Email marketing is still one of the most popular forms of getting the word out to customers and readers. I suspect that has to do with the fact that email marketing is relatively inexpensive and newsletters are fairly easy to create with little to know technical knowledge. Even the smallest business or brand can create and send out emails to their customers informing them of company news, promotions or reminders but unfortunately while you’re sharing your news with your readers or customers, they may not be sharing your news with anyone else.
Every day I get hundreds of emails, some stand out and some of them get sent straight to the trash. While I’m interested in sharing emails that are going to inform and help others , I know that a lot of people are more interested in sharing emails that have something to offer beyond company news.
There are a number of elements that make emails share worthy, but emails that include following are the ones see being tweeted and shared among social networks the most.
Make Them Laugh
There is nothing more contagious than laughter (well, that and lice in a room full of preschoolers) and when you find something funny you’re more likely to share those giggles with others. Think about it for a moment; How often do you see people ‘sharing’ humorous images or updates on Facebook?
People are more likely to share an email that had a funny or humorous tone to it. It’s great to inform people but if you can inform them and make them laugh, you’ll be far more likely to have your email passed around than someone whose email reads like stereo instructions.
Read This and Get Something Awesome
Everyone loves to get something for nothing or at the very least get something for very little involvement. Emails that contain promotions or discounts have the highest share rate among email marketing. I’ve seen this work when my clients provide a discount along with their promotion to their email subscribers. The subscribers are happy to get great savings and are generally happy to pass along the same savings to people; especially if the discount is a great one or subscribers will receive something extra for sharing.
Share This Email and Get Something Even More Awesome
I just mentioned that sharing discounts that offer additional bonuses are also popular email campaigns and it’s true. If you knew that you’d get an additional discount or even something for free when you shared your favorite brand’s email, wouldn’t you? That’s the thought process behind social sharing. Give more to get more. A company that is willing to give more incentives in order to get more shares can expect a good return on the incentives they’re offering. The incentive to sharing? Big discounts on products or services and/or free stuff.
All of this sharing seems easy but before you start creating BOGO offers for your next email campaign or hire a comic writer to write your newsletter, ask yourself if your email has the right ingredients to get shared?
Email Sharing Elements
Include a few, or all of these elements to make it easier for people to share your emails:
- Social Networking Buttons – Facebook buttons are a given nowadays as are Twitter, but Google+ and Pinterest are quickly becoming a great way to socially share emails, websites and targeted posts.
- Dedicated Targeting – Targeting your emails can be as easy as asking your readers to share something and receive something in return. A good example of this is asking for help in receiving Facebook likes or Tweets. If they tweet or “like” your company’s page you can offer a discount or free gift in return. (Careful on how you ask for shares via Facebook though, Facebook has rules and guidelines that can harm your brand if you don’t pay attention.)
- Ask! – If you don’t ever ask people to share, then don’t be upset when they don’t. I constantly see newsletters that forget to include that simple call to action of requesting readers to forward the email on or sharing via a social network.
If you’re already including these elements in your emails, why not ask your readers what prompts them to share an email from you or what kinds of incentives they prefer for sharing.