How to Make Subscribers Share Your Emails Socially

So now that you know Why No One Wants to Share Your Emails Socially from our post earlier this week, we’ve got some foolproof ideas to get your subscribers to actually start sharing your email marketing campaigns! Here are our Top 5 Suggestions for Making Your Emails more “Share Friendly”:

1) Share in Pieces: make sure there’s delineation between your pieces of content and let each separate piece be shareable. Odds are people will share a few paragraphs or an interesting article over an entire email on their social networks.

2) Show ‘Em WHAT and HOW They’re Sharing: most social subscribers understand the Facebook “Like” button, Facebook “Share” button and Twitter “Tweet” button. Even though there’s no Javascript allowed in emails – you can trick your emails into being able to host these functions. Get Code Here.

3) Make Your Email LOOK Social: Gone are the days of billboard marketing to your subscribers. Show them they’re a valuable part of the conversations by featuring their quotes in noticeable quote bubbles, highlighting “top users” (with their avatars of course!), and showing off the networks and conversations your brand has in the social-sphere. Think of the UI of popular social sites and try to take the best features, look/feel into your emails.

4) Prompt a Response:
 ask questions that will generate a response, make it look social and link it to a discussion on your blog, Twitter, or link to a YouTube video and ask for comments below the video – then include responses in your next mailing.

5) Embrace the Forwarding: Ok, so maybe there’s no way to check how many people just click forward in their email client, but take solace knowing that email was the first social medium and sometimes people do actually use it to share, connect, and comment in their own small networks. You might not be able to measure it, but it’s still happening!

Now go forth and get sharing!!!

Courting Your Social Media Prospects

Courting Your Social Media ProspectsJust like dating, attracting prospects to your business’ social media campaigns can be a challenge. Though we’re sure you’re quite the real-life Cassanova, here are some suggestions when it comes to courting yourself some fine-looking social media prospects:

1. Don’t be a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (aka – be genuine): Just like you can spot a sleazebag from halfway across a crowded bar, social media users can totally see through a company just trying to play it cool to get fans and followers. Don’t lure them in with witty banter if you plan to BLAST them with marketing messages a week later. Instead, ask questions you generally want to know the answers to, run contests users will actually be interested in, and plan to engage, not broadcast.

2. Be prepared for the good… and the bad: When you put yourself out there, sometimes you get the Prince and sometimes you get the Frog. Some of your users will be smart, funny, and engaging while others might just want to criticize your company or product. Make sure you’ve got a plan to react to both types, and no… deleting unflattering comments doesn’t count as a solid plan (unless they’re flinging 4 letter words at you). Always think through your strategy before you put yourself/your brand out there.

3. Go to the right places: If your favorite Friday night activity is building model airplanes while listening to Beethoven’s 5th symphony, you might not want to go out clubbing to meet your next soul mate. Seems simple, right? Well, the same thing is true about social media: as tough as it is to swallow, some businesses might not fit well on Facebook, for example, because they are just not that social. The takeaway is: know your audience and go where they are. If they don’t have a central meeting place, maybe creating a blog or forum will give them one!

4. Tell them how pretty they are: Ok, maybe that’s a little too creepy – but thank your fans, followers, and brand advocates! Make them feel like they get as much out of this relationship as you do, and make them feel special – with “members only” messaging, discounts, and “in the know” opportunities.

And if these suggestions don’t get you the hook-up, maybe lose the suspenders.

Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

*Originally written for and posted on the ListEngage blog*

Email + Social Media: Your 1-2 e-Marketing Punch

Originally posted June 29, 2010

There’s been a lot of debate recently about the future of email: is it pushing forward stronger than ever or on the verge of extinction, about to be overrun by all-inclusive social networks?

As an e-marketing specialist, I find it hard to imagine the internet without email. No matter what you use email for, I believe that we, as online content consumers, will always need our inboxes to aggregate, create, organize, and search the hundreds of online data points we create daily as we navigate the web. Email is the only private online location where users can store and create content with very few limitations or restrictions. Where else can you manage your social networks, businesses, bills, family, friends, banks, job searches, and more in one location?

At ListEngage, we help our clients with email and social media marketing daily, so we see the benefits and drawbacks of each: email is a great relationship building tool but not a great prospect acquisition channel, while social media, if used intelligently, is ideal for prospect acquisition and qualification but lacks the “direct contact” that opt-in email does.

I’ve been really impressed with a company called Groupon lately, that seems to be using email and social media as a dynamic 1-2 punch for spreading their daily deals and messages. Click here to read more about the union of email and social media, and how Groupon is delivering a winning e-marketing TKO.

Boosting Your Deflated Social Media Ego

Originally posted for ListEngage Blog – July 2009

First of all, we’d like to say “Congrats” to those of you who have held their breath and leapt into the often uninviting waters of social media—despite fears and disbelief that “this thing really works”. Believe it or not, you’re still ahead of the curve as far as Web 2.0 users go, and you should be proud that you’ve already taken the plunge.

We’re sorry that you’re not John Mayer, Shaq, Lindsay Lohan
 or a boatload of other famous people who instantly attained millions of followers upon their entry to Twitterville. And it’s really too bad that your company might not be as exciting to Facebook users as McDonald’s—whose actual business page gets trumped by a grassroots-created page with almost 2 million fans! Don’t worry, we still like you.

The hard-truth is that social media requires time and effort, and you won’t be instantly popular unless you’re already wildy popular in the mainstream media. Even then, there are stark examples of both how well and how poorly well known brands are doing on Twitter, Facebook, and the likes. Check out Kodak versus Fuji FilmPizza Hut versusDominos. Some sink, others swim.

The honest truth is, you have to “work for it” with social media—and we’ll be the first to admit, it’s not easy: we’ve been grappling with ways to promote our Facebook page on a closed network that’s usually meant for chatting and posting funny pictures. The question to ask yourself is—what do I have to offer that people will be interested in (and what makes my company unique)? Whether that means offering daily discounts, positioning yourself as an“expert” in your field by writing helpful blog posts, or using social media as a forum for direct customer relations, your business will dictate the answers. But the first step is doing it, and doing it consistently.

Just think: if you had just left your two-wheeler in the street the first time you skinned your knee, would you have ever learned to ride a bike? If you hadn’t stopped calling until she agreed to see a movie with you, would you have those two beautiful kids and that stunning wife? The point is, every success story starts with a challenge. Sure, adopting social media is tough, especially when it it takes away from “more important things” like paying bills and making money, but we guarantee that it will pay off in dividends if you treat it like any other challenge, and just “keep at it.”

For now, take some comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one who’s sitting in the office scratching their head and asking “But how the heck does this fit into my business plan?” and be proud—thinking about these problems and finding very few solutions is still a thousand times better than just sweeping them under the rug. Give yourself a pat on the back; then start taking the next steps to help build your social media brand (and boost you social media ego!).