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How to make email campaigns ‘share-worthy’

How to make email campaigns ‘share-worthy’

By Richard Evans, EMEA, Silverpop

The busiest online shopping period on record is behind us, and consumer engagement with ecommerce platforms is at an all time high. 

It’s safe to say that 2011 has the potential to be an exciting time for retailers and indeed marketers, even in the face of a turbulent economic climate, a substantial VAT increase and in the short term at least, more typical British weather. 

But as the enthusiasm and adoption of online shopping mediums continues to rise (with m-commerce set to dramatically increase in popularity in the coming months), so do the challenges faced by marketers using email as a means of engaging consumers amidst an ever growing barrage of emarketing noise.

In the case of email, it’s now more important than ever for organisations to create campaigns that rise above the traffic to cut through, engage and ultimately deliver increased ROI.  But what is the best way to evolve email marketing and specifically, make it more share-worthy?

Target each customer as an individual

The importance of enhancing the ‘shareability’ of email marketing messages by integrating social networking sharing functions has been a hot topic in recent months. But whilst the inclusion of these functions holds the potential to increase the reach of successful campaigns (by as much as 24% according to a recent DMA study), it takes more than the simple inclusion of a sharing function to turn a customer into a brand ambassador.

The study carried out by the DMA found that two thirds of consumers report finding only one in 10 emails relevant and interesting to them personally. This finding emerged alongside a growing trend that consumers are most likely to share marketing emails containing content that they personally find interesting or informative.

Keep your finger on the pulse

While these results arguably reiterate the core rules our industry is built upon, they hold an important message for us all – we need to keep our finger on the pulse and listen to what customers are asking for.

Achieving this requires acknowledging that the dynamic has shifted and it is consumers that now sit in the driver’s seat of successful campaigns. As online habits grow, allowing consumers to seek out necessary information, so does the level to which consumers are selective about the information and brands they engage with. Using intelligent and creative approaches to ensure message relevance is the key.

Understand your target market

Improved functionality and exciting content are both crucial characteristics, but these alone will not be able to drive your campaign to success. Rather it is the level to which an organisation understands the preferences and behaviours of their target market that will ensure the effectiveness of marketing activities.

Behavioural insights into target markets enable us to reinvigorate traditional content, turning it into dynamic marketing messages that are personal and helpful to the savvy population they are designed for. We wouldn’t expect our friends to come along to a gig when we knew they were busy, let alone when they didn’t know the band or live close by, so why should we ever think that our customers would act on an email that wasn’t relevant to them, or was sent at a time that wasn’t convenient?

Relevance is always the key

What we must understand is that what makes our marketing efforts ‘share-worthy’ are their levels of relevance. Producing material of the highest relevance requires us to understand the importance personal behaviour patterns play in message receptiveness. This doesn’t mean that creativity or functionality should take a back seat; rather it emphasises the importance of ensuring we produce and disseminate content that is personally interesting to each and every one of our customers—so interesting, in fact, they want to share with friends and family.

Only by acknowledging the importance of consumer taste, remaining aware of changing behaviours and preferences and integrating this knowledge into campaign design and execution can we ensure marketing activities achieve not only an appealing, but also a ‘share-worthy’ status.

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