By Mac Ossowski, Guest Post

The “tipping point” theory was coined by Malcolm Gladwell. Despite being 12 years old, it contains a very up-to-date idea:

“Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.”

The theory defines two types of consumers that can do a lot in helping to promote your products:  

Connectors” – Those who are extremely connected in their circles and their networks can sky-rocket the sales of a specific product.

Example: think of that one friend you have on Facebook with over 2,000 friends.  They have a knack for consistently making acquaintances and introductions.

“Mavens” – Those who are the information brokers that can start the “word of mouth epidemics.”

Example: if you’re responsible for marketing sports drinks, your maven would be an NFL player who can tell your customers that thanks to your drink, he was able to score a touch down in the Super Bowl.

Needless to say, opinions of mavens and connectors are highly credible in certain circles and will influence the buying decisions of thousands of consumers.

How Can You Find 234 New Customers?

Now, let’s talk some numbers.

According to a study called “The Anatomy of the Facebook Social Graph” (Nov. 2011), an average Facebook user has 234 friends in their network.

As reported by Facebook, around 41.6% of Americans have a Facebook account. The main takeaway: nearly half of your subscribers can potentially extend the reach of your email offers by 234 new customers each!

A study by GetResponse on email and social media integration (Feb. 2012) reports that an average number of Facebook shares generated by 10,000 emails is exactly 23.

Summing it up:
Average number of Facebook friends: 234

Percentage of subscribers on your email list that have a Facebook account: 41.6%

Average number of Facebook shares: 23

Your presumed mailing list size: 50,000

Estimated number of shares from one newsletter: 115 (5 x 23)

Potential number of new customers reached: 20,958!*

*assuming that 75% of all friends notice the shared newsletter in their news stream

Not All Shares Are Born Equal

A great number of shares is certainly a positive metric, but your email and social integration should seek out to reach the influencers (“mavens” and “connectors”) that might be on your mailing list.

Thanks to professional email marketing platforms with robust analytics, you will be able to find out:

  • Which social network members are most eager to open your newsletters
  • How many shares your email scored in every social platform
  • How many likes, shares and retweets were generated
  • What exact comments were made on your email



According to the “tipping point” theory, one influencer can be responsible for up to 80% of all the commotion around a product or an idea.

If you combine this data with segmentation, you can pin down subscribers whose shares generate up to 80% of all likes & retweets!

Want to hit the critical mass and spread the word about your offer? Find your mavens, allow them to share your emails and fuel this cooperation by reaching out personally. This really works.

Your Next Steps

A turn-key integration of email marketing and social media is not as difficult as you might think. Here are a few instrumental steps to extend the reach of your newsletters and connect with the “mavens” that can lift your response rates:

  • Include the “social bars” in the top and bottom sections of your email promotions


  • Automatically post newsletters on your brand’s fan page, Pinterest profile, etc.
  • Allow your social contacts to easily sign up to your mailing list



  • Analyze the responsiveness to your emails in every social network
  • Pin down the influencers and reach out to them with cooperation ideas

Put the Snowball in Motion

Blending email and social can go way beyond people clicking the “like” button.

It’s a vital process in finding your brand evangelists, engaged customers and people who can help you in the word-of-mouth promotion of your products.

As in Gladwell’s theory, the initially small actions, which might seem of little relevance to you, can generate the snowball effect and help you reach the masses of consumers.

Don’t waste your opportunity. Just go social.

About the Author: Mac Ossowski is the Director of Education at GetResponse, world's leading email marketing platform. He currently holds the position of editor in chief of the industry blog, and cooperates on a regular basis with services such as, and