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Sharing Tools in Email Marketing: The Social Media Call to Action?

Before the rise of social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, content was typically spread through email – the first social network. Web visitors and email recipients that liked a piece of content would email it to their friends and they, in turn, would do the same.

This had the potential to spread content visibility faster than search engines but sharing options were still limited. Today, email marketing campaign still hold the lion's share of content visibility at about half of the total content sharing on the Internet. However, social media has provided an interesting way for email marketers to increase their reach while using sharing tools as quick and effective calls to action.

What are social sharing tools and what can they do for email marketing?

In short, social sharing tools are the small icons that say things like "retweet" or "share this". A good example is StrongView’s Social Notes.

These buttons allow readers to not only favorite your content, but send it to their friends via email and social media.

However implementing social sharing tools in your emails and on your website is only part of the job. In order to be shared, the content has to be share-worthy in the first place. Stop and ask yourself... would I forward this on? What about this is interesting and valuable? If you can't answer those questions, it's time to go back to the drawing board.

Choosing sharing tools and social platforms for your emails

One of the most common mistakes that email marketers make is trying to do too much with a single email. This is often manifested as a vast forest of tabs targeting every social media network.

Just as you need to evaluate your content, it is important that you think about who your audience is and determine which social networks and social media channels they use the most. This will help you select a social sharing tool that will best facilitate the sharing of your content. Remember that more options isn't always better. Sometimes too many options can detract from the user experience.

You can follow these steps when building a sharing tool strategy for social media and email marketing integration.

1. Content Research: what types of content are shared most often?

Alternatively, which topics tend to quickly turn stagnant? Use the reporting in your sharing platform to understand what people like and don't like. Modify your content creation strategies to feed them more of what they love.

2. Ask: marketing power comes from an audience that is willing to provide feedback.
Ask your readers which social media sites and applications they prefer and what motivates them to share content. Choose sharing tools and options that meet their needs and address their feedback.

3. Expand and Test: Add more sharing tools and social media.
If a piece of content is already doing well in email sharing, try adding social media sharing options. This can revive old content and enable you to fairly benchmark sharing sites against each other.

Why should email marketers use sharing tools?

The average Internet visitor is primarily concerned with speed. How fast can they get the information they need and how quickly can they share it with others.

If you provide sharing tools within your email marketing campaigns, you can give them a quick way to send interesting content to their networks. In a way, these sharing tools function in much the same way as calls to action.

By providing these tools throughout the content after key points or powerful statements (not just at the bottom), you can give your reader a quick way to connect with their friends through similar interests, benefiting your brand.

Do you want more tips to leverage the power of social media in email marketing? Discover StrongView’s integrated social media and email marketing solutions and download the Email in the Age of Social Media white paper to learn how to effectively integrate social media into your email marketing campaigns.

Posted by: Kristin Hersant at 2:27 PM
Categories: content sharing, email marketing, share button, share to social, sharing buttons, sharing tool, sharing tools, social media and email, social media campaign, social sharing, twitter clients