Using Email + Social to Find Demand for More Email

We’ve been using the Social Magnet intensively for about a month now, pushing a lot of our social content through it, crafting some A/B tests to measure social’s impact on email, and otherwise immersing ourselves in the application daily.  There is tons more to learn, but now we’ve got the opportunity to look at all of January for some trends and insight. The first report I looked at was eye-opening:

jancomparative

Click to enlarge.

What you’ll see when you open up the image is that for the campaigns we’ve allocated to Social Magnet comparison, we’re seeing more clicks coming from our social channels than we are from email. The Comparative Overall Statistics Report shown above indicates the number of messages sent in each channel, and the total number of clicks. In social channels, it includes clicks from Retweets and Facebook shares, and the email clicks include anything generated from pass-along as well. So it’s an apples-to-apples comparison in that the numbers reflect the total number of clicks per channel (though not necessarily limited to the direct audience of each channel).

Data points are interesting, but knowledge is genuinely useful. So I ran another report to see if I could figure out where all of social’s productivity is coming from. This report compares our messages and clicks by message category. You’ll see we have a category for Newsletters, one for Webinars and another for Blogs:

janbycategory

Click this one to enlarge too.

The A-HA! finding in this chart is the third column entitled blogs, which attributes 220 clicks to Twitter and zero to email. This is the category I assign to all social posts that point to a new article on the blog, or an article from the blog archives. We publish to the blog a few times a week – far too frequently to accompany each post with an email pointing to it. But Twitter and Facebook are ideally suited to pointing to blog articles, as well as other content that is interesting and relevant, but not important enough by itself to co-opt inbox attention (unless of course you have an opt-in newsletter expressly on blog content). Our social channels, then, allow us to better merchandise engaging content in ways that email does not currently do for us.

Next I drilled down a little deeper and looked at the Activity Calendar for the month. The calendar shows when every email and social post were published – social posts are light blue and purple, and the red are emails.

Click this one too.

Part of the reason we’re generating more clicks through social is because the volume of social activity is greater. Even though our social audience is a fraction the size of our email list, we are pushing content through Twitter and Facebook much more frequently.

By looking at all of these reports together, we’re able to draw a couple of unexpected conclusions:

First, our audience has an appetite for more engaging content than what we are currently sending via email.
Second, we have an opportunity to send more email.

That’s not the conclusion I was expecting to find, frankly. But if our audience is responding to the shorter, narrower content that we’re publishing in social channels, they are engaged with the brand more than once or twice a month. So I’m currently developing a new weekly niche newsletter that I expect a smaller segment of our audience will opt into, but will give us the opportunity to reach this highly engaged segment more regularly in the inbox.

Normally I’d stop short of saying that Email + Social analytics is like a box of chocolates. But it is Valentine’s Day, and you do never know what you’re going to get.

 

 

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