Daniel Burstein

Email Marketing: 83% of CMOs says social media will affect email programs

October 4th, 2012

According to the 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, CMOs see social media and mobile as the developments that will have the biggest impact on email marketing in the near future …

Q. What new developments will most affect your email marketing program in the next 12 months? Select up to five developments.

Click to enlarge


So here’s the challenge to you, email marketers of the world. Not only must you integrate social media into your email marketing, you must integrate a rapidly changing social media environment.

Just when you thought you could rest after successfully integrating Twitter and Facebook, for example, along comes Pinterest.


Pinterest + email

However, as motivational speakers say when they misinterpret Chinese, “In crisis, there lies opportunity.”

“More than 50% of all major online retailers have used their email programs to promote their activity on Pinterest this year, and marketers are gradually becoming more sophisticated in their use of social content and data,” said Chad White, Research Director, Responsys.

How can you best adapt your email marketing to the Pinterest-savvy consumer? Get visual. You can read more about how one marketer did just that in the MarketingSherpa case study, “Social Email Marketing: Contest adds 200% more Pinterest followers and engagement.”


Mobile smartphone and tablet adoption

The huge number for social media in the chart above is no surprise, but are CMOs too busy playing with their iPhones to notice how mobile has affected email reading habits?

“From a personal perspective, mobile may have a greater impact, as the growth of all things mobile will influence all facets of the digital world,” said David J Dunworth, Chief Creative, 1 Smart Marketer.

Zuzia Soldenhoff-Thorpe, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS, agrees with David that mobile/tablet adoption is a key area on which email marketers should focus. “Who checks emails on their computer nowadays anyway?” she joked.

“The impact that mobile is having on email marketing continues to be underestimated. The percentage of emails being read on smartphones and tablets has grown so quickly — over one-third of all emails by most measures — that most brands have not been able to adjust their email designs and messaging tactics in response,” Chad said.

Zuzia and Chad advise a few basic measures, at the very least, to ensure your email campaigns are mobile-friendly:

  • Larger text
  • More padding around buttons and links
  • Moving to single-column designs
  • Responsive design of the landing pages its recipients are sent to


… peering further into the future

Patsy Popa, writer, IBM, asked, “What is the impact of social media and mobile technologies on email programs? What are, or will be, the upcoming techniques companies should look to to engage clients?”

Those are great questions, Patsy. As marketers continue to learn more effective tactics, we’ll keep reporting on them through the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing newsletter. For now, check out this helpful how-to article – “Interactive Email: 6 tactics to leverage the influence of social reinforcement.”


Related Resources:

2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report (free excerpt)

Uniqlo Takes Pinterest to the Next Level (via Responsys)

HubSpot’s 17 R’s of Savvy Mobile Marketing (via The Over-Caffeinated Entrepreneur’s Blog)

Email Summit: Integrating mobile, social and email marketing channels

Webinar Replay — Top Strategies for Integrating Email with Mobile and Social

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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  1. October 10th, 2012 at 14:00 | #1

    The growing popularity of social media these days certainly will have an impact on email marketing. In any industry keeping up with change is vital.

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