Emma staffers explain when & why they share emails with their social networks
I imagine you don't know this about me, but I've got a soft spot for furry four-legged critters. So every time that I get an email marketing campaign (like this one) full of cute, adoptable dogs, you can count on it being something that I share with every social network that I'm on.
Extra special email campaigns and causes seem to rise up, grow a pair of legs and earn a new life outside of the inbox.
The inclination to share hits everyone differently, so I spoke with four of Emma's social-savvy staffers to find out what makes them click the share button. Read on to see if you can spot a trend or two.
Jamie: I'm a big fan of giving back, whether it be to a cause on the world stage that strikes a chord with me or an adorable little leaguer going door-to-door selling candy bars for new uniforms.
Email is an invaluable tool for nonprofits to quickly and effectively raise awareness in a fast, cost-efficient and attention-grabbing way online.
So, as a recipient, I'm very likely to spread the word to my social networks if there's an immediate need, like a call for last-minute volunteers or emergency donations. Hitting that share button never felt so good!
Patrick: In short: relevance. Whether it's a sale at a shop, an upcoming event, a news article or a video I know my friends and followers will find hilarious, it has to be fully relevant for the people to whom I'm sharing.
If you're reaching me directly with information that's actually suitable to me, then one can assume that my social network friends and followers are – for the most part – like-minded and would appreciate receiving the same information.
Cliff: I usually share an email if it strikes a chord with me personally or professionally. If it's something that I feel a part of or something that inspires me, I'll share it.
But, before sharing anything on a social network, I always ask myself a couple of questions, such as "Does this post represent me?" and "Would my friends and followers find it interesting?" If my answers are "yes," then I'll share. I also ask myself questions like, "How many is too many when it comes to pictures of my dog?" and "Should I cool it with this many karaoke updates?" My filter tends to be stricter for the first two questions ... (Want to see a picture of my dog, Sir Henry Wiggles? Thought so.)
Seth: My reasons for sharing an email via a social networking site are largely content-driven.
Being a bit of a design nerd, for me that means anything design-related that I think is noteworthy and cool, and anything I think that people who have similar interests (the people I most frequently communicate with via the interwebs) might enjoy as well.
This may mean different things for different people – music-related news for the audiophiles and cat pictures for, well, pretty much everyone. Essentially anything I find interesting or informative is likely to make its way onto someone else's feed.
Making your emails more sharable …
Wish more folks were sharing your emails on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Here are a few quick tips:
Create a purposeful call to action in your email prompting your subscribers to share with their friends and social networks. You can even sweeten the deal by rewarding those power sharers. (Never hurts to ask, right?) Learn how to turn on social sharing for your emails.
Design a subscriber preference center, and give your audience the ability to choose what sort of content they want to be receiving.
Dear Emma customers,
Starting next week, you’re going to notice a few changes at Emma. And I thought it might be helpful to provide a bit of context around what you’ll see and how it all fits together.
Eons ago – you were probably really young and still listening to Wham! and don’t remember this – we created Emma based on a handful of things we were quite passionate about: elegantly simple product experiences, stellar design and great customer service. A fourth passion, for Scandinavian collectible figurines, did not seem particularly relevant at the time. (Just you wait.)
All these years later, here we are still hard at work bringing those themes to life, spending countless whiteboard, and regular, hours working on ways to improve our product, our designs and our service.
So what’s all the change about? Well, over the past year or so, we’ve been:
Building an entirely new email editor, replacing our intuitive but fairly inflexible editor with a slick drag-and-drop editing experience that makes it much easier (and fun?) to create fabulous email campaigns.
Creating a brand-new template design gallery to complement our custom design services. It’s a collection of really smart, readymade design templates that will expand over time and make stellar design instantly available to all.
Adding more smart marketing features, like expanded social sharing, subscriber notifications and Google Analytics integration. You can read about those in this blog post and know there’s plenty more to come on this front, smart marketing friend.
Rearchitecting Emma’s underlying platform, so that it performs better (read: faster) as we grow and includes an API layer that sets up Emma to integrate with lots of other great marketing products and services.
Designing a new website with an updated brand treatment and even a subtle account makeover to reflect all the newness and make the overall Emma experience more consistent, not to mention more modern.
