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Pinterest: The Email Marketer's New Opportunity

by Kristina Huffman  |  
August 10, 2012

Pinterest is quickly becoming a significant channel in today's ever-evolving social media landscape. Understanding what Pinterest is and how members and marketers are using it will allow you to make the most of it.

Consider the following: Pinterest already has 20 million unique users, and it's the fastest-growing social network in history, according to comScore; Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Twitter and more than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined, according to Shareaholic; nearly 80% of pins are repins, whereas only 1.4% of tweets are retweets, according to HubSpot; and, most important, it converts: PriceGrabber found 21% of users have purchased an item that they found on the site.

Marketing Tips

Whether you are a beginner or you know your way around the site, here are some quick tips to get you started on marketing on Pinterest.

Are you a beginner?

  1. Sign up. Pinterest is driven largely by individual curators rather than brands. So it might be a good idea for your Pinterest account to be in the name of your CEO, style editor, buyer, etc.
  2. Follow people. Make sure to follow not only users who are pinning your content but also competitors and brands that are using the channel well.
  3. Create boards. Boards can be categorized by product type, season, color, pinner—whatever makes sense to your business.
  4. Pin content. Pin from your website to your boards. Use the bookmarklet or directly upload new images that are not coming directly from your website (more here). I'm not a lawyer but here's a quick legal side note: Play it safe and pin only your own content.

Are you an intermediate user?

Add Pinterest follow icons to your website and emails so that users can follow your Pinterest boards. Group them with other social-media follow icons.

Are you an advanced user? Take your campaigns one step further:

  1. Add sharing functionality to your website that allows users to pin content from it onto Pinterest.
  2. Add sharing functionality to your emails to encourage subscribers to pin content directly from those emails.
  3. Run dedicated email campaigns highlighting Pinterest contests and "reveals."

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Kristina Huffman is a design consultant at ExactTarget, a leading provider of email marketing software.

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  • by Rishi Fri Aug 10, 2012 via web

    Once Pinterest becomes as much 'mainstream' as Twitter or Facebook, I predict that select images on a website, once clicked on to enlarge, will direct to Pinterest's website. There, people will be more keen to pin and share the image with their network. This would be every social marketer's dream.

    Get access to all our social media cheat sheets at

  • by Steve Plotkin Fri Aug 10, 2012 via web

    Love the way you have divided this post up into Beginner, Intermediate and advanced. Nice post. I love Pinterest and have been encouraging use on our blog too

  • by Amber King Sun Aug 12, 2012 via web

    Pinterest is making a mark as a social network site. Businesses should take advantage of what pinterest can offer.

  • by Pinterest Marketing Pro Tue Aug 14, 2012 via web

    Great article! I love how you mention helpful Pinterest strategies for people in all different levels of expertise. Your suggestions reinforce another great source thatís helped me out too. PinLeague is a wonderful Pinterest Influencer network that does everything from helping you gain followers, understand analytics and anything Pinterest marketing related. Just wanted to pass the word along, thanks!

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