Making email social

August 20, 2010

Email has been the dominant means for marketers to get a message out to as many (subscribed) people as possible in the shortest amount of time for many years now.

In the past few years, marketers have shifted more and more into the social networking arena, using free sites like Facebook to get he message out quickly and cheaply.

It’s been an either-or game that marketers have played with different strategies for email and social networking campaigns. Can’t they play together?

Mail Chimp recently added a slick new feature to it’s email application that integrates Facebook’s ubiquitous Like button into email campaigns with a few simple clicks. But that’s not very helpful to anyone not using Mail Chimp now, is it?

Fortunately, anyone else can do the same by adding a single line of code to an email template:

<a href=”http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=[webversion]&t=[Campagin Title or Custom Title]”>[Your Link Text or image]</a>

The beauty of this link is the ability to customize how the post displays on Facebook when a subscriber clicks on it. To customize the title, description and even the default image for your campaign, add the following to your HTML inside the <head> section:

[[code class="language-html"]]czoyMDk6XCI8dGl0bGU+WW91ciBjYW1wYWlnbiB0aXRsZTwvc3Ryb25nPjwvdGl0bGU+DQo8bWV0YSBuYW1lPVwidGl0bGVcIiBjb250ZXtbJiomXX1udD1cIllvdXIgY2FtcGFpZ24gdGl0bGVcIj47DQo8bWV0YSBuYW1lPVwiZGVzY3JpcHRpb25cIiBjb250ZW50PVwiWW91ciBkZXNjcmlwdGl7WyYqJl19b25cIj4NCjxsaW5rIHJlbD1cImltYWdlX3NyY1wiIGhyZWY9XCJBIFVSTCB0byBhIHRodW1ibmFpbCBpbWFnZVwiPg0KXCI7e1smKiZdfQ==[[/code]]

It’s really that simple. When a subscriber clicks on the link, it will direct them to the social network with the option to add the post to their timeline.

Now that was easy, wasn’t it? The painful part will be aligning your email and social networking strategies so they complement each other and work together. Have fun!