a beautiful, functional subscription form.
Our guess? Many marketers still fear overloading potential customers with too many requests. After all, surely it’s too much to ask someone to both click a “Like” button AND type out their email address, right?
The notion that fans, subscribers, and potential customers will be overwhelmed by too many requests and simply block out marketing efforts is an outdated one. It has its roots in pre-Internet days, when direct marketing meant disruptive mail and telephone call experiences. An opt in for emails that promise value is no comparison. While bad design could add clutter, it can also be pretty much a seamless experience.
Sending someone a monthly newsletter and calling them regularly does seem like a bit much, but that’s an old paradigm, and one that needs to be left in the stone-age days of stuffing envelopes. The thing is, consumers are not only ready to engage with brands across multiple channels, they’re already doing it.
From that same survey, 22% of teenagers (aged 13-18) share offers that they receive via email on their Facebook page: think Groupon and social buying deals.
With that in mind, it’s not much of a stretch to think that a significantly higher percentage still visits the website of a brand whose email list they subscribe to regularly. And it’s even more likely that they visit that brand’s Facebook fan page, and engage on multiple levels across multiple mediums. They’re ready and you’d better be running to catch up.
Do you like hearing someone repeat themselves over and over again?
If you said no, you’re like most folks consuming media on multiple channels. So if you plan on simply repeating the same information across every medium, you need to think again. Email, Facebook, Twitter, and your company website all have strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a few tips for cross channel marketing through email and social media:
“Sign-up Fatigue” might be a myth, but it’s perpetuated because of marketers who fail to offer value in exchange for their subscriber’s time and information. These marketers end up under-performing and usually lose subscribers. Don’t demand that a Facebook fan subscribe to your newsletter; run a promotion or offer a piece of locked content, such as a game or white paper.
It doesn’t have to be something expensive and adversely impact your bottom line –for that matter, it doesn’t have to be a promotion at all! It does, however, have to be as valuable to a consumer as they think their email address is to themselves.
There’s a lot of potential for effective cross-channel marketing, and a lot of opportunity for engagement with a highly interested and enthusiastic pool of potential customers. Get out there and try it.