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Trends Q: How do click rates compare between social media and email messages?

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If I send an email to 50,000 people and I post a the same message to my 50,000 Facebook fans or Twitter followers, how many clicks will I get from each source? Will the inbox and “unread” features of email give it the edge or will sharing, algorithms, and constantly watched streams make social media the click-through winner? Here are some early results from our analysis.

The Goods
This early sample is based on resorts that are using the Bit.ly link shortener where click stats are public. Our early sample of from 18 resorts included 50 posts that were shared on Facebook, Twitter, or both this Spring. Combined, these 50 tweets had the potential to reach 2,637,363 fans/followers.

For email, we’ll use our season-in-review email stats that showed resorts averaged an 18.3% open rate and 11.1% click rate. Based on total sends, these numbers combined showed that 2.03% of recipients clicked an email. Here’s how the numbers compared:

The average click rate for this sample of 50 social posts was 0.29%. Two achieved click rates of over 2% and three others eclipsed 1%. Eleven of these messages had click rates at or below 0.1%.

Why This Matters
There are three things to remember with this result. First, this is a small sample. Results may change during peak winter months. Second, social media posts are free to send and may reach people that aren’t in your email database. Third, the scope of what social media can do goes well beyond website traffic generation.

The other variables in this formula are things you’ll need to find for your campaigns. Does website traffic referred by emails perform better than that sent by a Facebook post? Does it cost more to get a fan/follower or a new email subscriber?

This isn’t a case of choosing one channel or the other but knowing what to expect from each and how you might allocate resources and budgets.

Don’t Miss a Beat
A new “Stash” analysis comes out every Tuesday. If you don’t want to miss a beat, follow @RyanSolutions on Twitter or use the form below to subscribe via email.

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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