The most trusted form of advertising is a recommendation from a friend. Savvy email marketers can harness the power of a friendly recommendation by encouraging readers to share the content of their email marketing campaign with friends and colleagues.
A Silverpop benchmark study found that shared emails increase the reach of email marketing campaigns by 24.3 percent, on average. However, readers will only share your emails if they are packed with interesting and valuable content. For this reason, ensure that your email marketing includes top tips, exclusive competitions, and useful information that readers will want to pass on.
But it is also true that a 2010 report by Contactlab found that 73 percent of respondents had never shared an email newsletter with friends on a social network. How come? Not knowing how to do it was the second most common reason for not sharing newsletter content via social media. That’s why it is fundamental that you make sharing easy by including hyperlinked buttons in your email marketing. Clearly labelled buttons allow readers to share your emails with one simple click. For example:
Forward to a Friend buttons will forward your email on to email addresses entered by the original recipient.
Social Sharing buttons will increase your company’s visibility by posting your content on the recipient’s Facebook page or Twitter feed. You can find a big collection of social sharing buttons on this site.
QR codes. These pixilated squares allow smartphone users to access information from the internet simply by scanning the code. They are an increasingly effective way of encouraging people to share content with friends and colleagues.
After spending time designing attractive forwarding and sharing buttons, be sure to view your email (and landing pages) on as many different browsers and email clients as possible. This will allow you to check that the layout is readable and the graphics work as they should. Garbled emails look unprofessional and will not encourage sharing or click-throughs.