6 Social Networking Tactics for Email Marketers

There are plenty of people writing about how to leverage social networks for profit, so I won’t waste your time rehashing them.

Instead, I’d like to share some tips about what I know best – email marketing solutions – and some ways to bridge some social networking tactics to your campaigns that can make a real difference in the results you see at the end of the day.

Take a look and see if you can implement some or all of them to your campaign today.

How to Make Your Email Campaigns More Social

1. Place a small headshot image next to your signature

Every social networking site has a place for your picture. So does your email! Show those pearly whites right next to your signature to infuse some more personality into your email.

It may seem like a minor change, because it is, but subtle changes like this (like creative personalization, geographic targeting, and other subtle tricks) can contribute to a waterfall effect when used together.

2. Start a group on a social networking site (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) your subscribers can join

Email, by nature of it’s technical specs, is a one-to-one communication tool. Even when you send to thousands of people, it’s usually important to write your copy as if you’re talking to one subscriber personally.

Social networking, on the other hand, is a many-to-many communication tool, which differentiates it from the conventional web and email experience and contributes to its popularity.

Would your subscribers be even more engaged with your content if they could discuss it with one another? Would they then share it with their friends on the social networking sites they use?

Hint: Having your subscribers communicate with one another may get them more interested in your content without you having to do any more work.

3. Interact with your subscribers

Just because email is one-to-one doesn’t mean it has to be one way. Remember that people can always hit reply to anything you send them. Take advantage of that fact. Ask them for feedback.

You can also use polls and surveys, and include the results and subscriber feedback in your future messages. TV and radio programs do this sort of thing to keep you tuned during commercials.

Even though the time between our emails last at least a little longer than 30 seconds (or at least it should!), this is a great way to keep your subscribers “tuned in”.

4. Write like a real, live person

You are real and live, right? You aren’t a robot like these guys over the on the right, are you?

Well, don’t be afraid to write like it! Remember to connect and relate with your subscribers, and be approachable. Of course, you can overdo it with the personal information, but too often I see email marketers underachieving on this front.

5. Network with other content providers

Networking with others with similar interests, of course, is natural on a social networking platform. It’s not necessarily so with email, when we’re focused on getting our newsletter out on time with relevant content.

Still, there are many potential benefits to linking up with non-competitor authorities in your industry. Think: ideas for content to fill your newsletters with, possible guest writing opportunities that help build your list, and a word of mouth campaign that builds your authority and rapport (with real live, humans… and robots…really, like Google).

6. Link up your social networking profiles

Are you a social networking addict yourself? Do you Twitter, have a Facebook account, or share pictures related to your website or business on Flickr?

Unless you have some serious skeletons in your closet, try making use of your email newsletter’s sidebar, signature, or footer and throw in a few links.

If you write your content like someone your subscribers can get to know and trust (see #4), and someone they want to be associated with, you just might make some new friends (and get exposure to friends of friends, and friends of their friends, and so on).

What is This List Missing?

I can give a partial answer: your ideas! You’ll have to fill in the rest.

Are you a social networking addict? Have you used Myspace, Twitter (some of us do – see Tom and Sean), or Facebook (like our page!) for your business?

Please share so we can all benefit from each other’s thoughts on this topic. Contribute to the discussion below.


  1. Steven Bell

    9/7/2009 9:16 am

    Great ideas and comments here today.
    1. To the one who has been IM for the last 4-years without selling anything or contacting your list, sell it to me or sell your business I’ve got some great ideas.
    2. To everyone else, great comments, I have abstained from facebook only because it’s been declining in use over time and when twitter arrived, well…
    3. To the twitter tweets, you need to really control your time spent on tweeting, you can fall into the trap of the social site vacuum easily if you don’t, limite yourself to no more than 1-hour per day at the most!

  2. Andrew Molobetsi

    10/5/2009 1:53 pm

    Great blog topic and tips. Thanks for taking the time . And thanks to all the other participants for your helpful imputs.

  3. Jery Goodwin

    12/29/2009 9:02 am

    Great post,

    There are so many ways to use these social networks and so many of them you could probably build a complete business around and through just social networks.

    The fact that ther are so many comments and so many great ideas here from the many people commenting is proof that social networks are a good placce to make your business grow.

    Has any of you here used Blog Talk Radio, or places such as Ryze or Linked In to help with your business?

