Sunday, September 20, 2009

Whats All the Buzz About Socialized E-mails?

In the past year or so, there have been numerous emerging metrics that all email marketers should be considering when looking at integrating social media into their programs. These out of box new ways of communication have helped businesses to socialize their email campaigns in order to increase reach and conversions. Here’s an example of one company’s success.

The objective of the company,, was that with over a million and half online users, they knew that referrals from current customers were a big contributor to the addition of new accounts and a major contributor to its overall growth. With that in mind, they’re marketing company researched ways to accelerate referrals and ultimately decided to test enhancing one of its most successful channels (email) with social media capabilities.

After much research, came up with a program and introduced three social "treatments" into its email program. All three programs asked email recipients to share their positive experience by referring friends. The really innovative piece came in the way tested the various offers. Once recipients clicked the link to share their experience, they were presented with three different "social motivators" to share. The first offered the opportunity to win a "Minty Green" iPod Nano once three of their friends became users.

The second offered exclusive access to the content (in this case access to its Financial Fitness beta program) in return for referring three new users. The third served as a control group, offering no reward. We tested all three offers against a smaller segment of the list and found that the exclusive beta access "treatment" was the clear favorite. As a result, deployed the winning campaign for the balance of its broader email target segment.

The Results: When looking at the results from socialized email programs, it is critical to focus on two areas, reach and conversion.

Reach: Socializing email, at its core, is about extending the reach of your current email programs. If you can motivate your customers to share on your behalf, you can grow your email file, subscription lists and ultimately your customer base exponentially.

Conversions: The other basic premise of socialized email is that social networks are filled with friends with similar likes and interests. If any given person fits the ideal customer profile, then it is likely that several members of their social graph (the people in their personal address book, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc.) also fit the profile… see the connection and growth??

Even more important is the added credibility brands get when consumers are introduced to their offers from within their social network of friends and colleagues. On the social Web, friends trust friends. It is this peer advocacy that results in increased conversions within socialized marketing programs.

Below are statistical results for

Social Accelerating Reach and Conversion

The winning "exclusive access" email was opened by 48% of those mailed. Of those, over 10% became "Influencers" for the brand by sharing the invitation with an average of five friends each, significantly expanding the program's reach.

The increase in reach aside, these invitations generated an unprecedented 61% click-through rate for friends viewing the invitation. More importantly for's bottom line, every 2.6 invite clicks led to one friend becoming a new user.

So, by having 10% of those mailed becoming influencers and sharing an average of five invitations with their friends, was able to add more than 8,000 new users, which was a significant boost in the conversion rate over its typical, un-socialized and already successful email campaigns!

Article written from posting and research by Ryan Deutsch - VP, strategic services & market development, StrongMail Systems

For more information on socializing e-mails, write to