Once seen as a potential threat to email marketing, social media marketing has instead become one of email’s closest friends. In fact, in this social media-loving age, email marketing is thriving thanks to the aid of social media sharing. Sharing – where you can easily distribute and display content on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, is a little different than only including “Like” or “Follow” buttons for those respective platforms. Social media sharing often benefits the email marketing channel, instead of only increasing reach on social media.
Here’s how sharing benefits your email channel, as displayed in a nifty infographic by GetResponse: the click-through rate of an email is, on average, 2.4%. But, add in social media share icons and the CTR is boosted to over 6%. That none-too-shabby increase of 158% illustrates the profitability of social media sharing in email marketing. (Geek out on infographics? Check it out here.)
So, how do you capitalize on this?
Well, to start, add some social media share icons in your emails. The number of email marketers including social media share icons is on a steady rise, with a 61% lift in social media sharing from 2011 to 2012. So, join the club!
But, how many social media sharing icons should you use?
Take a look at what social media sites have a large presence. Facebook is a no-brainer, with over 200 million users worldwide. But, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ all have big followings, numbering in the millions! It also helps if your business has an existing presence on these sites. And, if you want to be in-line with best practices for social media sharing, here are some more fun facts also according to GetResponse: on average, 39.1% of emails contain three social media share icons, 34.9% show four icons, 14.9% include two icons and 11.0% of emails have only one icon.
If you want to maximize sharing ability but want to keep your icon set simple, consider ShareThis. An innovative social media sharing platform, ShareThis provides sharing tools for 120+ social media sites. Embed a ShareThis icon in your email, and give your subscribers the ability to easily share your email content via dozens of social media platforms.
Once you add applicable social media share icons to your emails, an easy next step would be to try a “Friends & Family” email campaign. This type of campaign is popular among social media fans, as it provides a valuable discount for services or products that is intended for you to share with your family and friends. Social media sharing on an email like this is imperative! You should also consider adding a “Forward to a Friend” icon on this type of email to really increase sharing potential.
Another great way to encourage social media sharing through email is with added value content such as an informative newsletter or blog article. The more relevant and interesting your content is to your audience the more likely they will be to save it, share it and forward it!
The lesson here is to not be afraid of utilizing social media to your email channel’s benefit. In fact, embrace it! You will only serve to expand the email’s reach and hopefully even increase conversion. Who wouldn’t “Like” that?!