Share, Share Everywhere: Tapping the Social Activity of Email Subscribers
We've all seen it happen: a trusted individual recommends or suggests something. It's a powerful way to not only convey a message, but also elicit a response. That’s why it’s important for email marketers to understand the value of social media sharing. Having prospects and customers receive, open and pay attention to your email message is good, but having them then share the message further via email or other social media is great. Customer-instigated sharing across social media channels acts as a force multiplier that can significantly ratchet up the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign, both in reach and impact.
Most marketers track the basics of email marketing: deliverability (i.e., bounces), opens (i.e., renders), clicks, unsubscribes and spam complaints. Add social sharing to that list in order to begin to understand the dynamic between your email subscribers and their social influence. If you're tracking social activity and influence in another system, try to match the influence back to your CRM database by asking subscribers to provide their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn handle.
If you pay for data from Facebook or other social networks, you can match data via email address. Be prepared, however, to see a low match rate between your email file and the email addresses on record at the social network. Many consumers use different email addresses for different purposes.
At the minimum, the data you see in your email marketing system — e.g., social sharing, link clicks and any self-reported data on social behavior — will at least give you an idea of what social activities are most important to your subscribers. It appears there's a pretty wide variance by time of day for a retailer. Sale promotions sent on weekends were shared with social networks much more frequently than those sent during the week. Therefore, retailers were able to adjust the timing and content of their messages to feature social shopping activities.