Online Moms Use Facebook, Email


A little more than one in three moms use Twitter (36%) and personal blogs (34%). The only other online communication technology used by more than 20% of moms is social network MySpace.

 Online Moms Use Facebook, EmailA near-universal 98% of moms with email accounts check them at least once a day. Other online communication technologies with high daily usage rates by moms include Facebook (84%) and news websites (60%). Interestingly, the good old-fashioned telephone has a 60% daily usage rate among moms, as well.

 Online Moms Use Facebook, EmailA high percentage of moms often use email as an educational tool. Eighty-three percent of moms said they often learn new things through email, the highest response rate for any means of communication covered by the survey. Facebook ranked second (76%), while non-technological face-to-face meetings came in a close third (73%).

Other popular educational tools among moms include blogs (66%) and TV (65%).

 Online Moms Use Facebook, EmailWhen it comes to sharing things they have learned, the largest percentages of moms either often eschew technology and do it face-to-face (84%), or employ email (also 84%). Close to 80% use the phone.

Facebook is the only other medium often used by more than half of moms to share learnings, with 69% using “share” and 67% using “like.”

 Online Moms Use Facebook, EmailWho receives all this information that moms are sharing? Unsurprisingly for anyone in a relationship with a mom, 94% share information with their significant other. Ninety percent share with their best friend(s), and slightly more share with close family (such as a mother or sister).
The other two groups of people in a mom’s life most likely to get information from them are girlfriends (86%) and other parents (78%).

American moms are more likely than overall women own a smartphone, according to previously released data from BabyCenter. The “21st Century Mobile Mom Report” indicates 53% of moms say they purchased a smartphone as a direct result of becoming a mom. This makes moms 18% more likely than overall women to have a smartphone, and smartphone adoption by moms has grown 64% in the last two years.

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Social Media Is Not Killing Email


The latest death knell for email was sounded by data in comScore’s “2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review” report, which noted a decline in time spent with web-based email among all US internet users under 55. Users ages 12 to 17, who have been most likely to drop email in favor of other online communications like social networking, had the steepest decline in usage, down 59%.

But web-based email checked at a desktop computer is only one slice of all email communications, and email represents an overwhelmingly important communications channel.

According to research from customer relationship marketing agency Merkle, 87% of internet users checked personal email daily in 2010, a number that has changed little since 2007. Among those with a separate email account for commercial email, 60% checked daily, down just 1 percentage point since 2008.

Further, social media usage is hardly taking away from email. Rather, social media users are significantly more likely than other internet users to check their email four or more times per day, and less likely to check infrequently.

Mobile access is also encouraging email users to check more often. More than half (55%) of those surveyed who had an internet-enabled mobile phone checked their personal email using their phone, and nearly two-thirds of mobile email users checked their account at least once a day.

There is some evidence that personal communications are shifting away from email, though. Messages from friends and family are taking up a smaller share of all time spent with email, while the share spent with commercial emails is rising. And the proportion of respondents spending at least 20 minutes per week with email from friends and family fell from 71% in 2009 to 66% in 2010.

But email is still a major method of communicating for the vast majority of internet users. Across all age groups, it was the top choice for receiving commercial communications. Most respondents preferred the phone for personal communication, but email was the most important online channel for communicating with friends and family among every age group except 18- to 29-year-olds, a demographic for whom email was tied with social networks.

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Email Still Tops Facebook for Keeping in Touch

Only 18- to 24-year-olds use the social networking site more than email for passing items on

Content-sharing has become a staple of internet usage for most online adults. Research from Chadwick Martin Bailey found that three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.

Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.

Ways US Internet Users Share Content, by Age, Aug 2010 (% of respondents)

Earlier research from StrongMail and ShareThis also found email was still on top for content-sharing. Other studies have shown that, when limited to sharing on social sites, Facebook is No. 1.

Asked what gets them to share content online, web users polled by Chadwick Martin Bailey revealed selfish motivations. Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%). Asked to select the single biggest reason they shared content, the greatest percentage of respondents (45%) again said it was because they enjoyed it. Men and women reported similar reasons for sharing, but motivations varied by age. The oldest respondents cared more about the value of content to recipients: 67% of those ages 55 and older said they shared items because they would be useful to recipients, compared with just 45% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Primary Reason US Internet Users Share Content Online, Aug 2010 (% of respondents)

This difference in sharing motivation could have a relationship to the method of sharing. Email is a more targeted form of sending content; while content-sharers may shoot off mass emails to large distribution lists, most email shares are likely sent to a person or small group selected based on the specific content being shared.

