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What a User Does First Means a Lot

What a User Does First Means a Lot

January 3, 2011
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When you wake up in the morning and get on your computer – what’s the first thing you do? Do you check e-mail, do you check in on Facebook or do you see what’s happening in the news? What a person does first when they log on to their computer in the morning says a lot about everything else they do online, how they make their purchases and the content that they share with friends and family.


A marketing service called ExactTarget did a study recently and discovered that Internet users who checked their Facebook accounts first before anything else were also much more likely to share information via Facebook or another type of sharing program such as e-mail, text or instant messaging.

Facebook preferred users were also much more likely to share additional information via other types of social groups, such as forums, discussions or article comments as well as their own blogs or Twitter accounts. They were also much more likely to share product information, deals and coupons with friends and family.

The users that preferred Facebook also displayed different reasons for why they were contacting friends or family. One question asked whether the users felt that information sharing meant that they “cared” about the person they were sharing with -- 29% said yes. There weren’t as many Facebook users as e-mail users, in fact only about 10% of respondents stated that they checked their Facebook accounts first.


The study also discovered that the users who checked their e-mail first in the morning were much more likely to only use e-mail as their preferred means of sharing information with others, and were much less likely to also share information via social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter.

Those who check e-mail first tended to be much more task-oriented, according to the study, and subscribed to more e-mail mailing lists to find out about promotions, new products and other information. E-mails users were more widespread in their interests compared to Facebook users, who identified themselves as “fans” of specific brands rather than showing an interest in a range of options.

E-mail users were the largest of two groups, with search engine or portal site users being somewhere between e-mail and Facebook. When they asked e-mail users about whether or not they felt that sharing information meant that they “cared” about the person they were sharing with, over 34% said no.

What Does It Mean?

The data retrieved in the report from the ExactTarget study suggests that marketers that use social media and e-mail should be sure to target their recipients based upon where they prefer to receive information in order to get the maximum results. Adding a simple box where you ask if they prefer notifications via e-mail or Facebook should suffice.


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