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Reach Beyond Email Marketing Using Social Media

4 Comments 12 June 2009

Every so often one of my marketing friends will ask me, “How big is your subscriber list.”

I used to answer, “I don’t have any subscribers, but I do have friends and contacts on the sites I’m on.” (Although I recently discovered I actually have quite a few e-mail subscribers…Thanks guys!)

But, when I’d answer this, I’d throw my marketing friends into a tizzy. “You have to have subscribers. How else do you let them know you have something new to share.”

Which of course, I’d answer with, “The same way I always do. I’d share it over the social media sites.”

twitterverse Reach Beyond Email Marketing Using Social Media

When we arrive at this point, it’s a perfect time to explain about Reach.

Reach is the number of people I can potentially reach out to on a site (not counting others sharing my info).

One of the great things about Reach is that it can even be explained mathematically. And of course, anything that can be explained mathematically has now grown exponentially in how important it really is. icon wink Reach Beyond Email Marketing Using Social Media

So, here is my basic equation for Reach:

Reach = Number of your subscribers x site’s retention rate

For example, twitter’s retention rate is about 40% according to the latest Nielson survey (which included twitter app users if you were wondering). Since I have around 800 followers on twitter (rounding it off to make the math easier), that means that my Reach is:

800 x .40 = 320

A few sites don’t just send things you share to your followers.

For those sites, the basic equation is added to the number of non-followers that receive your posts. StumbleUpon is a great example of this.

For StumbleUpon, the equation looks more like:

Reach = (subscribers x .35 (+/- .3)) + (subscribers x retention rate)

I can’t find a record of SU’s retention rate, so just judging by my subscriber list (which SU posts in order of Online Now - Hasn’t Been On In Forever) I’m going to be conservative and say a 50% retention rate although I’d guess it tends to run a little higher. The non-follower half of the equation depends on what category you choose for your post (a more popular search category will raise the number significantly) and possibly how many followers you have. So far it’s drawn only from my experience. I’d love to hear your numbers to help make the equation more accurate.

So, my average Reach on SU looks like:

(600 x .35) + (600 x .5) = (210) + (300) = 510

At which point in the conversation I can easily explain why StumbleUpon is one of my favorite sites, since the numbers have already told part of the story for me.

So, what’s your Reach?

 Reach Beyond Email Marketing Using Social Media
pixel Reach Beyond Email Marketing Using Social Media


- who has written 8 posts on Social Media Mom.

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4 Comments so far

  1. Daulat Singh says:

    Nice piece of information. I never calculate the way you do but it interesting. I have a few followers at Twitter and fewer (40%) would actually visit [my site]. That means that I will need more followers.

  2. Teeg -

    This is a great post! As you point out, it’s important to figure out what’s really “behind” the numbers by themselves, such as how many Twitter followers someone has.

    Your REACH calculations are very informative!


  3. Vinay S says:

    Great informative post you had been done here. Your reach calculation is very interesting. I have few followers at twitter. I am trying to improve followers rate. Your calculation method will help me out of this.

  4. Teeg says:

    @Daulat Glad you liked it! From my experience, as your numbers grow on twitter, the percentage that will visit your site actually drops. I recommend using other social media sites also instead of just relying on twitter.

    @Phyllis Thank you! I remember studying graphs in college and being fascinated by how they could say almost anything. I think that’s why I love figuring ways to see what the numbers are hiding. :)

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