Integrated Social Media Marketing Can Still Fall Short

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This blog post originally appeared on the Blue Sky Factory blog. The More You “Like” The More You Save. That was the subject line of an email I received from Hydro Flask on November 20th, 2010. (Personal aside, I’m a huge Hydro Flask fan). As an email marketing guy who spends a lot of time in social media, I was immediately intrigued. When I opened the email, this is what I saw: HydroFlask Emai

View image on Flickr

Yes! An email marketing campaign dedicated to social media. We’ve all seen this type of email before; however what is unique about this one – and what I loved – is that Hydro Flask actually gave me reason/incentive to “like” them on Facebook. It was not the normal, “like us on Facebook” email. They included milestones: 3,000 likes for 10% off; 3,500 for 15%; etc. What did I do next? I shared on Facebook, of course. DJ Waldow - Facebook | Hydro Flask So it worked, right? As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast.”

Was the Hydro Flask Email Campaign a Success?

Yes and no. Yes, they successfully increased their number of “likes” on Facebook. Fans like me posted to their personal Facebook pages and encouraged others to like them. While maybe not their intent, they also prompted this blog post from me. However, go check out the Hydro Flask Facebook page now. As I write this, they have 2,868 2,869 likes. The lowest milestone – to receive 10% off – was for 3,000 likes. The contest ended on November 24th, 2010. If you visit Hydro Flask’s Contest tab on Facebook, you’ll notice this wording (as of 12/9/10):
Next Wed every fan will be messaged “Jack Flask’s Thanksgiving Thank-You” discount code for our online store. The code is valid Nov 24th, 8am PST through Friday Nov 26th, 5pm PST.
One could easily argue that the campaign was a failure by that regard. They didn’t hit the 3,000 minimum likes. I never received the email that included the discount code.

So What Went Wrong?

First, let me be very very clear on this. I give major kudos to Hydro Flask for running this email campaign. It was unique, creative and innovate. The subject line was compelling. The email copy was great. The incentive drove some (at least me) to share. So what went wrong? Why did they not hit the 3,000 minimum likes? What could they have done differently? What can they do next? Some thoughts:
  • Contest Length: Too short? The contest ran from November 20th to the 24th – 5 days. I’m assuming the timing was specific to Thanksgiving, but why so short?
  • Social Sharing: Where was the Share With Your Network (SWYN) link? If Hydro Flask wanted me to share the love, why not make it easy? I had to click-through to their page (by clicking the image in the email), then go to my personal page and post about Hydro Flask (see above). Would the average reader go through all of those steps?
  • Follow Up: I can’t confirm this, but my guess is that there were no follow up emails. (If anyone knows, please correct me if I’m wrong). This would have been the perfect remail opportunity. Send a follow up email to those that didn’t open or click-through on the original email.
  • “Next Wed” Email: I’m pretty sure I never received the “Next Wed” email with my discount code because Hydro Flask never hit the 3,000 minimum likes. BUT…what a great opportunity to extend the contest. They could have sent 5% off just for participating with an incentive to continue sharing.
  • More Incentive: What about rewarding the top 5 individuals who shared the most? Note: This is a Blue Sky Factory feature – Share With Your Network – that allows you to report on those who drove the most eyeballs or clicks through social sharing. Learn more about this feature.
Again, I love that Hydro Flask took the initiative to run a creative email / social campaign like this. However, I think there are some valuable lessons learned. I’d love to hear from you. What do you think about this campaign? What did you love? What could they have done better? What did you learn? Hydro Flask: If you are listening, we’d love for you to weigh in too! DJ Waldow Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory ]]>

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