Send It Forward: Get Your Emails Shared

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A successful email marketing campaign should encourage its subscribers to take some sort of call to action. An even more successful email does that, but more—it persuades the reader to share the message with others. “Going viral” is a marketer’s dream. Here’s our tips and tricks to get your emails shared, and make that dream become a reality.

Tracking forwards in email

Most emails come equipped with social sharing buttons and “forward to a friend” links to encourage sharing behavior. Your ESP probably provides you with stats on how many people clicked the sharing buttons in your emails, but what about people that don’t use the buttons? You can use Email Analytics to track “natural” forwards, or when your subscribers don’t use the buttons in your email, but rather forward it using their email client.

Encouraging forwards and shares

Tracking forwarding and sharing behavior is one part of the puzzle, but encouraging it is another. What actually motivates people to share emails and why? Check out this infographic to find out!

Click on the graphic for an enlarged view. The entire text of the graphic is also available below.

Send it Forward: email sharing infographic

Send it Forward

While a good email marketing campaign should inspire its recipient to take action, a truly successful email does more than engage the viewer – it compels them to share the message with others. Most marketers are already incorporating social sharing into their emails, but what really makes subscribers click the social buttons? We take a look at what motivates people to share and why.

Why Content is Shared

The New York Times Customer Insight Group concluded a survey in which participants provided reasons why they shared information online with others. Most respondents’ motivation for sharing was to establish or maintain relationships with others. In fact, 73% of participants indicated they share information because it helps them process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully.

The Key Motivators Behind Sharing Content with Others:

  • To Bring Valuable Content: 94% carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the recipient.
  • To Inform Others: 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.
  • To Define Themselves: 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
  • To Nourish Existing Relationships: 85% say reading other people’s responses helps them understand and process information and events.
  • For Self Fulfillment: 69% share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
  • To Spread Awareness: 84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about.

Who Is More Likely To Share?

  • Altruists: Preferred Sharing Platform: Email. Identifying Traits: helpful; reliable; thoughtful; connected.
  • Careerists: Preferred Sharing Platforms: Email and LinkedIn. Identifying Traits: intelligent; valuable; looking to network.
  • Hipsters: Preferred Sharing Platforms: Twitter. Identifying Traits: young; popular; creative; less likely to email.
  • Boomerangs: Preferred Sharing Platform: Facebook. Identifying Traits: empowered; seeking validation; looking for reaction.
  • Connectors: Preferred Sharing Platforms: Email and Facebook. Identifying Traits: creative; relaxed; thoughtful; seeking to make plans.
  • Selectives: Preferred Sharing Platform: Email. Identifying Traits: resourceful; thoughtful; careful; informative.

The consumers’ motivation to connect with others is likely driving your marketing campaign. The winning formula for getting your subscribers to share the message with others is to appeal to their desire to share valuable and interesting information. If the content is informative and appeals to the personality of your subscriber, they will forward your campaign.

The best way to get your emails shared? Knowing your audience well enough to build the most relevant email campaign for them.

Build more shareworthy emails

When it comes to email marketing, it’s all about your audience. Use Litmus Email Analytics to discover which email clients are most popular with your subscribers. Sign up free!

Discover your audience →


Source: The Psychology of Sharing—Why Do People Share Online?