Improve Your Email Click-Through Rates by Farming Out Your Social Media Content

Katherine Raz
Katherine Raz Community Manager, Signal

Posted on November 16th 2012

Improve Your Email Click-Through Rates by Farming Out Your Social Media Content

Email newsletters are on the Marketing 101 checklist, so most businesses create and send at least one each month. But are you getting the most mileage out of your email newsletter by including your best content, or are you scrambling to include stuff that your audience doesn't really care about?

Why quality content matters

People sign up to get email newsletters want to receive information, and they trust you to provide them with the content that is the most informative, actionable, or useful to them. Providing quality content consistently in your email newsletters establishes trust and drives up open rates and click-throughs. But how do you easily identify which content will have the biggest impact?

Look no further than your social media channels.

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Build your email newsletter with your popular social media content

Your Facebook posts, Twitter and Linkedin updates, and Pinterest pins offer insight into what content your audience is digging, and you should use the most popular content in your social media arsenal to populate your email newsletter. Focusing on popular content -- even if it’s “recycled” from another medium -- will result in higher click-throughs, because that’s the content the most people like. It's simple, really.

But won’t people be upset if we share something twice?

For some of your audience, the email newsletter is the only time they interact with your business in a busy month. You want to put your best content in the place where you’ve got the largest number of eyeballs, and it’s not important that you might’ve shared that content already. Your email newsletter should promote what’s already working for you. It shouldn’t be a showcase for “underdog” content that hasn’t been shared via your social channels. Because who wants to open an email with a bunch of snooze-worthy articles? 

What kind of content are we talking about?

“Content” is whatever you share via your social channels, and that depends on what business you’re in. Some good examples are: 

  • Blog posts
  • Merchandise
  • Special offers or discounts
  • White papers
  • Videos
  • Upcoming events (even events that are sold out -- keep them wanting more!)
  • Hints, tips, or tricks
  • Company news and updates
  • Recipes
  • Articles
  • Polls

Your newsletter content is as diverse as the kind of content you share via your social media channels. But remember: if no one responded to it on Twitter, it's likely to be a dud in the newsletter.

The false idea of what you "should" share

Using social media to help gauge what goes in the newsletter will force you to keep out the dud content -- the stuff people include in email newsletters because everyone else does, or the boss wants to include it. If something fell flat on your social channels it will probably fall flat in your email. So use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and other social channels to gauge what interests your audience the most. You want to keep your email newsletter as engaging, and simple. Leave out content that fell flat on social channels so your star content can shine.

How do I determine what my most popular content has been?

  • You can of course use the native social site to see which content had the most impact. Facebook Insights gives you a snapshot view of shared posts that you can sort by their viral reach, and you can glance at the Connect tab within Twitter to see which of your tweets garnered a significant amount of re-tweets or replies.
  • Google Analytics can also help you determine what traffic you generated from social sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Quora, Twitter and Pinterest, and what site content readers landed on.
  • A third party social media management software like Hootsuite or Signal can offer more social media analytics reporting, and depending on what tool you use, you can drill down on specific content.
  • Want to see what links you shared on Twitter had the most clicks? Use a URL shortening software that provides link tracking, so you can see at a glance what’s been clicked the most.

You can easily track the success of your social media-tested email campaign content by monitoring the click-through rate on particular links. Over time, add to that measurement your overall click through rate and open rate to analyze whether using your popular social content has contributed to a better email newsletter.

Katherine Raz

Katherine Raz

Community Manager, Signal

Katherine Raz is the Community Manager for Signal, an all-in-one marketing platform that helps businesses manage their email, text, and social media campaigns from a single powerful dashboard. You can find her on Twitter at @SignalKatherine.

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