Here at Adestra towers most of us seem to be suspiciously well organised with our Christmas shopping, and did well out of Secret Santa last week (with a few notable exceptions!). However, I suspect we might be in the minority. At this time of year everyone is looking for the ‘perfect gift’, so if you have it, let them know! A great way of getting the word out is to use social media in your emails so that your social media campaigns and email marketing is integrated.
Here are a few ideas for getting started on integrating the two:
Include social share links – in MessageFocus these can be added easily using the ‘share link’ button at the top of the new html editor. You can then set this so a recipient of your email has the option to share the whole email, a certain feature in your email, or an alternative URL. Since Pinterest also developed to allow company pages, this can be a great way of generating interest using images of your products.
Of course as well as making the email easy to share, having great content that is worth sharing is also key. Celtic Manor Resort added incentives to encourage people to share their emails (see the case study here) – although in this case the idea was to get more people to sign-up to their emails, the same ideas can be used to encourage social media shares or tweets with certain hash tags.
Other more advanced options include adding an RSS feed to your template that pulls in the latest tweets from your twitter account, keeping your emails looking fresh and up to date. This is a great way of advertising any products or services you offer if they are already being talked about online. If you would like more information on this, contact your account manager.
Using social media in your emails goes beyond 25th December, too – getting the news out about winter/January sales by using email and social media can be just as effective.
Have a wonderful festive season and see you again in the New Year!
Pinterest is something we’re all familiar with, but harnessing its full potential for better campaign ROI is another thing entirely. Pinterest is where people come to share and look for new and creative ideas. That’s why it’s an amazing opportunity to build brand awareness, encourage people to endorse your products or services and to inspire them.
It took me a while to get used to the idea of Pinterest from a user point of view, but, what can I say? Pinterest is so much fun! You can collect and categorise ideas for gifts, clothes, shoes (my favourite!), house decoration, cooking recipes, holidays, and anything really.
Here’s just a few ideas that you could try out to get the most out of our Pinterest presence:
Interact – Increase Engagement
Social media isn’t just about promoting products and services; it’s also about engaging with your current and potential customers by building their awareness and trust for your brand.
You can allow your “fans” to repin (equivalent to reposting or retweeting) your images but also pin their ideas to your boards. One amazing opportunity for engagement would be a designated board for those who tried your products and photographed them in use. For example: a collection of images of a fashion retailer’s customers wearing their clothing.
Competition – Add Value
Another way to interact and increase interest in the brand is competitions. For instance Lands’ End, the fashion retailer, ran a competition called “Canvas Holiday Pin It to Win It.” They asked people to create a board and pin 20 items they saw on their website. Users then simply needed to email in a link to their board, and the most creative board got a prize. This idea not only engaged people but also got them browsing the site and Land’s End’s products.
Exclusivity – Be Unique
For example, Time magazine uploads pictures of their staff. If we take this a step further, retailers could unveil new products and generate a substantial buzz as a result. Charities may want to show their organisation at a more personal angle and pin pictures showing the good work they do!
Promote – Be Inventive
Why not use the board to showcase your products in an inventive way. You could organise it in a different way to the website, revive your look and inspire. For instance Kate Spade has created boards which reflect the style and colours of the products by their names i.e. “travel colourfully”, “decorate colourfully”, “live colourfully – year of colour”, etc.
How can you use email marketing to maximise Pinterest ROI?
Email marketing is a powerful tool to drive your Pinterest campaigns. It’s about understanding your recipient’s preferences when it comes to Pinterest campaigns (no matter what the channel) that will help drive email engagement and boost your integrated campaign’s ROI.
Rather than simply placing images in the email and asking recipients to pin them: incentivise the call to action. Don’t forget about the rest of the social environment either; include links to other social media channels in your email to boost the chances of your Pinterest campaign being seen.
Familiarity will also help when engagement is the goal. Emails which follow a similar principle to the Pinterest interface will encourage users to start pinning. Therefore think about the following when mapping out your email campaign creative:
From a best practice point of view, emails which rely on mainly images can sometimes land in people’s junk folders. Therefore adding some copy to your email, near the top so it shows before the images are downloaded will help to ensure stability in email clients and alert recipients to the message content. But remember, any copy you use should be engaging and concise, remember it’s about the artwork really.
Testing your Pinterest strategy
Bearing in mind that over 80% of pins are re-pins, while only 1.4% are retweets, it is much easier to go viral with your new product launch or new collection on Pinterest than it would be on Twitter or Facebook hence it is so important to get the pin call to action right in the first place. If you’re not sure what will work, best thing to do is to A/B split test the subject line if you are aiming for higher open rates, or the call to action for better click responses.
MessageFocus has now added Pinterest as one of the social share functions. You can ask people to share the entire campaign or just an image/article. Depending on which option you chose, think carefully on how you are going to encourage people to share it and don’t miss a fantastic promotional opportunity.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been making plenty of suggestions about how to make your emails stand out in mobile email clients. Good design and content are key, but if you have a large mobile audience then you can also use your email marketing in partnership with other techniques to keep people interested.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Develop apps
Our recent subject line study showed that mentioning apps in the subject line can increase relative open rates. Of course to do this, you need an app! But if you have one, including links to it in your emails and promoting it in your subject line is a great way of engaging more of your recipients.
2. Increase sign-ups with SMS
SMS is a great way of organically growing your database and getting more active recipients, especially those who are more active mobile users. It can be used to get more people who are on the move signing up to receive your emails, and combining this with a welcome campaign means you can grab people’s attention while you are at the forefront of their minds. You can find out more about this by watching our SMS webinar.
3. Quick Response (QR) codes
Mobile email can also be used as a communication tool to announce marketing campaigns that use QR codes. For example, brands can encourage further customer interaction by pointing them to webpages, tv ads, printed material (e.g. posters at an event) or social media sites where the QR code would be available to scan. These can be used to download offers or just to get more information about a particular product. Use your email marketing to generate interest around your QR codes and get people looking out for them. Generating QR codes is easy – a simple Google search shows up dozens of free services.
4. Camera phones
The cameras on most mobile phones no longer take fuzzy, out of focus pictures, but instead are good enough that many of us frequently use them instead of regular cameras. Encouraging people to share their photos is a good way of getting customers ‘talking’ to you – why not sell the idea to them in an email and include a link to where you want them to share the image? By using a special mobile site optimized for uploading photo’s you can make this a quick and fun experience for the user, as well as increasing your website Quality Score. This ultimately means you get better advertising for your website and happy interactive customers – a win win! You could even add a competition element to it, for example by choosing the best photo’s and selecting a winner each month, or have themed entries.
5. Social media integration
Social media sites are actively used by a huge number of people, and particularly those on mobiles. Before adding every social share link available though, it is worth taking the time to think about which type works best for you and testing a few ideas out. If you want to sell new products then using images or videos on sites like Pinterest or YouTube might be a good starting point. If you want to get people talking and connected then Facebook might work better, while if you work in recruitment, for example, then consider adding a LinkedIn share. Why not include a # in your emails for customers to tweet on their way to events, or to use when reviewing a product that you have been promoting in your emails?
Having a large number of people reading your emails on mobile devices is a great opportunity to open up more communication channels. Make the most of it and see how you can use it to your advantage by integrating some new ideas with your email marketing:
Claire Shepherd, Account Executive