4 Tips To Encourage Social Sharing Via Email

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I often preach that email marketing and social media are like Batman (email) & Robin (social). They can both “save the city” on their own, yet when they combine their powers, they are unstoppable. Robin is of course the younger and more hip of the two, but Batman has been getting the job done as well for quite some time. Stop me if I am losing you with the comic book analogy here. Before I dive in, allow me to differentiate the two broad ways most email marketers are incorporating social media into their email marketing campaigns:

  • Follow, Friend, Subscribe, Connect: This is the marketer asking you to follow them on their social networks. For example, “Follow us on Twitter” or “Friend/Like us on Facebook.”
  • Share With Your Network (SWYN): This is when you receive an email that includes a link/button/icon that, when clicked, allows you to share with your social media network.
This post will focus on #2 – Share With Your Network (SWYN) – and provide 4 tips to encourage social sharing via email marketing.

1. Include / Ask

Blue Sky Factory: SWYNA good starting point with SWYN is to simply include it. Most Email Service Providers (ESPs) have simple code that you can include in your email campaigns to insert some type of sharing capability. Choose the social networks that your subscribers are more likely to be active in, or pick “all” if you are not sure. It’s important to include at least some simple copy like “Share This Email” so folks know what will happen when you click the icon. National Geographic Traveler Digital Edition: Share This OfferNational Geographic does a nice job of asking their subscribers to share (see example on the right). Notice that they include “Share this offer” copy next to the Facebook and the Twitter icons. Even better, the short url that gets posted takes readers (clickers) directly to a targeted offer landing page, allowing someone to easily order the National Geographic Traveler Interactive Edition. The power of a simple ask.

2. Make It Easy

Petco Share Your Code EmailRemember that most people will not share if it takes too many steps or is not blatantly obvious. Make it easy! In the Petco example at the right, they do a nice job of not only including the SWYN links (and old school forward to a friend), but they also make it easy. The “Share Your Code Now!” jumps off the page. Even better, when you click the Facebook or Twitter icons, your message get posted with the code included. Keep it simple!

3. Be Creative

Social Fresh 7 Newsletter: SWYNDepending on the tone and voice of your email campaigns, try using some creativity or humor. Social Fresh’s Founder, Jason Keath, sends out his weekly “Social Fresh 7” newsletter and often includes a humorous/creative reason to share. Again, it’s important to note that this type of copy works for Jason’s readers. (Disclaimer: Jason is a client of my employer, Blue Sky Factory).

4. Tell Me Why / Provide Incentive

Jason Falls - Why Share?Why should I take the time to click on the SWYN icon(s) and share your email? Give me a reason! In this example, Jason Falls (another Blue Sky Factory client), gave away a free Mitch Joel book to the 5 people who shared his newsletter the most. In another example of providing incentive, Chris Penn “pays it forward” in his newsletter each month by featuring two individuals – one who brings in the most eyeballs (views) and the other who generates the most action (click throughs). Chris sweetens the deal by telling his readers that they’ll be featured to his “readership of about 7,600 really awesome people” (see red box, which I added for emphasis). —- Take advantage of the power of social sharing. Sometimes it is as simple as asking your community to share. What do you think? Are you incorporating SWYN and social sharing in your email campaigns? Which of the 4 methods above have you tried? Have they been successful? Images adapted from Flickr (CC): locationscout (Batman) & locationscout (Robin)]]>

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