Do your subscribers proclaim their love for you?
A study by Nielsen involving 25,000 people in 50 countries shows that 90% of Internet consumers worldwidetrust recommendations from people they know. This outstrips any other kind of advertising by 20%.
Therefore, having your subscribers send your emails to friends or colleagues is the ultimate endorsement of your email content and your brand. As pointed out by Seth Godin:
“That customer, I think, is worth far more than what she might pay you in any one transaction. In fact, if you think of that customer as your best marketer instead, it might change everything.”
So are your customers out there marketing your brand?
First things first
Make sure there is a share, share with your network, send to friend, or forward to friend link on every email you send out.
What if no one ever forwards your emails?
If no one if forwarding your emails then it’s time for action! Running a ‘send to friend’ campaign is a fantastic way to get your audience engaged and promoting your brand.
How to get people sharing
There aretwo main reasons that people will share your email.
1) People will share if they want something
If your client is going to take time out of their day to forward you email you need to consider what you can offer them in return. Whether it’s a gift, incentive or entry into a competition.
Bribery – they send your email to 5 friends and you give them something. A friend recently sent me an email she received from a perfume company. This email offered anyone who subscribes a free 30ml perfume. Filling-out the form took me about 1 minute and there was no limit to how many people I could send the offer to – so I sent it on. The lesson is – sometimes good old fashioned freebie will work wonders.
Competition – they send your email to 3 friends and go in the draw to win a prize. Competitions are a great ‘aspirational’ bribe that can be very effective. Just keep in mind that the prize has to be sufficient to entice your clients to enter and share it. Also, you need to keep in mind that the more you ask of your audience the less likely they are to enter. So if you can only afford to give away one small prize don’t ask them to write an essay – just collect their basic contact details. And if you want them to share it, offer them extra entries in the draw.
2) People share so they can be heroes
The second reason people share is so they can been seen as a ‘hero’ by providing something to their network of friends, colleagues or community.
Altruism – they send your email to a friend and you give something to a charity. A great way to get people sharing your email is to support a cause that is close to your audience’s heart. Simply assign a monetary value to each email – say $1 and after a week tally the results and make the donation. Or think outside the box and dream up something like the RSPCA’s Don’t Knock Appeal which encouraged people to help raise money for the RSPC by forwarding emails rather than by door-knocking.
Novelty factor – create a funny puzzle, a cool cartoon or a funky video that people will want to share. Searching for that elusive ‘cool’ factor can be a lot of hard work but if you’ve got it, flaunt it! If you have something that is funny or cool and suits your audience encourage them to pass it on. If you can create something as funny as this then do it, send it out and see what happens.
Usefulness – make something that people want to pass on. This could be a conversion calculator, cool phone app or a great template – whatever your specialty is. I’ve seen gyms send around calorie counters, photographers send cool iPhone photo apps and social media experts send out icon libraries for twitter and facebook etc. Find something that you can create using your unique skills and abilities – they’ll love you for it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!