Sharing via social networks like Facebook, by contrast, typically involves feeding items to an entire friends list. The youngest users, who care the least about whether the recipients of their content actually want to see it, are also most likely to disseminate the information to the widest group. And the seniors and older boomers who find the recipients’ needs more important dramatically favor email for sharing, suggesting they are sending relevant items to only those who will want them.

Email Drives Social Networking


Email can act as a key driver for consumer social networking use, according to a new study from digital marketing firm e-Dialog.

Email Primary SocNet Driver for Half of Consumers
When participants in “Global Perspectives” were asked what prompts them to go to social networking sites, an email to their personal email address was the clearly the primary driver to social networking activity. Overall, 53% of respondents across borders stated that email to a personal account was the primary driver to social networking activity.


While a large number of consumers also sign in directly to these social networking sites (35% overall), email topped all other forms of direct communication, including SMS mobile messaging (19% overall).

Broken down by region, consumers in Asia-Pacific selected email to a personal account (42%) and direct sign-in (31%) at the highest rates. North American consumers use these drivers at relatively low rates (25% and 23%, respectively). North Americans’ use of all drivers occurs at rates well below the global average, except for “other,” which slightly exceeds the 7% overall rate at 8%.

Consumers Ready to Share Marketing Content on SocNets
Roughly half of consumers in the “Global Perspectives” survey have clearly indicated that they are willing to act as brand advocates in order to connect email content to social networks. When asked what sort of marketing information they would consider appropriate to share through social media, the following attitudes and behaviors were revealed:

  • Special offers and promotions: Overall, 54% of consumers worldwide would share offers and promotions on their social networks. While this rate is highest in the Asia-Pacific region (67%), nearly half (46%) of North American consumers and one-third (34%) of European consumers indicated a willingness to act as social network brand ambassadors.
  • News on new products: Overall, 42% of consumers across regions stated they find new product news to be appropriate content to share. This percentage was highest in Asia-Pacific (50%) and lowest in Europe (27%). e-Dialog advises that marketers must be ready to embed social sharing mechanisms in their email marketing efforts not only on promotional offers, but also on new product announcements.
  • Support information: Nearly one-third (32%) of consumers globally deem helpful information, including tutorials and product support content, as share-worthy (shared by consumers on their social networks). There was not tremendous difference by region.


It is also worth noting that globally, 26% of consumers answered “none of the above” when asked what information is worth sharing via social network. This viewpoint was especially present in Europe (46%) and North America (37%), while far less prevalent in Asia-Pacific (13%).

Social Media Links Improve Email CTR
Including social media links in promotional emails improves their click-through rate (CTR), according to a recent study from email marketing technology firm GetResponse.

GetResponse research indicates that on average, promotional emails sent by small-to-mid-sized business (SMB) marketers that include links to at least one social network have a 9.4% CTR. Meanwhile, promotional emails without any social network links have a 7.2% CTR. This means promotional emails including social network links generate an average CTR 30% higher than promotional emails without the links.

Email is Permanent Consumer Fixture


Email is a permanent fixture in the lives of global consumers, according to [pdf] a new report from digital marketing firm e-Dialog.

Email Ownership Approaches 100%
Of the nearly 13,000 consumers e-Dialog surveyed around the world for its “Global Perspectives” report, 96% of them have a personal email account. Of the 13 countries surveyed, consumers in South Korea reported the highest percentage of having a personal email account at 99%.US adoption is at 97%. The lowest reported percentage is Italy at 87%.


High email adoption is also driving consumers to use messages that are connected to their primary email account, including social email and mobile email. Although usage of these types of email is much lower (37% and 34% overall, respectively), they are still potentially valuable marketing tools.

Usage of these two email types has strong regional variation. For example, 56% of US consumers own a social networking email account, but only 24% of Asia-Pacific consumers own one.

8 in 10 Consumers Want New Product Info via Email
The vast majority of consumers across global regions clearly indicate that they prefer to get new product marketing information via email. Overall, 80% of consumers surveyed indicate this preference, with 84% of Asia-Pacific consumers indicating such a preference followed by American (78%) and European (75%) consumers.

