Pin to Win: How to Use Engaging Visual Bulletin Boards to Build Email Marketing Lists
Unlike social platforms that rely on a limited number of characters to increase brand awareness and product availability, Pinterest focuses on alluring graphics rather than explanations through words. Pinterest and its manly counterpart Gentlemint encourage their growing number of members to collect photos and links to products in order to transform boards into a virtual shopping catalog of the best and most popular products on the web.
The public is responding to the visual bulletin board concept. Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has grown to over 10.4 million members and daily users have increased 145 percent since the beginning of the year. It's inviting, addictive and good for retailers because members pin and repin online photos and graphics that are linked to the original site where the content was created.
Visual content boards are an effective way to engage and generate new leads. Shoppers can discover your product and click through to your website. In essence, it's a powerful referral platform for your business. Those that share your content become your product advocates and their followers will be more likely to subscribe to your email marketing program.
To make the most of Pinterest, Gentlemint and the other virtual pin board clones popping up, Campaigner suggests retailers incorporate the following "pin to win" tips to gain new email subscribers:
- Find the right audience. Pinterest membership is female dominated. Top pins are about arts and crafts, gifts, interior design, fashion, etc. Gentlemint has a smaller base and is primarily comprised of a male readership. Try one social platform before diving in based on the audience. If targeting both sites, keep the audience in mind when choosing photos to add to your boards.
- Get the news out. Once your account is set up, include your board's link in all new email marketing campaigns. For example, add a 'Follow us' button on Pinterest within a email. Put this button next to the links for your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social presences.
- Captivate and capture. Make it as easy as possible to subscribe to your email marketing program. Include a sign-up form in a prominent position on every web page on Pinterest and/or Gentlemint boards as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. To increase your number of new opt-ins, consider including a targeted incentive offer to sign up. A dedicated sign-up form is an effective method to track the impact of this sign-up source.
- Make new friends but keep your old ones. Don't neglect other tried-and-true social networks. Additional reach can be gained if those pinning a company's content are also linked to Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. Content shared on one social platform may be shared on another, helping to extend your brand's exposure while increasing customer engagement and driving people to your website.
- Build from what's gleaned. Using the right email marketing service, links can be tracked. This functionality provides insight into what the subscriber clicked on in order to arrive at your website. Use this information to monitor clickthrough rates and resulting web traffic. This will help determine if this is a tactic that should be continued and perhaps even updated more frequently. One way to do this is to pin images of your newest products and services, including links back to your website in the pin's description. Popular content can also be repined regularly to keep your boards fresh.
Related story: Putting Pinterest to Work for Your Brand