These changes will be unveiled on a rolling basis beginning next week. In fact, some of you have been gracious enough to help us test the new platform and early versions of the editor and related features. You’ve helped us spot bugs, offered us lots of great feedback and lived through a not-always-awesome and sometimes-downright-crappy beta testing process. To each and every one of you, I offer a huge note of thanks. You are Emma’s champions, and I don’t mean that in a cheesy “We Are the Champions” or “Wind Beneath my Wings” kind of way, unless those are your two favorite songs, in which case that’s exactly what I mean.
And for everyone reading this, know that the culmination of this work isn’t a finish line of any sort. It’s a starting line, with lots of great improvements and additions planned and an entire team of people pretty dang fired up to make it all happen.
The team is so fired up, in fact, we felt compelled to make a video about it. Just like we can’t talk you through the new features nearly as well as we can show you, we can’t really capture the energy of the Emma shop without pulling back the curtain on the office, even though we’re moving that office to the brand-new, really old historic Trolley Barns in a matter of days.
Feel free to reach out to the team with any pressing questions about any of this, or email me directly with any big thoughts you have on the future of Emma, whenever those thoughts happen to strike you. And thanks so much for being part of the Emma journey with us. Entrusting us with even a small part of your brand and business is a big deal, and it’s a responsibility we truly take to heart.
Social posting, notifications and Google Analytics integration are available on Emma's new platform
We kicked off the year with big plans to overhaul Emma’s platform and the way you do email marketing, and we’re thrilled to share that three new features are now available on Emma’s new platform.
Social posting, notifications and Google Analytics integration have been released, and they’re available to customers who’ve been upgraded to the new system. Let’s take a look at how they work.
Social posting: Publish your Emma campaigns to Facebook and Twitter
Social posting is our latest foray into a more integrated email + social experience. It allows you to post your email campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, right from your Emma account. You’ll enjoy the added reach of sharing your content through social channels, without needing to log into multiple websites to spread the word.
We’ve built in flexible timing options, so you can schedule your tweets and Facebook updates at the time you wish, regardless of when your email hits your subscribers’ inboxes. You can even share prior email campaigns from within the response section of your Emma account. Learn more in Emma’s help guide.
Notifications: Find out when someone signs up for your email list or takes a survey
If you’re already using signup forms and surveys, you know how powerful they are in getting to know your audience better. Now, we’ll send you email notifications when people join your list or complete a survey — choose real-time notifications, or opt for a daily or weekly digest.
With notifications, you’ll learn about your audience as it shifts and grows, and you’ll be able to consider their feedback right away. You might even respond to a particular person in real time, adding a decidedly personal touch to your marketing efforts. Learn more in Emma’s help guide.
Google Analytics: Learn more from your email links
With Emma’s response metrics, you can track who’s opening, clicking and sharing your emails. But what happens after they click? Our brand new Google Analytics integration lets you track visitors to your website who arrived there by clicking links in your email. You’ll see how they arrived, how they interacted on your site and how your email marketing efforts fit within your larger marketing plan. The even better news? If you’ve already set up a Google Analytics account, you’ll be ready to integrate immediately.
We take care of the complex stuff under the hood. During the campaign send process, enter a tracking name for the mailing, and then you’ll see that name appear in the traffic sources of your Google Analytics dashboard. Learn more in Emma’s help guide.
When I was 13-years-old, I thought I’d marry a Backstreet Boy. I had their faces plastered on my bedroom walls, and I knew their middle names and birthdays. Since I was such a big fan, I talked about them all the time because that’s what we do when we love something: We tell everyone.
Fans of your product, service or content are likely already chatting you up to their friends, and that can be very good news for your business. Take advantage of this by making your brand and message as visible as possible, and your fan base will grow even larger.
Need some ideas for expanding the reach of your email campaigns? You’ve come to the right place.
Post your signup forms (almost) anywhere
I’m always surprised to talk to Emma customers who haven’t yet made use of their unlimited signup forms. They’re included for free in your account, easy to create and allow you to pick up new subscribers wherever you interact with folks -- in store (via a tablet at the register), on your blog, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and more.
So, go ahead: post those forms all over the place and watch new subscribers roll in. When you create separate forms that filter to separate audience groups, you’ve built in automatic audience segmentation, so you can eventually send separate campaigns to your Twitter audience versus your in-store customers, for example.
