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Your Email Can Be More Sociable

An eBook by


The key to the inbox Manage your reputation. Reach the inbox. Earn a response. Celebrate subscribers. Get promoted. Be happy. Retire young. Look gorgeous.


By Bonnie Malone Director, Response Consulting Return Path With 10 years of marketing and merchandising experience, Bonnie has managed multi-channel, multi-million dollar businesses for Fortune 100 companies in the retail sector. Her programs have experienced a 20-40% increase in open and clickthrough rates, 50-85% revenue growth, and 4060% database growth. Before Return Path, Bonnie held a senior-level e-marketing position with Office Depot, a multichannel retailer, where she spent eight years. Bonnie holds a BS in Merchandising from Florida State University.


The WORLD is obsessed with social media


3/4 U.S. online adults‌

Source: Forrester


Since March 2010, traffic to Facebook has exceeded traffic to Google -Nielsen


MARKETERS are obsessed with social media


64% of marketers use social media today‌ Source: Forrester


‌22% more plan to do so in the near future

Source: Forrester


“Social media ROI� was an important buzzword for 36% of executives. Source: Anderson Analytics and Marketing Executives Networking Group "Marketing Trends Report 2010"


But social media was also considered “annoying� by marketing executives, with nearly 30% saying they are tired of it. Twitter, specifically, got on the nerves of nearly 15% of respondents. Source: Anderson Analytics and Marketing Executives Networking Group "Marketing Trends Report 2010"


…we love it, we find it annoying, we love it, we find it annoying Source: Anderson Analytics


Love it or hate, you gotta do it ‌ 14


So what is so interesting about social media?!


Social media is interesting because it’s a two-way dialog. But social media is simply the next generation of a personal communication channel that already exists: Email


Email is not dead

Believe it or not, email is very much alive


From Online Activities of US Internet Users 2007-2009 (% of respondents) 100%

90% 80%

Emailing from a PC

70% 60% 50%

Connecting with people on social networking sites

40% 30% 20%

Emailing from a mobile device

10% 0% 2007

2008

2009

Source: eMarketer


Over 50% of adults said they were likely to open an email containing promotions or coupons Source: Experian


30% said they would forward an email with promotions or coupons to others, up from 28% in 2008. Source: Experian


Many marketers still haven’t fully leveraged or optimized email.

But, yet, we’re already on to the next thing?


One in four marketers place links to email campaigns and newsletters on social media pages, or includes a “share� option in email.

Source: GetResponse


Slacktivism It’s way too easy to click “like” button in Facebook. What does that mean to the consumer? Putting a social media link in email is really easy but is it really impactful?


Don’t join the masses jumping on the bandwagon – and off the cliff of mediocrity.


What can you do to truly engage with your subscribers?


Four Keys to


1. Be Compelling


Disney consistently delivers “7 Little Things� with interactive elements like: quizzes, contests, and requests for feedback.


Social Media links enable subscribers to easily post the Disney share-ready content


Lowe’s holistic approach includes a variety of content like: helpful tips, ‘how-to’ videos, and links to their own online community


Including local store information & social media links encourages subscribers to connect in ways that are most convenient for them


2. Be Interactive


Daily Candy uses video to support the core message of their email.

In lieu of step-bystep instructions, an expert visually demonstrates the process, and adds an important personal element to the message


They integrate the “follow us on twitter� message along with other share links - AFTER giving subscribers a clear benefit, and reason to do so.


Overstock fully embraces the idea of User Generated Content. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, Overstock asks email subscribers – and website shoppers – to tweet their Mother’s best advice. Those tweets were fed into a content feature area on the dedicated landing page – celebrating users’ submissions.


Acacia, a health and lifestyle company, uses email to launch an online workout effort, bringing the subscriber together with the company, but also their subscribers


3. PERSONIFY the company


Sonic leverages their own company culture to lend personality to their email marketing.

The bottom of each email includes a picture and the name of a carhop that ‘delivered’ the email.


Fast food chain, Chick-Fil-A, smartly used their mascots, “The Cowz” to promote an in-store event. “The Cowz” took over email to invite subscribers to attend – a fun way to integrate cross-channel marketing and branding.


4. OVERcommunicate a consistent message


Levi’s uses email as a key communication platform with subscribers. From reviews to Facebook, the company regularly encourages subscribers to join the conversation – and clearly states the benefits of doing so


Recently, Levi’s expanded their social media strategy by using the channel to recruit a female spokesperson.

Email subscribers were the first to learn about the contest and were invited to submit an entry to become the first “Levi’s girl”


Uncommon Goods is another company that has been bold with email and social media. They have a unique, full-circle approach that encourages customer feedback


Uncommon Goods uses Facebook as a platform for finding new products. Customers submit product ideas that are posted for fan votes on Facebook.


The winner of the contest is announced on Facebook and in email. And subscribers get the first chance to pre-order the newest customerchosen product


Let’s Review! Social Media Madness

Social Media Did Not Kill Email

• Since March 2010, traffic to Facebook has exceeded traffic to Google (Nielsen) • 64% of marketers use social media today (Forrester) • Love it or hate, you gotta do it

• Subscribers are heavily influenced by email marketing especially with the interaction social media provides • People continue to open and forward promotional email

4 Keys to Success • Be Compelling • Be Interactive • Personify the Company • Overcommunicate a consistent message


Want more? Email Bonnie Malone to get the handout: How to Make Your Email More Sociable! 10 Tips For Integrating Social Media Into Your Email Campaigns bonnie.malone@returnpath.net


Your Email Can Be More Sociable!