Facebook and Email: Part 1 of 2

For the sake of discussion, I’m going to assume you’ve heard of Facebook. But just so we’re all clear, it’s a “social networking service and website” (to quote Wikipedia) that connects people to their friends, family members, co-workers, etc. for the purposes of sharing information about their daily lives.

But can it really help your email marketing program? Of course! Here are a couple of tactics for using Facebook to enhance your email marketing program – and vice versa. This post is part 1 of 2. More tactics will be posted this time next week.

Email sign-up forms in your business’s page
This is low-hanging fruit. If you have a Facebook page for your business, incorporate a sign-up form for your email marketing program into the page. Some email software providers (ESPs) have a means for users to build the form directly into your page. Otherwise, link to it from your welcome tab.

By doing this, you’ve converted a Facebook fan into an email subscriber and have an additional channel by which to communicate with them.

Make your email messages shareable
You’ve created a fantastic email campaign and want to enable your recipients to share this message on Facebook. (You’ll first need to create content that your recipients will want to share. What’s considered shareworthy will vary from sender to sender, and even recipient to recipient. That’s an entirely separate posting, but here’s a link with concepts for sharing B-to-B content. Some of the ideas could apply to B-to-C as well.)

To be able to share your content or message on Facebook, you need to use the share URL that Facebook has created. By doing this, it will create a preview of your content, which can then be posted to a Facebook profile or sent as a direct message.
The simplest way to give a subscriber the option to share your link is to add this code into your email:


Just replace URL with the link you want to share. In the case of an email message, it would be the URL to view your message online. Don’t forget to include a call to action to “share this message”, preferably using a Facebook icon or linked text.

For example here is the link for the blog post of this message arranged so you can share it on Facebook.

Share this post on Facebook

When you create a link such as that, a preview window will open with optional image selections from the page URL provided. There will also be a place for your email recipient to include their thoughts as to why this link is worth viewing. Once they hit the “share” button in that window, the link is posted to their Facebook profile profile, their wall is updated and the URL will appear in the news feed of their friends with your recipients’ endorsement. Your message now has a personal referral to your recipient’s Facebook network!

Showing up in multiple news feeds is when you start to leverage your recipients’ entire friend list. This process has the potential to move virally as people leave comments or share the item with their friends and family – and so on and so on.

Got another idea (or two) for blending Facebook with your email marketing program? Leave a comment or post to my Facebook wall. Otherwise, stayed tuned next week for a couple more ways Facebook can enhance your email marketing program.

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