In my most recent post, we discussed how email marketing can make you more efficient with social media. Now lets turn the table and talk about what social media - specifically, social sharing - can do for email marketing...
Email - The Oldest Social Network
First, we need to give Email the credit it deserves as the "oldest social network." Yes - We were replying to and forwarding email messages well before the little icons showed up on websites!
So, way back in the 1990s, we were utilizing social sharing before we even realized it.
Second, even though email seems "so 1990s" to some, it is the one platform nearly everyone has adopted and utilizes. Translating that for a marketing manager, email marketing is an avenue that travels through to the most age and location demographics.
That's the whole idea behind social sharing, isn't it? Exchanging ideas and sharing information in a format comfortable for you.
Understanding Why People Share
To get the most optimal results from social sharing and email marketing together, we need to understand why people share.
According to TopRank, there are several sources of motivation. Among them:
- Self Interest - Sharing because they think they will be rewarded; i.e. sweepstakes.
- Altruism - Sharing makes them feel good.
- Affinity - Sharing makes people feel more a part of the community.
- Prurience - Sharing makes people feel less guilty for gawking.
There is also a school of thought that people share juicy stuff because it makes them look good; Feeding the ego and showing off for their friends (validation).
If there is any truth there, if you produce terrific content your email subscribers will be compelled to share your message!
Some marketing manager math:
Great content + Social sharing tools = Increased market reach
While we are thinking in mathematical terms, more opportunities to reach your target market is better than less, right?
Email Marketing vs. Social Sharing
Marketers have relied on email marketing as a tried and true method to reach their target markets for years for a couple of reasons:
- Longevity of the platform.
- Vast availability of the platform.
- People are used to it.
We hit reply if we need an answer, forward to share the ideas with a friend, or suggest someone subscribe to the list when we are motivated. Simple.
Additionally, email marketing platforms offer the unsubscribe feature, with any effort to keep a clean list, you continue to stay in front of the right audience.
Social media provides platforms that engage your audience, encourage them to share your message, and build your brand's following. Here are popular ways people engage in social sharing on social media:
- Liking a Facebook post (their network sees this action most of the time).
- Sharing a Facebook post (potentially adding their own words along with the message).
- Tweeting information on Twitter.
- Re-tweeting a tweet.
- Pinning an image on Pinterest.
- Re-pinning an image.
- Posting an update on LinkedIn.
- Sharing a post on LinkedIn.
- +1-ing a post on Google+ (the individual's network & extended network see this).
- Sharing a post on Google+.
And very similar is true for Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, and other social networks. Also remember that each platform has their own form of group or shared meeting hub that can also serve as a social sharing point.
Social Share Icons
But, it's really easy to forget to include those little icons in your email message when you are set in your methods, right?
Yet, there are definite advantages to including social sharing in your email marketing strategy, and motivating your subscribers to share...
Email Marketing And Social Sharing
Remember that "marketing manager math??"
Optimally your email marketing and social sharing strategy should include:
- Social icons within the email.
- Sharing email marketing content at your social media outposts.
- Encouraging email subscribers and social media networks to share your content.
Not convinced? Lets put some numbers and graphics to it...
GetResponse did a study, and found that social sharing boosts email results. When the power of social networks was added to email Average Email CTR increased 158%! Did you get that?
To visualize it:
Image Credit: Infographic Exerpt From GetResponse
Taking a look, the numbers are only increasing from implementing social sharing with email marketing.
Now lets take a look at which social networks bring the best Average Email CTR (click through rate) results:
Image Credit: Exerpt from Infographic by GetResponse
You can see that LinkedIn offers a big opportunity, with Facebook and Twitter providing equal return. Google+ and Pinterest not far behind.
It is important to note that audience type will be different, so marketing departments will want to consider this when forecasting hopeful results.
The Infographic by GetResponse is really quite good, easy to read, and reports some valuable insights as follow-up.
View the complete Infographic by GetResponse here:
Social Sharing Boosts Email Marketing Results
Social Sharing + Email Marketing = Happy Marketing Managers
Back to the original question...
Why Include Social Sharing In Your Email Marketing Strategy?
Sharing via social media is somewhat new, and a little less predictable for marketers when just getting started. However, the possibilities of extending your marketing reach is a myriad more!
If we consider:
- Email marketing efforts alone were seeing an Average Email CTR of 2.4%.
- Adding Social Sharing brought an Average Email CTR of 6.2%
Now, calculate with your organization's typical conversion rates to determine potential increased marketing results.
What marketing manager wouldn't want to play in the neighborhood of 158% more?
All you have to do is include the social sharing icons and take the opportunity to share your email messages on your social networks!
Your Turn For Social Sharing
Did the results of the study by GetResponse surprise you?
Will you now be more inclined to include social sharing in your email marketing strategy?
Please share your questions and thoughts in the comments box below...