Aug 3, 2010

Influence vs Engagement

I sent the MailChimp Summer newsletter out the other day, and it contained our new Facebook Like button functionality at the top:


the opens and clicks are still trickling in, but so far it’s received a total of 65 likes on Facebook:


63 of my subscribers clicked "Like" and shared my campaign on Facebook, and 2 of their friends subsequently liked it.

Now what?

The first thing I’m curious about is who the "influencers" are, and what they liked so much about my newsletter.

So I look for the subscribers with 4 or 5 blue stars:


A typical "influencer" member profile looked sorta like this:


And here’s what I learned about them.

  • They’re twitter savvy, and have really great avatars (cool, goofy, slick)
  • They have tons of friends and connections (in the thousands)
  • They have cool job titles like "brand evangelist" and "community manager" and "change agent"
  • They click absolutely nothing. Well, nothing but my reference to this Double Rainbow + Autotune + Kermit Remix link.

Sorta makes sense. They’re part of the cool crowd, and want more funny. Here’s what their email activity typically looked like:


Engaged, but not really.

So then I looked through all my "Likers" who have a lower influence rating. These are the people with 3 or fewer blue stars:


In general, all subscribers who liked my email are engaged (they’re 4 or 5 stars). But the ones who have a lower influence rating seemed to always be extremely engaged (Learn how MailChimp measures engagement and how it can affect your deliverability). This is the typical activity I saw for those with low(er) social influence:


They seemed to click links to tutorials, articles that demonstrate our company ethos, staff photos, and all the silly stuff.

Demographically, they were more diverse than the influential likers. I saw people of all ages, from all walks of life, and who work in completely different industries.  The only thing they seemed to have in common was that they really, really cared about MailChimp, and what I had to say (thanks!).

I checked our system to see if "non-influential super clickers" were more long term customers who’ve paid us more money. Nah, it was all random. The influencers are great customers too. They just don’t click much. Maybe they just don’t want to be influenced?

Granted, this is a very small sample, and we’re still in the early stages of all this Email+Facebook Like business. We only just launched the feature on July 13th (see what else we launched). As of July 30th, just under 11 million emails were sent by our customers with the new Like button in place.

We’re still analyzing and learning. Even though the sample is small (or maybe because of it), it’s really fascinating and useful to get data like this. It’s like my own little focus group of subscribers who like my content. Not just people who opened. But people who liked it enough to "Like" it on Facebook (heh). Being able to open their member profiles in MailChimp and see their gravatars, social activity, geolocation and demographic information is almost like meeting my customers face-to-face.

What would you ask your most loyal, engaged customers if you could get them in a room with you?