Email and Social Media: Share and Share Alike

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share_smallADOTAS – Last week GetResponse published a study that statistically shows that the option to share email marketing content through social media sites drives significant increases in click-throughs.

For anyone that has been paying attention to the email marketing world for the past few years, this is not surprising. With Twitter posting over 105 million registered users and Facebook quickly approaching 500 million worldwide, it’s no secret that people are signing up for and using social media.

The study looked at 500 million emails sent out through GetResponse, finding that those with the option to share through Facebook or Twitter built 30% higher click-through rates than emails that did not have the social media share option. Those with more than three options had 55% higher click-through rates.

Click-through rates are, at the end of the day, what we want. So why did they find that only 11.2% of emails offer those social media sharing options? I don’t know the answer to that, but it makes me glad I’m one of the 1 in 10 that is using what’s working.

If you aren’t adding social sharing options to your email marketing right now, that’s your first step. When you start doing that (or if you already are), here are some tips to optimize the downstream social sharing and click-through rates.

Call to Action. Like any good direct mail or email marketing campaign, the crux with social media sharing is your call to action. With something like a Twitter update, you only have a sentence, maybe two to convey the why and the how.

Make the Why 3-5 words. Make the How more prominent. Example: “Because You Deserve it. Click here for 50% off local spa treatments” vs. “Local Spa Treatments for you at 50% off because you deserve it. Click here:” See what I mean?

Use Images. Find a social sharing option that uses the icons that people are familiar with, so that rather than clicking on a link they are clicking on a picture that they recognize from the rest of their time on the web. People respond to images much more frequently than copy.

Reward Them. Figure out a way to run a contest where the entry is people sending you a screenshot of them sharing your email marketing message with their friends on a social network. The ROI is phenomenal.

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