Five years ago (has it only been five years?), I spent a lot of time helping magazine publishers learn to let go of their content. The most successful publishers let down their hair and began to give it away for free through blogs and email newsletters. We discovered that free content could be profitable if we could just ask for an email address in exchange (it was the email list that made all the money online at that time).
That email address, a consumer’s most coveted online detail, could be secured by giving away free white papers, free website subscriptions, and sometimes just by asking for it. Businesses of every niche followed the strategies of the publishing industry by creating their own white papers and website subscriptions. The email list has been, for some time, the meal ticket that pays for all the content people are working so hard to produce, but were having a hard time getting paid for.
So, when we started suggesting that they start adding social media buttons to email, there was bewilderment. After spending all of that time creating email lists, why would we want to send customers away?
My simple answer? If a customer wants your content, or they want to connect with you, they’ll do it in whatever way is most convenient for them.
By adding social media buttons to your email template, you’re inviting them to join your other lists: your Twitter list and your Facebook list. If they join both, then not only do you have them on your email list, but you have them on two other lists. If they happen to unsubscribe from email, then you haven’t lost them.
Tips for Adding Social Media Buttons to Email Templates
When adding social media buttons to email templates, keep all of these tips in mind so that you make the most of every list you build:
- People will look for social media buttons at the top right of your email newsletter, just like they will on a webpage.
- Add social media buttons next to your “unsubscribe” lingo to give them other options before leaving your list completely.
- Measure your social media efforts exactly like email by adding tracking codes to all of your links.
- Use all of your lists a little differently to prevent brand fatigue. Each list should have a different persona and share/promote differently.
- Consider adding “share” buttons to your email newsletters like you do on your website.
Take a look at these great email templates who are using those strategies to build lists everywhere their customers want them:
- Natural Health Advisory asks readers to follow them in the upper right-hand quadrant of their email template.
- MarketingSherpa uses the upper right-hand quadrant, too, asking readers to “connect” with them.
- MarketingProfs uses the upper right to ask people to share the email newsletter.
- Trulia dedicates that top right to a “like us on Facebook” graphic.