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Determining the Value of Email Marketing Subscribers Versus Facebook Fans -- Why It’s Important Now.

Facebook has become a media force to be reckoned with for large B2C brand marketers.  If I had a dollar for every time I've recently been asked if a brand should apply more of their marketing dollars to Facebook or email... I could buy a great pair of shoes :)

The answer is of course - it depends on your business. 

But for most online retailers, it can be summed up in two simple words:  addressable media.   If your email marketing plan and revenue model relies on reaching your customers directly to drive sales using offers and promotions, the value of an email will prevail.  But why guess.  With simple analysis you can get answers and know just how much of your marketing dollars to apply to both.

Research shows that somewhere between 40%-50% of Facebook fans are also email subscribers.  That's a significant correlation but it makes sense.  Your best brand advocates are likely fans and I'm betting also active in email.   This also means that a subset of your Facebook fans will crossover in your analysis.  Obviously a fan who is also a subscriber is a key influencer.  It’s the subset of email only subscribers or Facebook only fans and their level of activity that will provide the perspective you need.

The question then becomes what to do about it.  

For the Crocs brand the value of an email address outweighs the value of a Facebook fan.  Reaching customers directly is a clear and measurable driver of revenue, so knowing this they drive email signups from Facebook.   Currently, 12% of their net new email sign ups come from Facebook.

Crocs Facebook

I learned during a recent conversation with an analyst from a large regional discount retailer, that a Facebook fan has more value.  An investment in addressable media, or email marketing in this case, may not be their strong suit since their product is already heavily discounted so offers are not part of their promotional arsenal.  

Start by talking to your analytics lead to establish these values.   If you haven’t gone there already, companies like Rapleaf can help you to access the data.   Your Facebook to email ratio is going to differ from other brands as it is dependent on your brand equity, marketing model and marketing efforts thus far.   But that’s a good gauge that your brand equity is healthy.

Your marketing plans should be much clearer from here.   But, before drawing conclusions and committing marketing dollars to Facebook, you should be confident that your email strategy and tactics thus far have been stellar.  Email remains a powerful demand generation force with undeniable ROI.   If you are not practicing best-in-class email marketing, you may not be giving your audience the right opportunities to purchase and engage to drive revenue.  See the latest trends in email marketing that are driving engagement.

More on the value of addressable media and how to drive engagement, sign ups and likes from email to Facebook and back in my next blogs.  Stay tuned!

Want some more email marketing resources? Check out our white papers!

Posted by: Laura Crawford at 10:57 AM
Categories: email marketing, FaceBook, social media strategies, social media practices, social media marketing

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