Your Emails Are Seen By More Than Your Subscribers…Right?

This is a guest post by Brian Whalley, a marketing manager at HubSpot. HubSpot is an inbound marketing software company based in Cambridge, MA.

Email marketing and social media are two platforms for spreading your company’s message and products across the web.

One of the toughest questions about social media as it grows and starts to mature a little is not just how to use social as a general marketing platform for buzz, promotion, and handling public relations, and develop the other uses that it may have just like email and email marketing have turned into an part of the modern daily life.

New tactics and ideas can quickly come and go, and so here are some different ideas that you can try to exercise in your own campaigns to help integrate social media into the success of the rest of the channels of your business.

Incentivize Social Shares of Your Emails

While promoting it to your email list is a great way to bring in repeat business, you want to use the channel to also bring in new business. Otherwise, you’ve artificially constrained the success of your marketing campaign to the size of your email list. You won’t be able to bring in any new customers, and you are just hoping that your existing customer list has some extra money that they are ready to spend on something. In this way, your campaign has already failed before it started – You can’t get any new customers from this effort.

Today, we will review a methodology that I’ve seen in use by a handful of companies to show explosive results from their marketing campaigns by taking it beyond the email:

As you send out coupons and other promotional messaging to your customers, encourage them to share the message in return for a bonus or a chance at a bonus.

1. Create a Web Version of Your Message

Create a new page on your site for “web-safe” version of your email message, so that it has a place to breathe. You can place your website’s navigation, other calls to action, and social media sharing buttons specific to that page around the message to enhance the experience.

Or, to make the process easier, just archive your broadcast in AWeber and you’ll be given a link to the web version.

2. Make Your Email Sharable

When you embed social media sharing buttons into your email (using a tool like Mashe’s generator) so that people can share your great email, make sure that the links from those buttons point back to the new web version of your email marketing message. This invites new potential customers and users into not just this one piece of content, but all of your website as well.

Now, encourage people to share your message with their network.

3. Encourage With Rewards

This reward may be offering a small coupon to people who receive it or view it from social media, such as 5% off or offering free shipping. You can now offer an additional chance of a reward to people who spread the message about this small offer. For example, try offering 20% off coupons to five random people who spread the message via Twitter or Facebook (or both, if they want two chances to win!).

This way, people who share the update help spread the message to their friends who find out about the same initial small offer and have the opportunity to buy from you, and then share the offer again themselves with their network, continuing the process.

4. Track Who’s Sharing Your Emails

You can see the first round of shares by tracking who clicks on your social sharing links in your emails. Then, you can send those subscribers the reward you promised.

After that, you can track with Facebook and Twitter’s public searches of status updates. While you can’t control for people that might share it privately or keep their Facebook or Twitter profile locked down, you can recommend or remind people that they must post the status update publicly to get credit for it.

In this way, you will both acquire revenue from your existing customers taking advantage of the offer, and spread the word about your site and products and open up the top of your funnel with these new visitors who are being recommended to your site by their friends.

5. Fulfill Your Promises

Once it comes time to fulfill on the promotion, you can use the public tools for both Twitter Search and Facebook Search to find out who shared your offer and select winners for your awards.

Make sure that you do this fairly soon after you begin the promotion, as the Twitter search function only shows tweets from the last 7 days, and there is currently no easy way to dig further into the past of Twitter content.

For that reason, you might want to consider running the promotion for three days after sending the email and then select a winner on day four afterwards, or similar, so that it is easy to track who shared the message and then select winners from that pool of people.

By accomplishing this mixture of social media and email marketing, you will have expanded the reach of your company greatly and helped bring new customers into your website at minimal expense, while encouraging your existing customers to be your brand advocate and endorsement to their friends.

Amanda Gagnon is the former Education Manager for AWeber and has started a number of small businesses.

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  1. Great tips! I use a variation for my main site’s newsletter subscriptions. I already encourage social shares and easy to share buttons at the end of each mailing.

    To take it another step, I frequently have traffic driving / email opt in blasts on the site. My main site is a gaming blog & I do giveaways for in game pet codes that are only available for real world cash.

    Joining the newsletter gets a reader an entry for the pet giveaways, but they can earn extra entries for each tweet / retweet / google plus share / facebook like. And they can earn extra entries for each share of blog posts that go live during the duration of the contest.

    So what happens is for a couple of $5 or $10 pet codes, I get a wave of subscribers, likes, tweets, shares, and traffic. Then the aweber auto responder mixes affiliate offers in with my blog posts and that initial cash investment turns into much more profit as the affiliate sales start to increase as well.

    3/20/2012 2:57 pm
  2. How do I embed the social sharing tools in my emails?

    ” (using a tool like Mashe’s generator)”

    Do you have a link for this please? :)

    4/28/2012 6:51 am
  3. I found the tool mentioned earlier, its at:

    4/28/2012 8:00 am