Like most kids, I used to always try to get more of what I wanted, especially if what I wanted wasn’t something I could easily get.
I wanted more chances to play Super Mario World after school, more time to shoot basketball before going to bed, and more sweet cereals like Count Chocula and Lucky Charms (and more marshmallows in them). To achieve this, I put a lot of effort into understanding my parents, so I could learn how to get more of these things without having to beg for them. Unfortunately, I never figured out how to increase the number of marshmallows in Lucky Charms, but I’m still open to suggestions…
Flash forward to now. I work for a great company that helps other companies get more of what they want – prospects, customers and revenue. One question we’ve always helped people with is “How can we get more email subscribers and generate more revenue from them?” That’s still a very valid question as email marketing is one of the most important things a company can do to grow its database and generate more revenue online.
With the rise of social media and Facebook, more people are also asking “How can we get more Facebook likes/fans?”
Important caveat: More Facebook fans should never be your end goal…but it can be a good indicator if what you’re doing is moving you towards your goals.
In answering these questions, it’s important to understand the motivations behind why people subscribe to company emails and why they might follow a company on Facebook.
Motivations For Email
The following statistics come from EmailStatCenter.com via ExactTarget’s Email X-Factor Study in 2010.
- 67% of US internet users say the motivation behind giving their email address to a company is to receive discounts and promotions.
- 55% of US internet users say the motivation behind giving their email address to a company is to get a “freebie” in exchange for my email address.
- 50% of US internet users say the motivation behind giving their email address to a company is to get updates on upcoming sales.
Motivations For Facebook
All Facebook recently released an infographic from Column Five Media and Get Satisfaction about what makes people want to follow a brand. Here are the top three reasons why people follow brands on Facebook/MySpace (not sure why these were lumped together, but they were):
- 36.9% of people who follow brands do this to get access to special offers
- 32.9% of people who follow brands do this because they’re current customers
- 18.2% of people who follow brands do this to get interesting or entertaining content
People’s primary motivations for subscribing to company emails and following companies on Facebook are roughly the same. People want access to discounts, deals and offers. Yes, some people may like you on Facebook or subscribe to your emails because they want to share their opinions or feel like they’re part of your community, but these aren’t the main reasons for most people. Keeping this in mind, you definitely want to think about what specific motivations your own customers may have.
Based on the research above, people are looking for tangible value from companies via email and Facebook. If you want to get more email subscribers and Facebook likes, you should probably give people what they’re looking for. You likely shouldn’t just offer both groups the same thing; ideally you want people to follow/subscribe to you on both channels to bring them even closer to your brand. I tend to believe that the best stuff should be reserved for email subscribers. Email marketing is something you have more ownership of and control over, and it takes more of an investment on the part of a user to subscribe via email than to like a page on Facebook. However, this is probably best looked at on a case-by-case basis.
How do you look at people’s motivations in determining how to get more people to like you on Facebook, subscribe to your emails and buy more stuff/buy more often/spend more money?
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briherbst/426995523/sizes/s/in/photostream/