In our series of trends in email marketing towards the new year, we’d like to show you a trick that’s rather experimental. We already know and use the social media buttons in our email messages. But what if we turn that around?
What if we use the content of our social media in our email message? You don’t only get an email that’s alive, but your readers can also interact with you directly from your newsletter.
Technically, you obviously need to play some tricks. So it’s not just for everyone. With HTML5 and the plethora of web-based e-mail clients a lot becomes possible. Social media all provide the necessary APIs to make this happen. You need to insert a place holder into the HTML of the email message that gets filled out when the email is opened. The real piece of HTML we be picked up from the server, which in turn retrieves and displays the most recent messages. That way you get the latest feeds in your message. Every time when the message is opened. Today a case for techies, next year at this time perhaps embraced by the email marketing world.
We ran into two great examples. The first comes from National Geographic who wants to bring the discussion on #FutureofFood under the attention of those registered for their email marketing list. You instantly get to see a live feed of the discussion, which makes the chance that someone responds immediately a lot bigger.
A second example comes from the popular youth channel Nickelodeon. The children are encouraged to tweet with the hashtag #KidsChoiceSports. But you don’t need to limit yourself to social media. You can also use this technique to, for example, automatically generate a weekly summary showing the latest blog posts. But really the latest posts, not those of the moment the email was sent.
Obviously these kind of messages are not made to sell a particular product or to get a specific message across. Just as social media is constantly evolving, these emails will be just as unpredictable. They are especially designed to create interaction and to promote social channels. Because once the kids or the readers have decided to embrace the offered Twitter channel, the operation is successful
That is why people are constantly looking at their social wall, because it keeps changing. This could also be a reason to open an email message a second time. Live feeds from social media and email, become social emails. These messages also provide a way to better distribute all the content that a company releases on social media. Someone who was only approached in the past by email, is not per definition active on Twitter. But if you can get him to respond, then the commitment is greater than if he simply clicks on the share button.
Obviously an email message should not only contain that live feed. It should also hold the classic ingredients of email marketing. The offer of the week, useful content for the reader, the announcement of the sales … but even if your reader isn’t interested in the offering of that edition, there is still a big chance that he’ll open your message. Simply for the last conversations that are always fun. But in one go he has obviously seen your offer as well.