Have you embraced cross-channel communication and marketing? If so, you understand that different channels play different roles in reaching and engaging your audience. And if you aren’t thinking about cross-channel, it’s time to get started.


Three Big Differences Between Email and Facebook

John Haydon

Like Facebook, email is where you nurture relationships with donors and supporters. But Facebook and email are very different from each other in three critical areas.

1) Privacy and Intimacy
Email is not a public channel like Facebook. When someone joins your list, they’ve agreed to enter a private relationship with you, by way of their inbox. Respecting their privacy starts with not sending them emails every day. In fact, you should only emails when you have something useful to say.

Tip: Set up an auto-reply that’s instantly sent to new subscribers. Thank them for joining the list, tell them how often they’ll get emails, and a few articles they can read if you have a blog.

2) Segmentation
The core principle of email marketing is segmentation, or adding people to specific lists based on their interests and actions.

Depending upon the software, emails can be segmented by list joined, links clicks, and messages opened. Segmentation ultimately allows you to send the right message to the right people at the right time. You can’t do this with Facebook.

Tip: If you’re not segmenting your emails, start defining the various ways people interact with you events, online campaigns, social media connections, donations, etc).

3) Conversion
When was the last time you bought something on Twitter or Facebook? Probably never.

Amazon and eBay are where you buy things. Social media is for connecting and sharing.

Social media is relational, not transactional. Various studies by Blackbaud, Razoo, and others show that Twitter and Facebook have about a 3% – 6% conversion rate (the number of people completed a transaction after clicking on a link). Email on the other hand has a conversion rate of 20% – 35%!

Tip: Save your fundraising appeals for email. Use social to retain donors (report outcomes, be transparent) and grow your email list (with pledges, contests, action alerts, etc). 

What all this means is that Facebook should be used in conjunction with email to get more from both.


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