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Want to grow a large and active email file? Get your subscribers to talk it up. Just as in any other marketing, word of mouth promotion for your email program can be a very effective strategy.

This is the best argument I've seen for the value of social media sharing. Having prospects and customers receive, open and pay attention to your email message is good. But it's great when they share the message further, through email or other social media and help position your subscribers as "insiders." Others will want to be insiders, too. Customer-instigated sharing acts as a force multiplier that can significantly ratchet up the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.

What’s more, the potential value of social media sharing doesn’t end there. When marketers put the tools in place to track clicks, conversions, and the progress of messages across social media platforms, they can add tremendous depth and breadth to their customer database. Then, these insights can help guide and refine future marketing efforts.

When you start using social media to improve your email marketing, consider these factors:

  • Cadence. Be aware that the footprint of each message grows as it’s shared. You may need to adjust the pace of certain messages to adapt to this longer tail.

  • Influence. Reach alone is not the key metric. Impact and conversion are what truly matter. Track which social media channels provide the most conversions, and focus there. Typically, most brands will find three or four social services or networks that touch the majority of their target audience.

  • Influencers. Data collection and management allows you to identify your biggest brand advocates. You may be able to leverage their enthusiasm even more through special offers, enhanced communication, or other promotions that recognize their status.

  • Offer Management. Groupon has changed more than just couponing; consumers now expect and share only the most daring of offers. Track which kinds of offers "have legs" for your brand so that you can best predict yield. Remember, too, that not every offer has to "go viral." Keeping some for your most loyal customers may be a good scarcity strategy and build loyalty as well as response.

  • Connect. Every share is an opportunity---and be sure to capitalize by making it really easy for everyone touched by you offer to join/follow your brand and sign up for email offers.

  • Segmentation. Slicing social media data by channel, time, topic, etc. can help you identify patterns that make it easier to target future email messages.

  • Privacy. Brands that overstep, spam and/or fail to disclose their intentions risk customer backlash. “Cross the line” and you’ll be contending with negative, not positive, social media sharing!

Today, word of mouth doesn’t happen just one to one in person. It also happens inbox to inbox and across a wide range of social media platforms. Harness the power of social sharing, and you’ll improve the reach and effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Continue reading "How to Rev Up Your Email List's Growth through Social Sharing" ... Read the full article

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image of Stephanie Miller
Stephanie Miller is the chief member officer at DMA.