No doubt, you’ve spent a sizeable budget on your email marketing programs.
You’ve hired a handful of email vendors over the years. You’ve bought lists. You’ve hired email experts. You may have even attended one or more email tradeshows. The days of batch and blast — or spray and pray — whichever you prefer to call it — are thankfully behind us.
Your email vendor has mostly likely morphed into a ‘marketing automation’ or ‘demand generation’ provider — showing you ways to optimize your email marketing efforts.
This blogpost is not intended to serve as your first step towards a fully integrated email and social strategy — whew — because there are plenty of whitepapers about that. (And I certainly don’t want to unseat your marketing automation vendor either.)
Email marketing is usually intended for one-way communications. You send email out — but do not expect an email response. (I still cannot understand why so many companies STILL use a DO NOT REPLY address.) The ‘response’ you seek may include a visit to a landing page, the clicking on a link, or the downloading of a document or additional marketing material, but it’s still not as conversational as Twitter or Facebook.
Social media icons, or chiclets, have begun to show up in the design studios of marketing automation vendors. How cute: simply drag and drop the icons into your email or landing pages. But how many marketing managers test and re-test to see how the social media messages render? Check to see if your company’s Twitter handle is included in the message, and also if the URL is shortened appropriately. (And I certainly hope that you are measuring the clicks on that shortened link, too.)
If sharing is the holy metric of engagement, you need to ensure that your clients and prospects are fully aware of the ways that they can share the content or message of that email. Most likely, they will not simply hit the Forward button. (Sorry…) And clicking on the social media icons may not be enough.
What if the client or prospect only wants to share portions of the email — perhaps there are some great blogposts or graphics included — but not all of it? Add a link to ‘View this email in a Web browser,’ where the webpage properly displays the different components of the email, along with multiple sets of social sharing icons.
As marketing automation vendors continue to improve their social apps — or get acquired by larger enterprise software companies that already own social media marketing platforms — we can all expect some interesting things to happen to good ole’ email.