Broken down by nation, interest in product marketing offers via email is highest in Japan and Singapore (88%) and Italy and China (84%), and lowest in Sweden (54%). e-Dialog analysts advise that interest doesn’t always equal action, underscoring the need for marketers to employ relevance empowering techniques including segmentation and testing to drive profitable subscriber behavior.

Subscriber Acquisition Preference Varies by Nation


While websites are generally the preferred place for consumers to opt-in, marketers must adjust acquisition strategies by these regional differences, according to e-Dialog findings:

  • Company website registration: This behavior is highest in Spain (60%), Italy (58%) the US (57%), the UK (53%) and Singapore (50%). Consumers in France and the Netherlands are less likely to opt-in via the website and prefer to do so through a catalog order.
  • SMS acquisition: The ability for a consumer to quickly text their email address to an SMS code in order to opt-in online is most prevalent in the Asia-Pacific region. While other acquisition behavior in Asia-Pacific is similar to the overall global results, it differs dramatically for SMS opt-in. Twenty-one percent of Asia-Pacific consumers have reportedly opted in to email in this manner, as compared to 13% of the overall global survey respondents. This behavior is highest in China (27%).
  • Social acquisition: This emerging acquisition tactic is more popular with US consumers (12%) than it is with their European peers (8%). But again it is the Asia-Pacific region where it is most prevalent. Consumers in China (27%) and Singapore (17%) are especially likely to be acquired through a social network.

More US Consumers Use Email than SocNets for Brand Interaction
More US online consumers use email than social networks for brand interaction, according to a new study from digital marketing firms ExactTarget and CoTweet. Data from the “Daily Morning” report indicates that 93% of online consumers aged 15 and older receive at least one permission-based email per day, putting them into the category of “subscribers.”

Broken down by age demographic, 15-to-17-year-olds are subscribers at a significantly lower rate (68%). All other age brackets of online consumers aged 18 and older are subscribers at rates between 93% and 96%. In contrast, 38% of online consumers are fans of at least one company or brand on Facebook, placing them in the “fans” category, while only 5% follow a brand on Twitter.

5 Factors Push Email Past SocNets


Five key factors make email a more popular means of brand interaction than social networks, according to [pdf] a new study from digital marketing firms ExactTarget and CoTweet.

Because email isn’t new, consumers are familiar with the technology, are comfortable using it, and know exactly what to expect, according to “Email X-Factors.” Consumers have also grown accustomed to using email as a way of engaging with brands, making it top-of-mind when it comes to interacting with a company. Consumers most frequently use email for two types of brand interaction: obtaining promotions and deals and customer communications.

1. Obtaining Promotions and Deals. The internet has simplified price and promotion shopping, and 82% of consumers will search a variety of online channels to obtain deals and promotions. For the majority of consumers, they begin their search by checking a particular brand’s corporate website. Seventy-six percent of consumers will initially seek deals and promotions on a brand’s website, and from there, 62% will sign up to receive email, while 54% will use a search engine.

Meanwhile, 17% of consumers will also include Facebook as part of their search for ongoing deals, and 3% will search for deals on Twitter.
Women are more likely than men to sign up for emails (67% compared to 57%), and older consumers are also more likely to sign up for emails to get ongoing deals.

However, the difference based on age is far less than may be expected. In fact, Millennials (aged 15-24) are twice as likely to subscribe to email in their search for ongoing deals (56%) as they are to search for deals on Facebook (28%).


2. Customer Communications. The internet has also changed how organizations approach customer service. In the age of immediate gratification, the importance of customer service has been magnified. And although social media has given customers a way to publicly air their grievances against a brand, the majority of customers still prefer to deal with customer service issues in private—over the phone, through a company’s website, or through email. When faced with a customer service issue, 41% of customers will communicate via phone, 33% via company websites, and 20% via email. 37% of customers will send an email after an unsuccessful first attempt, making it the most common second step in the process of dealing with a customer service issue.

Consumers often turn to email for customer service requests because an immediate response is not always necessary. Email is seen as an efficient way of dealing with issues without having to wait on the phone for help, or turn to social media where privacy is lost.

