More than half (58%) of U.S. online consumers begin their day interacting with companies via email, compared to 20 percent who start their day on search engines and 11 percent on Facebook, according to a new study by Exact Target.
"Consumers who check email first tend to be more task-oriented, subscribe to more emails and interact with brands across email and social media to obtain deals, promotions or new product information," said Morgan Stewart, principal, ExactTarget's research and education group.
"This stands in stark contrast to people who initially check Facebook, who tend to draw firmer, more segregated boundaries and become fans of brands for entertainment purposes or to show support for a company or product."
The majority (93%) of consumers subscribe to email marketing messages while 42 percent use Facebook at least once a day, and among those, 69 percent are a fan of one or more companies.
Other key findings of the study include:
*54 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 are fans of brands on Facebook.
*43 percent of online consumers are either fans or followers of at least on brand on Twitter or Facebook.
*68 percent of daily Twitter users follow at least one brand but only 7 percent participate on Twitter with that frequency.
"Consumers' initial online activity provides a glimpse into their priorities and motivations, giving marketers an understanding of how and when to deliver the most compelling and relevant messages," said Tim Kopp, ExactTarget's chief marketing officer.
"Marketers must move quickly to make the most of the opportunity, and the Subscribers, Fans, Followers research series provides the insight required to develop a targeted and effective interactive marketing program."