    If you have contact me and let me know how you are using them, would love to know.

    Have a great day

  4. sasikrishna

    4/5/2010 5:19 am

    This articles really gave me an insight about email marketing and list building.

  5. Sonia

    5/9/2010 12:15 pm

    Thanks for the tip on the pic. I just added mine for that personal touch. As far as social networking is concerned. I have all of my Twitter, Facebook, MySpace URLs on my "thank you for joining" page for that extra business exposure.

    Also, whenever I get a Twitter follower, I send them a link to my Facebook fan page in hopes that they will become a fan…so far I’ve gotten one to join beside me and my spouse, but hey gotta start somewhere right? I’m just going to keep plugging away until my list grows and grows.

    Thanks for letting me share!

  6. Shanker Bakshi

    8/8/2010 5:37 am

    Taking inspiration , i am adding a digital signature and a avatar to all my promotional emails 🙂

  7. Jenn

    9/24/2010 8:24 am

    Hi Marc, thanks for the great read..

    I’ve dipped my hands into social marketing but have not seen worthy results… Your post has inspired me to try again on a more social angle, thanks:)

    It would be fantastic to have a ‘like this’ button in the emails!!

    Look forward to reading more of you later

  8. Dr. Michael Haley

    10/3/2010 5:43 pm

    I like the picture next to the signature idea. But does that raise the "spam" score any?

  9. Justin Premick

    10/4/2010 12:41 pm


    To my knowledge, it does not – but one way to find out is to add it and then check your score!

  10. Trish

    11/29/2010 12:29 pm

    Thanks so much for reaffirming my use of my business card in email after my signature. I have my photo on my business card and setup Outlook to automatically add my business card with EACH new email I write. For personal emails, I remove my card… but now I’m thinking of leaving it there for ALL outgoing emails!

  11. Serge

    2/9/2011 7:43 am

    Well, great ideas for the photo in the email, I’ll try that perhaps; just I havent’ found any IM with a photo in their email.

    I just wanted to add that I am receiving hundreds of emails and info and I try to read them all….impossible: many IMs say to post at list 10 times a day to forums, plus tweets, plus facebook, and at the same time create squeeze pages, or opt in, than update blogs, widgets, websites, more freebies, go into giveaways, emails….etc!

    I am a hard worker and I can tell you many of them are full of it because it’s physically impossible. Unless you lock yourself in a room for 20 hours a day on the computer.

  12. Rachel Henke

    3/3/2011 6:51 am

    That’s a very helpful article as many people miss out on how much it simplifies social networking when one links up all activities.

    Another good way of growing your list and using email marketing in social media is to add your email RSS feed to your blog so your readers can dip into your ezine before signing up. 🙂

  13. Lee

    3/21/2011 5:30 pm

    I am using all the social media platforms, and probably find facebook the easiest to use. I am slowly building up a following. My problem is this I find it difficult to then convert traffic from there across to my website and secondly, alot of followers then do not contribute. I am trying all sorts of things to stilmulate conversation – but the same few people contribute and that’s it!

  14. Earl

    6/3/2011 6:55 pm

    I have not used any social networking as yet. I will try it out when I learn how to use it in connection with my website. Probably best to start with Facebook, then add twitter. I know it is very powerful, I just have not figured out how to utilize it yet. But I am new to IM so I figure I have much to learn.

    Anyway I Like to read about tips to improve and give much thanks to those that share their experiences.

  15. Wendy

    1/24/2013 12:06 pm

    I am concerned about privacy on some of these sites. It’s not that I have something to hide. Just self-protection.

  16. Jody Heath

    1/16/2014 6:10 am

    My aweber wishlist: it’s funny you mentioned the picture in the signature. I’ve just started doing that. The problem is, I have about 60 followups to go in and change. I know Aweber has a section to customize the signature and do some snippits; neither of those just do exactly what I need. Better, would be repeatable blocks…….text, pics, graphics…etc… I actually like the block editor (although it’s not yet that mobile friendly like a straight html message). I have basically the same header and footer blocks in just about every email that are pretty much the same. I would love to be able to have those repeat in each followup; so when I tweak something, I wouldn’t have to go through and change every single followup:)

  17. Rebekah Henson

    1/16/2014 8:45 am

    Hi Jody,

    Thanks so much for your comment! I’ve passed your suggestion along to the rest of our team.