Blog — June 24, 2010 8:56 — 2 Comments
Email is dead… long live email
To many a marketing manager email must feel like the rusty old hammer in the bottom of the toolbox. It’s been around as an option for many years and yet, it feels very long in the tooth when compared to the likes of RSS, Twitter, Facebook and a host of emerging social communication tools. But it still hangs in there.
That’s because email marketing, when done right, is very effective. It’s about gaining the recipient’s permission to maintain a relationship, typically to generate incremental sales. You not only have direct means of sending messages, but can then track what they chose to click on, and see whether they forwarded to others.
Of course, to retain that permission there’s an implicit understanding that you need to provide information worth reading for the subscriber. As studies have shown, once a subscriber leaves the fold they rarely return.
Clearly, offering content which your target audience finds compelling is a critical part of the successful mix of an email strategy, but now new research indicates that many marketers are missing an opportunity to build a much greater level of interest: adding options for subscribers to ‘tell a friend’ or forward a particular story on to a social network such as Twitter or Facebook. In fact many email marketing services, such as Newsweaver, already offer this kind of integration.
“Share this” links in email newsletters can boost click-through rates by 30%
The research comes from a company called GetResponse, which provides its own email marketing solutions. In the study the company analysed around 500 million emails sent by 19,149 of GetResponse’s customers, looking at social media integration and sharing frequency, as well as individual preferences and campaign results. The study tracked emails using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Digg sharing links. To get the detailed analysis you can read the freely available report, but the nub of the research was that mail messages which include a social media sharing option generate a 30pc higher click-through rate (CTR) than mails without them. Most notably, messages with three or more sharing options generated a 55pc higher CTR.
So the message seems pretty clear. Offering in-your-face links to branded social networks appears to elicit a significant increase in recipient responses to email publication content. It might be something as simple as the immediacy and ease offered by placing links directly against content elements in the email, but it also suggests that there’s far more to successful email campaigns than the open rates. Getting the recipient to open the message is just the beginning of the battle for reader participation. It seems that “share this” links via social networks may not only become a useful way to increase participation, but also a must-have metric of email newsletter success.
And, this being the web, everything is trackable. So if you produce a regular email newsletter but don’t as yet let subscribers share via their favourite social services… why not? You’ve little to lose and possibly a lot to gain.
Do you like to see “share this” on email newsletters? What’s your view on why people want to share?
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