With natural sharing opportunities built into holiday emails such as Black Friday promotions and nifty gift items at unbeatable prices, are you ready to make 2011 the holiday season to share?
Unfortunately, many email marketers have put their approach to sharing emails on autopilot and have forgotten the keys to making their content both shareable and shareworthy.
Here are a few quick tips to increase the likelihood that your message will be shared—even without that piano-playing cat video—this holiday season:
1. Make your emails easy to share. It doesn't matter how great your content is. If you don't make it simple to share, it stands little chance of going viral. Here are a couple of tactics to make your emails more shareable:
- Limit the social networks to the one or two most popular and relevant to your subscribers.
- Ask your readers outright to share the content and tell them why/what's in it for them.
- Be descriptive with copy on the share icons/buttons: "Share on Facebook"/"Share on Twitter/“Forward to Friends."
- Make these buttons easy to find by placing them right in the copy block with the offer you want to promote.
- Use "bulletproof buttons"—HTML links behind the images so that a recipient can still click even when images are blocked.
- Test and analyze to learn which networks and approaches produce the most shares.
- In general, make sure your email is mobile and touch- friendly so that even "fat fingers" can click the button accurately and easily.
[caption id="attachment_2626" align="alignright" width="264" caption="Last holiday season, King Arthur Flour used email to promote sharing of holiday baked items on its Facebook page."]
2. Provide "shareworthy" content. People share content to help others and to be seen as a knowledgeable information source, among other reasons. The holiday season presents a number of obvious sharing themes and opportunities, including:
- Black Friday promotions: Encourage subscribers to share details of your Black Friday promotion.
- Coupons: If you want your coupons to go viral, encourage subscribers to share the savings among their friends.
- In-store events and promotions: Photos with Santa or "meet the author" with a book signing.
- "Share with a friend" offers: Past campaigns or shopping/browse behavior on your site can tell you which offers shoppers are most likely to share.
- Wish lists: Promote several desirable products, perhaps even using dynamic copy blocks that incorporate a customer's past buying habits. Invite the subscriber to forward or post the email as hints for a husband/wife, parent, child, sibling or friend.
- "Shop with me" offers: These are traffic builders for retailers with physical locations to encourage shoppers to bring friends to their local stores or to send out-of-town friends to their own nearby stores.
- Contests, games and fun: Remember Office Max's "Elf Yourself" campaigns? Silverpop client King Arthur Flour used email last holiday season to promote sharing of holiday baked items on its Facebook page.
3. Create stand-alone emails. Add a new email, or replace one of your regular broadcast messages with one designed specifically to be shared.
Instead of retrofitting your existing message template, create a new message design with simple navigation that focuses exclusively on a single idea and uses copy to promote sharing via email, "forward to a friend" and posting on social networks.
Have you seen or created any innovative holiday emails that were especially shareworthy? Please share below.
More Holiday Marketing Tips:
1) Blog: “Use Offline Sources to Increase Opt-ins”
2) Blog: “Leverage Facebook to Grow Your Email Database”
3) Tip Sheet: “8 New Twists on Holiday Marketing Traditions to Help Drive Revenue”