April 5, 2011

Does "Be a fan on Facebook" undermine your email marketing efforts?

Despite the emergence of the social media channels over the past few years, there is no question promotion emails to house list remains the most cost effective tactic to grow revenue. Consequently, email marketers invest a great deal of money and time to maximize the roi of their email programs. However, most make a mistake of including links to their social media outlets such as “be a fan on Facebook” and “ follow us on twitter” on their email templates, driving subscribers away from the main call-to-action in promotional emails.

Putting links to these social media outlets presents two problems:

1) With these links, you are offering subscribers additional call-to-actions that don’t support the main objective of a particular email. Numerous studies/research show that online users get distracted when multiple choices/call-to-actions are presented on emails and landing pages. This results in lower conversation rates and revenue.
2) Most companies still don’t have a clear strategy on how/if their email and social media channels are integrated and they don’t do a good job defining the role of each channel for both internal and external customers. Linking away with the “follow us on facebook/twitter” buttons without thinking through the strategy, you might be growing your fan base at the expense of losing your email subscribers or even customers.

That being said, I still believe that promoting your social media presence through your existing digital channels is important. However, the key is to get users to “like” your Facebook page or to follow you on twitter after they take the desired actions on your promotional emails and landing pages.
Below are some ways to utilize non-promotional email communications to grow your fan base.

> Welcome emails: Inform your subscribers about your social media channels and their value after they sign up for your emails
> Thank You emails (and Thank you Pages): Ask your customers to join you in the social media space on emails you send out after your customers have signed up for a white paper, opened an account on your website, made a purchase etc.
> Confirmation emails (and Confirmation Pages): same as Thank You emails/pages
> Promotional emails
with a single focus of growing your fan base: This type of email works the best if the fan drive is tied to a promotion such as contest, sweepstakes and donation to a non-profit for each fan.

Simply including links to your social media outlets in your email templates distracts subscribers and diminishes your email marketing efforts. Focus on promoting those channels after your subscribers have taken the desired action on your emails and converted.

How do you integrate your social media and email efforts? Do you simply drive your subscribers away from by linking to your social media outlets? Let me know your thoughts.


  1. Absolutely. I've often felt that the Follow Me tags at the end of an email message diluted the message. It also feels like I'm being sold something, when all I really want to do is read and understand the content of the message. There are more subtle ways to ingratiate your social media presence with your audience.

  2. Thanks for reading my blog, Amy! I really appreciate your feedback.

  3. Great Blog Gokben. Very concise and practical advise.

  4. Thanks for reading my blog, Sumit! I am glad to hear you find the blog helpful.

  5. Hello, I love your blog. My suggestion is to make it easy to subscribe. Post a signup form on your homepage, blog, Facebook page, and wherever else your customers and fans are already active. You might want to collect names and birthdays (for a special offer or gift) or invite readers to join groups, but don’t go crazy with the required fields. A too-long subscribe form might scare people off.