Sharing Is Caring: Getting Subscribers to Forward Your Email
In Kindergarten, we all learned the value of sharing. And with good reason: It’s a necessary skill to live amicably in society. Turns out, it’s also a necessary skill in direct marketing, according to Marketing Land columnist Chad White.
You probably measure social sharing as one of the integrated marketing metrics you track. That’s a great start, but invisible email forwarding is just as powerful.
“Whereas social sharing is public, diffuse, and powerful at driving top-of-the-funnel awareness, email forwards are private, targeted, and excel at driving bottom-of-the-funnel action,” White explains.
Borrowing ideas from The Viral Email report, White offers five ways you can spur email forwarding among your subscribers.
Think Small. According to report researchers, niche brands have the most share-worthy content. Their power lies in their diminutive view. Small brands owning a narrow segment of the market cultivate loyal customers. These raving fan boys and fan girls are more likely to forward an email to another person who shares that interest.
Get Chummy. It may seem counterintuitive, but White reports that highly personalized emails are the most forwarded. You’ll have to go beyond first-name merges and other superficial forms to get results. (Our post, “When Should You Automate Your Email Marketing?” gives some great pointers.)
Instead, choose to use dynamic content that makes the subscriber feel valued and understood. This also is a way for the subscriber to show they’re part of an exclusive club when they forward the email. For example, if holding events is a part of your integrated marketing, include photos of the recipient from an event. White explains, “In that context, it makes perfect sense that recipients would forward this email to others, as it saved them the effort of downloading the picture and attaching it to a new email for sharing.”
To learn how one company gets this technique right, check out, “BustedTees Gets Personal With Email Marketing.”
SWYN for the Win. If you want subscribers to forward your email, ask them. As revealed in The Viral Email report, the strongest tactic available to spur forwarding is to include a “share with your network” (SWYN) call-to-action in your email. The report revealed that emails in the top 1 percent of forwarded campaigns were 13 times more likely to contain a prominent SWYN link than emails in the median 50th percentile.