Another way to attract even more new contacts? Offer discounts or exclusive content during the signup process, and then set up a trigger campaign to make good on that promise once they’ve subscribed.
Target your subscribers by interest
Just as you might send unique content to folks based on how you met them (or where they signed up), you can show subscribers how well you know them by setting up trigger campaigns based on their interaction with the first few campaigns they received from you. The Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council reports that triggered campaigns had a 96% higher open rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 than typical email campaigns.
Let’s say folks clicked a campaign link to read about the seasonal trees your nursery just received (we’re fans of the pink dogwood, by the way). Set up a link-based autoresponder so those folks also receive information about soil treatment. When you connect with your audience in this way, they’ll be likelier to open your next round of campaigns -- and to start telling others (via email forwards or social shares) about your campaigns.
Use email + social together
Stop using Facebook to creep on your college boyfriend’s recent antics (man, he really hasn’t grown up, has he?) and create a Facebook business account for your brand instead. Add a tab for your page, and post an Emma signup form to it. Set up a Twitter account and cross-promote your website, email campaigns and Facebook presence there.
With Emma’s social posting feature, it’s easy to post your email campaigns to your Facebook and Twitter pages, right after you’ve sent them to your audience. And make sure to enable social sharing in your campaigns, so recipients can click to share your newsletters on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
This one seems obvious, but seriously: Don’t be an email sender that your audience starts to ignore -- or dislike. Prune your content for relevance, and stick to your editorial calendar. Ask subscribers how often they’d like to hear from you, and respect their preferences. Sending frequency -- whether you’re sending too often or not enough -- is the primary reason for opt-outs.
And make sure to treat brand new subscribers and your most loyal customers differently. New folks need an introduction to who you are and what you do, while your biggest fans likely want to get more involved in product sneak peeks, giveaways and events.
Remember, your audience is letting you rent space in their inboxes -- so strengthen those relationships into something that builds your business. If you build it, they will come; if they like it, they will share.
Tools for creating invitations, managing RSVPs and more
Megan Feltes | Apr 03, 2012
Emma loves a party. And a webinar. And an open house. Emma’s a pro at planning events, and all the tools you need to promote, invite and create follow-ups for your own in-person or online event already exist in your Emma account (and are included in your monthly pricing) — no need to turn to a third-party solution to handle e-vites. Check out these simple steps for planning your next event with Emma.
Leverage the power of your audience for event promotion. Send a special save-the-date campaign or simply include information in your regular newsletter. If you’re looking to expand the invite list, enable Emma’s social sharing tool in your campaign so recipients can share the event with their social networks. (And consider drawing attention to your signup form in the campaign so new folks can easily sign up to learn more about the upcoming event.) Emma will track the reach of your campaign on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so you can see where the most buzz is generated.
Craft a stylish invite
When you’re ready to send the invitation, you’ll be able to create it as a campaign in your Emma account — either on your custom stationery or by coding your own HTML. Or if you’d like our design team to create a new custom stationery for you, fill out our online design form. To help recipients remember your event (and add it to their online calendars), include a link to a downloadable .ics file. You’ll have tracking information at your fingertips when you send from Emma: see which invitees are receiving, opening and clicking on your campaign.
Find out who's attending
So how will folks RSVP to your event? In the invitation campaign, simply include a link to a survey form. It gives recipients an easy way to RSVP, and it allows you to include fields for any information you’d like to gather from them: name, number attending and more.
Once you’ve collected details about who’s attending, segment your audience by creating a special group for confirmed attendees and one for folks that might need a follow-up invitation based on their responses.
Send a reminder
Emma’s handy scheduling feature takes the work out of event reminders. Simply create a couple reminder campaigns ahead of time, and set Emma up to send one a week before and another the day before your event. Include additional information, like directions or last-minute changes. Once again, the design and branding will be distinctively yours, and you’ll see who’s opened, clicked and socially shared right in your Emma account.
Thank them for coming
Once the event is over, don’t miss a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with attendees by following up with a thank you note via email. It goes a long way to cementing brand loyalty. Plus, it’s an ideal time to get feedback. Simply tuck a new Emma-powered survey in the email and let folks rate the event. You’ll be able to view and export their comments right from Emma’s response section.
If you have an upcoming event and you’d like to chat about the specifics of setting up any of these steps, feel free to reach out to us. And if you’ve already used Emma to plan a party, let us know how it turned out!