More than nine in 10 (93%) of U.S. online consumers are subscribers, meaning they receive at least one permission-based commercial email message on a typical day. The average consumer receives 44 daily emails (including commercial and personal), and half of consumers receive fewer than 25 per day. While these numbers aren’t small, most consumers consider the size of their inboxes manageable. So while marketers may be overwhelmed by overflowing inboxes, most of their customers aren’t.

Of those 44 daily emails, about 25% are permission-based commercial messages, with the remaining 75% comprised of personal messages, transactional messages, and spam that’s quickly deleted.

The average teen (aged 15-17) receives less than half the email of the average consumer, and receives only four commercial emails per day. And while marketers often interpret these statistics to mean a large generational shift away from email is occuring, ExactTarget analysis indicates this is a misinterpretation. The amount of email teens receive increases significantly when they graduate from high school, suggesting life stage—not age—is a more important factor when considering how much consumers rely on email.

However, ExactTarget advises email marketers to focus on only sending relevant emails to consumers, as a recent CMO Council study indicates 41% of US internet users threatened to stop buying from brands that sent irrelevant emails. (For more details see “Relevancy” below.)


Trust and Privacy
Consumers have two major concerns regarding trust and privacy of promotional emails: whether personal data will be shared and the ease of unsubscribing. ExactTarget advises that established brands have a distinct advantage when it comes to earning the trust of their consumers. Consumers tend to give the benefit of the doubt to big brands, and assume their email addresses will be safe, secure, and unshared.

In contrast, consumers will do additional research on unknown brands before offering their email addresses. They will Google company names, and review complaint history and comments on Facebook and Twitter.

Consumers know it’s possible for companies to send targeted and personalized messages, meaning relevancy is no longer an option for marketers. And when it comes to email, consumers quickly decide which companies they like to receive messages from, opposed those they don’t, based on whether the email message is relevent or not. ExactTarget research found that half (49%) of consumers “always” open emails from their “favorite” companies, compared to only 16% who say they never open email.

While only one-third of consumers said they were motivated by the promise of exclusive content when choosing to become a subscriber, email’s exclusivity factor extends beyond content. ExactTarget advises that becoming a subscriber is like becoming a member of an exclusive club. As mentioned earlier, subscribers demonstrate their trust in a brand when they provide a company with their email address. And in return, they expect to be a part of an exclusive club.

More Consumers Use Email than SocNets for Brand Interaction
More online consumers use email than social networks for brand interaction, according to another recent study from ExactTarget and CoTweet. Data from the “Daily Morning” report indicates that 93% of online consumers aged 15 and older receive at least one permission-based email per day, putting them into the category of“subscribers. Broken down by age demographic, 15-to-17-year-olds are subscribers at a significantly lower rate (68%). All other age brackets of online consumers aged 18 and older are subscribers at rates between 93% and 96%.

Meanwhile, 38% of consumers are fans of at least one brand on Facebook, while only 5% are followers of at least one company or brand on Twitter.

Social Media Links Improve Email CTR


Including social media links in promotional emails improves their click-through rate (CTR), according to a recent study from email marketing technology firm GetResponse.

Social Media Links Improve CTR 30%
GetResponse research indicates that on average, promotional emails sent by small-to-mid-sized business (SMB) marketers that include links to at least one social network have a 9.4% CTR. Meanwhile, promotional emails without any social network links have a 7.2% CTR. This means promotional emails including social network links generate an average CTR 30% higher than promotional emails without the links.


The More, The Merrier
Results of the study show that email messages with no social network links return an average 7.2% CTR, while email messages with one social network link returned an average 8.7% CTR. This CTR jumps to 9.3% for messages with two social network links, a roughly 7% increase from messages with one link and 29% increase from messages with no links.


In addition, messages with three or more social sharing links generated an 11.2% CTR, which is 20% higher than messages with two links, 28% higher than messages with one link and 55% higher than messages with no links.

Twitter Offers Best CTR
Broken down by specific social network, Twitter offers the highest CTR (10.2%), followed by Facebook (9.1%). Digg offers the lowest CTR of major social networks (5.3%), meaning messages with Twitter links are almost twice as effective at generating CTR as messages with Digg links, but only 12% more effective than messages with Facebook links.


