With more than a third of Internet users now visiting social media networks each month, a lot of time is spent in gathering information, and now it appears that 40% of email users visit social media sites to gather information about products and recommendations from friends.  A recent study called “Emails Gone Viral” by Silverpop found that shared emails delivered an average increase of reach of 24.3%, and that figure is due to increase as sharing becomes more mainstream in the future.

Social media sites do have an impact on the increase of opens for emails as well with at least an additional 1% of opens for emails when shared on network sites.

So when does your email have it’s biggest impact on social media users? the majority of opens and clicks on shared emails is within the first few days and the last click about 7 days after posting, although activity  on an email was extended as long 44 days.

Email Links per Social Network

Email Links per Social Network

Emails that were most frequently shared were those that featured a brand name or product in the subject line rather than a product offer.

Links to Facebook, Myspace and Twitter were included most often in email messages, Bebo, Delicious and LinkedIn had a higher percentage of shared link clicks among the networks.

“Combining email and social networking can be very powerful,” said Loren McDonald, vice president of industry relations for Silverpop.  “Research tells us that ninety-two percent of adult Internet users send or read email.  And social network users are, on average, connected to between 150 and 200 friends, so developing an email that is socially shareworthy can turn messages viral very quickly and reach a new group of customers very similar to the ones you already have.

“This first benchmark study establishes a baseline for future studies that will examine whether sharing activity changes as the practice spreads from early-adoption to a mainstream marketing practice. ”

As if social networks weren’t noisy enough, it’s about to get a lot worse.

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