Email Marketing to Acquire High Quality Facebook Fans
How much are Facebook fans worth? The answer depends on the quality of the relationship between fan and brand. There is a low entry threshold to become a fan—all it takes is a click or two. When Facebook is the only connection, financial support is unlikely. The best and most valuable Facebook fans are the ones who actively support your business or organization across channels. They are the ones that will respond to promotions and share real experiences with their friends.
Encouraging people who subscribe to your emails to join your social networks is a best practice because it significantly improves the quality of your fan base. The process is more challenging than it used to be because Facebook eliminated the option for custom landing pages. It can still be done, but there are a few issues with the experience. The email from Belk Department Stores (the first picture in the media player at right) provides a good example.
There are several components that make this a good email for motivating people to cross channels. They are the same items that make all emails more successful at generating a response.
- The email includes a specific call to action with a reward for connecting via Facebook.
- There are multiple opportunities to click and connect via Facebook and other channels.
- The primary promotion is the focus while secondary options are available.
- The offer is time sensitive.
- There are clickable links for shopping categories.
- A web link is available if the email images aren't available.
- Unsubscribe, preferences, and privacy links offer control to the recipient.
- Alternate text for images to encourage people to download images or visit webpage
Three days after sending this email, 16,708 new fans have joined Belk's network and 34,465 coupons were claimed. How could this be if "liking" the brand is required to claim the coupon? Remember the issues mentioned earlier?
The ability to gate the coupon disappeared when Facebook eliminated custom landing pages. It is technically impossible to require someone to like the page before receiving the coupon. This means that the coupon is available to anyone who visits the page and explains why more coupons were claimed than fans acquired.
If an email increases fans and sales, it is successful even when the two aren't codependent. The loss of the custom landing page requires good communication on how to access the coupon. Clicking the link in the email takes the recipient to Belk's Facebook timeline. Scrolling down is required to see the offer. Obviously people are finding it because thousands have claimed the coupon. The unanswered question is how many more would have been claimed if the offer were more obvious?
What if the Belk Rewards tab was temporarily replaced with a 20 percent off offer so it appeared above the fold?
The functionality of the Belk coupon promotion is provided by Facebook. When someone clicks "Get Offer" an email is sent with the offer code. Whether you choose to use Facebook's advertising products or do it yourself, here are some tips for making it successful:
- Follow the best practices used in the example email.
- Tell people how to claim to coupon in the email.
- Put information about the promotion above the fold so people see it when they land on the page.
- Include the expiration date on the Facebook post to increase the sense of urgency.
- Test different strategies and measure everything.
Measuring the results for fan acquisition is a challenge because there is limited data available. Email metrics are much easier to acquire. If you have good benchmarks you can gather enough information to gain insight to the results from fans and Facebook activity.
There is a tendency in social media to acquire quantity over quality. When the focus is the number of fans instead of the relationship, the return is minimal. The best strategy is to encourage top customers to cross channels and join your networks. They will share your information with friends and family. This introduces your company to the people most likely to support your business.