A “follow” or “friend request” in the social media space can be like gold to some companies, especially for the businesses that measure success by the number of followers and fans they have. An email opt-in, also known as a request to be added to your email list, is very similar in the email marketing space.

However, to excel at both of these, I think you need to keep in mind how they differ. I’ve made a simple grid below of what I think those differences are.


When you want to build either of these lists think about what you can do to improve on these 5 factors. Whether it’s how you write for your email campaigns or your social media efforts take the time to ask what would make people want to see this in their inbox or what would make someone come and find this information. It could affect what you write or how you position your next campaign.

For instance, if you know your subject line in your email is strong, then use that to post to Twitter and Facebook, if you think that your Twitter followers need something a bit more catchy, change it for those people.

Social media is changing the online behavior of a lot of people. So even if you aren’t taking part in social media yet, you should keep these differences in mind if you have customers that participate in social media. Here is a link to a study the Nielsen Company did, they have a great graph that shows consumers who spend more time on social media spend more time with their email inboxes as well.

This study also brings up the question of how much do you know about your customers and their online habits. But that is a topic for a different day.

© 2010 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.