Most SMB Marketers Don’t Use Social Media in Email
Despite demonstrated improvements in CTR, only a distinct minority of small-to-mid-sized-business (SMB) marketers use social media links or icons in their promotional emails, according to other study results from GetResponse. Data indicates that 18.7% of SMB marketers linked promotional emails to messages on their Twitter accounts. Another 13.5% included clickable sharing links to social media networks.

Five Steps to Online Marketing Success

Using competitive intelligence strategies and tools will be key to launching successful email marketing campaigns in 2010, according to a new white paper from Compete.

In the white paper “Five Simple Steps to Online Marketing Success,” Compete recommends that marketers take the five following steps to integrate competitive marketing into their online campaigns:

1. Know the Competition: First, Compete advises email marketers to create a list of competitors in their space and identify the specific reasons each poses a competitive threat. After identifying their competitive set, marketers are advised to dig into metrics and figure out their standing in the ones that matter most.

Frequently used metrics include unique visitors, page views, time on site, average stay, and pages per visit. All of these will give marketers a sense of real norms for their competitive landscape, thus allowing them to make logical business decisions and maximize ROI. Some competitive intelligence solutions provide visibility into metrics for competitors’ sites that are much like the ones analyzed using local web analytics tools.

2. Cover Search Marketing Bases: Increase search traffic and campaign performance through analysis of competitors’ search marketing trends and keywords. In addition, using local web analytics tools, marketers can see what keywords are sending traffic to their sites, how much of that traffic is paid as compared to natural, and what percentage of traffic the individual search engines contribute to a site overall.

Through optimization and testing of paid search campaigns, SEO keyword research, and content creation, marketers can maximize conversions and increase search ROI. However, optimization and testing are not guaranteed to provide beneficial results. Competitive search analytics tools let marketers quickly gain insights into your competitors’ search strategy so you can capitalize on their success.

3. Copying is a Sign of Flattery: Identify what websites are sending competitors traffic and get in on the action. Competition for web traffic will continue to grow as more everyday activities move online. Just like there are a few keywords that drive most of the traffic to a site (the head) and thousands of other keywords that drive a little (the long tail), traffic to websites works much in the same way. There are millions of websites out there, however only a small percentage account for the bulk of traffic. The relationships marketers forge with other online businesses can determine the fate of their marketing success.

By analyzing referral (upstream) and destination (downstream) traffic for their competitive sets, marketers can easily identify new affiliate websites, business relationships, and link-building opportunities. If competitors are receiving traffic from specific sites, it may be worth reaching out to those sites.

Compete advises that marketers use competitive intelligence tools to create a list of websites that send traffic to their competitors, excluding websites that they are already working with. Marketers can then determine which sites they want to reach out by analyzing how much traffic these websites receive. Analyzing traffic referral reports is a great way to generate new relationships and increase online reach with minimal effort.

4. Fix Your Leaky Bucket: Local web analytics tools will let marketers identify which websites are sending traffic to their sites. Based on page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates, they can easily identify which websites deliver the most benefit. Thinking of a website as a bucket, using various marketing tactics, marketers can scoop up site visitors that may be interested in their products or services. Then by creating conversion funnels, they can attempt to lead users to perform a specific action.

Using destination or downstream traffic tools, marketers can easily see where their users go when they leave the site. Are they going directly to a competitor, a search engine, or back to their favorite social network? Maybe they are searching for coupons on their favorite deal sites or conducting research before they decide to purchase your products or services. By regularly performing a destination traffic report on their websites, marketers can easily find opportunities to quickly “patch the holes” in their “leaky buckets.”

5. Stay on Top: Marketers should monitor, set benchmarks, and realize how their site enhancements and marketing strategies impact their competitors. In order to stay on track and continue to grow their business, marketers need an online marketing strategy that can adjust to ever-changing economic, technological, and social environments. Incorporating competitive intelligence into that marketing strategy can give them the critical information they need to minimize risk and ensure success.

Marketers should monitor their competitive set and use competitive intelligence tools on a regular basis. They will find much of the information they collect to be critical in making decisions about their overall marketing strategies. Then, they should set benchmarks and monitor changes across their entire competitive sets.

Google Dominates Search Engine Activity
US web users prefer to conduct online searches with Google by a wide margin, according to recent data from The Nielsen Company. In March 2010, Google Search maintained its comfortable lead in search engine usage during March 2010, with 6.39 billion searches, or 65.7% of 9.72 billion total searches.