That’s a good-looking Facebook button you’ve included on your email communications. Is anyone actually clicking it? How about the “Follow us on Twitter” prompt? Can your marketing team tell you for certain that you’re getting any kind of quality traffic from that addition? These are questions that should make content marketers pause. Just adding the buttons is not effective social media marketing on your emails. The content of the email itself is what determines the click-through rate and viral success of an email.
Research shows that nearly eighty percent of consumers prefer opt-in email communication to other marketing channels. Knowing that, why do marketers pay so little attention to the actual content? Dozens of man-hours are spent determining where a call to action or social media button should go, but then the responsibility for content is given to an intern who just rehashes old content. That strategy will not give you good social media exposure but these will.
Six Simple Steps to Better Email Content
- Incorporate video and photos. A picture paints a thousand words and a video is a collection of pictures. Image marketing works. The average shelf life of a tweet is sixteen minutes and the attention span of consumers is measured in seconds. Use video and images to capture your reader and get them to spend a little longer going through your entire email, not just give it a cursory glance and move on.
- Create a “social digest” to give your readers a wide range of topics to choose from. Your prospects don’t all have the same set of questions or challenges on a given day, so create a digest of recent posts and send it as an email. It’s not recommended that you place too many items on this list, but enough to offer variety. The “Simple Six” concept we’ve used here is fairly effective.
- Recap a concert, conference, or broadcast. Those who participated will appreciate the re-visit. Those who didn’t will get a glimpse of what actually happened, piquing an interest for more to come.
- Use a fan engagement strategy to get people talking. Invite readers to offer their opinions, participate in surveys, or give honest feedback on new products and services. The most credible reference for a consumer comes from another consumer. Get your email readers to open up. Your sales numbers will increase.
- Be sure to use “real-time” posts in your emails. Consumers don’t want to hear yesterday’s news. They’re looking for something current and relevant. You can include old posts in a social media digest email, but never lead with them. Always make sure your top post in a digest is your most recent.
- Use a cross-channel function to turn email subscribers into Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Email will bring you new prospects, but social media followers stay engaged. Keep in mind that most sales close on the third or fourth contact, not the first, so be sure to convert your email readers to social media followers. The more touches you get, the more likely you are to sell to them.
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