Engagement: what consumers like and dislike in email and social


Email and socialThe primary reasons why consumers subscribe to an email list, in general, have been the same since many years, as have been the reasons to unsubscribe. Now that the cross-fertilization of channels such as email and social is becoming mainstream, it’s interesting to understand why consumers start following brands on social, which in a way is also an opt-in act.

It should not come as a surprise that there are many similarities between ‘liking’ and ‘subscribing’ on one hand and ‘unliking’ and ‘unsubscribing’ on the other.

Research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey looked at the reasons why consumers engage with businesses (including non-profits) via email and Facebook. Of course, liking a brand on Facebook, is just one of many ways to connect with brands in a 'social' way, and it is not the same as, for instance, sending a tweet or socially sharing content. We talked about the reasons why people share content via social networks in another post.

Why consumers subscribe and like: the role of relevancy

However, when looking at Facebook and email the similarities are striking and relevancy is a common motivator.

  • The main reason why consumers subscribe to email, according to the research, is to receive discounts and special offers (58%). Exactly the same motivator ranks first when it boils down to liking a business (41%).
  • Another important reason why consumers subscribe is to take part in a specific promotion (39%). This reason ranks high regarding liking a business on Facebook as well (28%).
  • An existing relationship, the desire to support, exclusive content and the desire to stay informed matter a lot in both cases as well.

Why consumers unsubscribe and unlike: the role of (indeed, again) relevancy

When looking at the reasons why people unlike a brand or unsubscribe from an email list, irrelevant content and over-communication are the key reasons for both, the research (via eMarketer) found.

Avoiding marketing fatigue is not a matter of one channel or way of interacting. The proper frequency of interaction, as well as relevancy is crucial across channels and touch points. This requires marketers to have a cross-channel approach when interacting and a single view of different interactions. It also forces us to focus more than ever on relevancy and thus personalization, measurement and the preferences of consumers.

As for the reasons why people subscribe or like; it's clear that rational and emotional relevancy (offers, discounts, an existing relationship, etc.) requires a more integrated view as well.

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