Email is now an essential aspect of content marketing. Everything from newsletters to customer spotlights, email has been resuscitated from the dead and has been given a 21st century overhaul. Email is now one of the most successful and efficient forms of digital marketing today.
All of the data prove that email marketing is alive and well. Email marketing leads to a 4,300 percent return on investment (ROI), email marketing generates 50 percent more sales and 95 percent of customers who sign up for your brand's emails find them quite useful in their inbox.
In other words, the rumors and notions of email's doom and gloom are greatly exaggerated.
Thanks to technology, brands and marketers, email continues to evolve and adapt to the circumstances and trends of the modern world. And this includes the power of social sharing.
Social sharing is one of the latest phenomenons to hit the digital marketing world. In case you are unaware of this recent development, social sharing is "the practice of sharing content from a website on a social media site or application." Think tweeting out an article on Twitter. Social sharing has become a powerful tool in the arsenal of brands, organizations and politicians.
When you integrate social sharing with your email marketing campaign then the results are more than just satisfactory. This merger of two methods leads to brand awareness and prosperity.
Here are a few statistics to take a gander at when you coalesce social sharing and email:
- Adding a social sharing button increases the click-through rate (CTR) by 158 percent.
- 52 percent of marketers gained a client through Facebook.
- LinkedIn maintained the best average email CTR with 7.9 percent.
Remember, email is the oldest form of online networking. It only makes sense that your email marketing campaign is amplified with social media. As long as you do it well. This is where we come in.
Here are five ways to make your email marketing content social sharing-worthy:
- You're Producing Original Content
- Content Hits Certain Emotional Buttons
- Readers Find Value in Content
- Taking Advantage of Motivations
- A Look at the Tech Side of Things
You're Producing Original Content
In any online arena, you have to remember the 20-year-old Internet adage: content is king.
Studies have repeatedly shown that the reason why people share content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on other social networks is because they find the information interesting. If they didn't find value in the content itself then they would not share it with others on social media.
With this in mind, you have to ask yourself: are you producing original content?
Original content is the only way to stand out from the crowd. If you're just regurgitating ideas, facts and opinions that others have written about ad nauseum then you won't get shares.
Here is how you start creating original content for your email marketing campaigns:
- Unique: let's face it: it can be hard to produce original content in today's world. There are billions of websites all over the world that have likely covered at least one topic. It can be difficult to stand out from the others. But this shouldn't be an excuse. Your brand must write original content, which can be done by offering new insights and alternative opinions to common issues.
- Newsworthy: another way to be original is to pen newsworthy content. If something has happened in the last 24 to 48 hours then this is your opportunity to share your opinion with others. If it's a unique approach to the news then others' interest will be piqued.
- Hooked: if you want your audience to be interested in your content then you have to ensure they are hooked. This can be hard to accomplish, but it is still doable. In order to get readers hooked is to be surprising in the content itself. If you decide to contradict allowable opinions that really isn't too controversial then your subscribers will be hooked to your content until the end.
Your content can be king by being original. Don't steal! On the other hand, as legendary filmmaker Woody Allen famously said, if you have to steal then steal from the best.
Content Hits Certain Emotional Buttons
Human beings are emotional creatures. The Internet facilitates our emotional side. Everything from cat videos to dramatic images from overseas, the online world gives us plenty to be happy or sad, excited or morose about. This is where you can take advantage of our emotions.
According to one study, 13 percent of readers shared something with their friends on social media because they wanted them to feel some kind of emotion, good or bad. Ostensibly, the top five positive viral emotions are amusement, interest, surprise, happiness and delight.
Does your email marketing content hit certain emotional buttons? Is it so emotional that your readers want to share it their friends, family members, co-workers and others on social media?
If it doesn't then it should!
Here are a few brief tips to exploit for your email content:
- The two-second rule consists of a sentence or two to engage your reader.
- Now that the reader is paying attention you can use humor, fun or curiosity to continue their enagement.
- By the time they have finished reading your email, their logic will kick in and this is where your call-to-action (CTA) steps in. You can't be explicit in your intent but rather clandestine. Remember, the proper ratio is 80 percent information and 20 percent promotion.
Here is a chart courtesy of Business Insider to take a lot emotions that prompted social shares:
Readers Find Value in Content
The ultimate objective of any content piece is to generate a moment of "aha!" When you do this then you know that you have written a fine newsletter, blog post or white paper. And when you do elicit that "aha!" then the reader is far more likely to share the content via social media.
According to a Content Marketing Institute checklist, your content must have the following:
When your content is readable, actionable and shareable then your content will be plastered across social media, which is your brand's aim in this quest for more eyeballs.
You have to remember one thing: your content mustn't be too long. We all have an attention span less than that of a goldfish; and most of us don't even read the content but rather just the headline. So you must adapt to this trend if you want your content shared.
Taking Advantage of Motivations
Over the last few years, as the rise of social media has conquered the Internet, researchers have wanted to determine the motivations behind sharing content. By being a spectator, you have to wonder what the entire point is to share a link on Facebook or Twitter since it won't benefit you.
Apparently, this is what researchers discovered as to why we share content on social media:
- Altruism: we feel good to share.
- Affinity: we want to belong to a community.
- Prurience: we feel less guilty for just staring (especially we have an ad-blocker).
- Self-interest: we think we'll be rewarded.
With these in mind, your email marketing content should consider these motivations.
A Look at the Tech Side of Things
Finally, you have to take a gander at the tech side of things in your email marketing content.
Aside from the logical social sharing buttons that are front and center in your emails, you also have to include other technical aspects to enhance the opportunity of sharing your content.
This consists of the popular Retweet This! function, automating your email marketing strategies, creating an exclusive social group for your email subscribers and collecting emails on social media. These tools will help improve the social sharing-worthiness of your email content.
Email is the oldest form of online networking. With social media the latest incarnation of networking, it only makes sense that digital marketers can connect the dots and utilize both applications for the brands they rerpresent.
By integrating email marketing and social sharing, you achieve your goals of garnering more subscribers, generating more leads and boosting your number of sales. With more than a billion people on Facebook, 500 million on Twitter and millions elsewhere, social media is a vital tool for building a brand's awareness and reach. But your email strategy can be the preceding step.
In the end, you have to tailor your email marketing content with social sharing in mind.