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Create share worthy emails in 5 easy steps

The concept of sharing email content is nothing new. After all, people were forwarding email messages well before tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn came onto the scene.

What these tools have done is bring social sharing into the mainstream by making it easier for email recipients to share your content with their friends and colleagues.

But just because you’re putting social sharing options in your email, it doesn’t mean people are going to use them.

What are social sharing tools and how do they help your email marketing?

In short, social sharing tools are the icons in your email that allow readers to update their social network pages with references to your email content. By clicking these icons, your email recipients are essentially advocating your content as something their social followers might find interesting. This dramatically increases the potential viral reach of your email content.

A good example of social sharing tools in action is Vision6’s Social Sharing feature. Email marketers are using this to insert Facebook Like, Twitter Tweet and LinkedIn Share icons into their email messages for recipients to click on and share with their networks.

How do you encourage people to share your email content?

  1. Firstly, you ask them. Include your social sharing icons as well as some copy asking people to share your content with their networks.
  2. Use humour and incentives (where appropriate) to encourage people to share your content with their networks. After all, everyone loves a good laugh and the chance to win something.
  3. Ensure your content is “share worthy” and something people actually want to share. If your customers don’t find something interesting, chances are they won’t want to tell their friends about it.
  4. Test the placement of your social sharing icons to find the best performing location in your email. Social sharing icons are effectively calls to action for your recipients. Particularly for your most valuable email content (like a free eBook or competition announcement) try placing your social sharing links within these specific paragraphs in your email, instead of just the top or bottom.
  5. Avoid cramming in too many sharing options. Do your research and identify the most popular social networks your customers are using and limit your social sharing options to these. As at April 2011 the most popular social networking sites are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn so these are a good place to start.

Have you got a great story to share, about how you’ve benefited from including social sharing tools in your email? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at and we may feature your story here on our blog.

 Posted by:
Matthew Johnson
EDM Specialist 
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