I’ve been talking about the power of integrating email marketing and social media for many years now. I often refer to email marketing as Batman and social media as Robin.
If done well, the combination of email with social can be extremely powerful.
As Jason and I talk about in The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing, there are three ways email and social go together:
- Social Connecting: Asking email subscribers to connect (follow) you on social networking sites
- Social Sharing: Asking email subscribers to share email content on social networking sites
- Social Promoting: Using social media sites to promote email
I think most marketer’s are doing a pretty good job with social connecting. Nearly every email I see includes some form of “like us” or “follow us” or “subscribe to us.” Social connecting is a great to introduce your email subscribers to your social networks and increase followers.
Many marketers are starting to grasp some social promoting tactics, though as Chris Penn wrote, it may not be in your best interest to share your email newsletter in social media.
However, the one area I really see most marketers struggling is with social sharing.
Sure, they ask their subscribers to share by dropping “SHARE THIS” icons all over their emails. However, not all emails are shareworthy.
What Makes an Email Shareworthy?
That’s the #1 question that people ask me when I discuss social sharing? What makes an email shareworthy?
Other than order confirmations or email receipts containing personal information, nearly all emails have the potential to be shareworthy. The key word, of course, being potential. When creating an email and asking your subscribers to share, it’s important to remember a few guidelines:
- Answer the why: Why should I share? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for those I share with?
- Make it easy: If your subscribers have to click more than a few links/buttons in order to share your email, they are just not going to do it.
- Make it obvious: I can’t tell you how many social sharing icons are buried in the footer of the email. If you want subscribers to share, make sure they can see the sharing options.
- Allow subscribers to share content block as well as entire email: Sometimes an entire email is shareworthy while other times it’s just an article, blog post, or section of the content that folks want to share. If your email service provider has this feature, use it!
The Perfect (Missed) Social Sharing Opportunity
Over the weekend, an email from Fine Cooking landed in my inbox. The subject line jumped off my screen: “Share the joy of Fine Cooking…” As you know, a compelling subject line is very important.
I immediately opened the email from Fine Cooking and saw this (below):
Forget for a second the fact that my wife and I have been subscriber’s of Fine Cooking for several years now, I was excited to share my love for the magazine with my friends!
There was only one problem: There was no easy way to share this email with my social network.
Sure, I could have forwarded it to a few friends. I could have clicked on the “view in browser” link, copied the URL, and pasted it into Facebook, Google+, and Twitter – but that would have been too much work
This Fine Cooking email is the perfect example of a shareworthy email, yet I could not (easily) share on social media. Nooooooooooooooo.com.
Notice that Fine Cooking already had a built in “why should I share?” (#1 above) with its “Save $9.95″ when you give as a gift. However, they missed the boat entirely on #2-4. It was not easy to share. It was not obvious to share. And I was not able to share certain blocks of content (or even the entire email).
Are YOU Creating Shareworthy Emails?
If so, I’d love to hear more about them so I can share them with this community (see what I did there? Share!). Please “share” in the comments below. I’m always looking for good examples!
P.S. Have you heard the news? Nick Westeragaard and I have started a podcast! The Work Talk Show is a weekly podcast featuring a talk show format along with crazy smart guests who operate outside the lines of what work has traditionally looked like. We have “irreverent and insightful” conversations on work habits, work-shifting, virtual teams, productivity, travel, tools, technology, work-life balance, and everything in between as we take a look at how work gets done today.
Speaking of email marketing and social media going together like Batman and Robin, did you know that my buddy Jason Falls and I just wrote a book called The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win?
Yup. It’s true.
In the book, we dedicate an entire section to email + social. We also talk about growing your email list, and breaking “the rules” of email marketing. Break the rules and grab your copy today, right now. Here –> AVAILABLE NOW!
Reminder: There is no such thing as “best practices” when it comes to email marketing. Best practices are those that are best for your audience.