SOURCE: StrongMail Systems

StrongMail Systems

December 16, 2009 08:00 ET

New Social Marketing Benchmark Data Reveals the Top Social Channels Being Monetized by Direct Marketers

Benchmark Data From Millions of Sharing Activities on the StrongMail Influencer Platform Identifies Email and Blogs as Most Effective Social Channels for Direct Marketing Conversions

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2009) - Sharing online content via email generates the highest conversion rates, while Twitter is the most effective channel for extending reach, according to the December 2009 "Social Influence Benchmark Report "released today by StrongMail, a leading provider of online marketing solutions for email and social media. By analyzing aggregate data from all client sharing activity enabled by the StrongMail Influencer platform during Q3 2009, this inaugural benchmark report reveals the sharing channels that are most preferred by consumers, that generate the most viral reach and that drive the most actual conversions.

According to Q3 2009 data, email generates 86 percent of all online sharing activity, making it the preferred consumer sharing method by far. Facebook and Twitter are the next most preferred channels for sharing, but only represent a fraction of all activity.

While email dominates the sharing activity, each email shared by an influencer only generates 0.41 additional clicks. Conversely, sharing via Twitter generates more than 18 clicks per post, which translates into a 1,837 percent click-through rate versus 41 percent for email. This impressive click-through rate firmly establishes Twitter as the most effective channel for amplifying a marketer's program across the social web.

Email is back on top, however, for the key metric of conversions. Peer-to-peer emails generate a 36.8 percent conversion rate, compared to just three percent for Facebook. Conversions from Twitter programs remain very low, but trends within the data suggest growth in Q4 2009. Embedded links for sharing via web pages and blogs turned in the second highest conversion percentage at 20.5 percent.

Report Highlights

--  Email generates nearly twice the conversions of the next best
    performing channel
--  Twitter is most effective at extending viral reach, generating 18
    clicks for every influencer post
--  Email is by far the preferred method of sharing at 86%
--  Facebook and Twitter generate only 6% and 4% of sharing activity,
    respectively
    

"When it comes to enabling consumers to share a brand or offer with their personal network, email remains an effective power house for getting the word out and driving conversions," said Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services and marketing development at StrongMail. "It is critical that marketers understand how to identify influencers within their customer-base and engage them as brand advocates. Consumers are surrounding themselves with influencers from their social networks and rarely make significant purchase decisions without consulting these influencers. If you sell online, you need to have a strategy that motivates your current customers to recruit new ones."

Download the Report

For more detailed information, download the full report at: www.strongmail.com/InfluencerBenchmark.

Data Collection Methodology

The findings presented in the December 2009 Social Influence Benchmark Report are based on aggregated reporting data of millions of share activities generated by all client programs that took place on the StrongMail Influencer platform during the third quarter of 2009.

About StrongMail Influencer

StrongMail® Influencer™ enables marketers to extend the reach of their existing email and online marketing campaigns into Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs and other social channels. StrongMail Influencer creates an engaging, interactive experience that motivates consumers to share offers and information with their networks, and tracks multi-stage sharing behavior across social channels and email. This enables marketers to track the true viral reach of their programs, down to the conversions generated from each brand advocate. StrongMail complements its Influencer technology with strategic services to identify key potential influencers and create compelling campaigns specially designed to motivate that audience. Using Influencer, companies have improved the performance of existing referral programs by 3X or more.

About StrongMail Systems, Inc.

StrongMail's online marketing solutions for email and social media enable businesses to reach, engage and influence their target audience using the most powerful channels available to marketers today. StrongMail gives email marketers the control and support they need to improve campaign performance, boost deliverability and lower costs, while also leveraging the power of social media to extend the reach of their campaigns and brand to new audiences. Combining an easy-to-use email marketing application, high-performance delivery system, viral-marketing tool, social media integration, and a wide range of deliverability, strategic and supporting services, StrongMail makes it possible for companies with all levels of resources and expertise to take advantage of its proven solutions. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, StrongMail's clients include global leaders across virtually every industry. To learn more about StrongMail, please visit www.strongmail.com or follow us online at www.twitter.com/StrongMail or www.facebook.com/StrongMail.