The main limitation associated with email marketing is that we can only send to people who have already subscribed to our email marketing lists. We probably all believe that there must be hundreds of others out there who would be interested in our products if only we could contact them.
There is a method of distribution that doesn’t require forms to be completed or to give away products that have cost you money or time. If you can get a subscriber to forward the email to their friends or colleagues they will be doing your work for you. And, importantly, doing the difficult bit.
Here are a number of things to consider when trying to get them to act for you:
1/ Ask them to forward it
Forwarding an email to friends is not an action that springs to everyone’s mind. If you mention it, they might consider doing so. If you specify a type of person, say someone who is adventurous, they will probably think of a friend who might consider an exciting holiday at an obscure destination.
2/ Give them a reason for forwarding
I’m not being cynical when I say that many people forward an email to make themselves look good. Flowers are bought for a multitude of reasons, but one of them is to curry favour. If an email is sophisticated, attractive, offers something that only the cool would consider, then the receiver has a clear reason for forwarding it.
3/ Spark their interest
A great Subject Line, one which builds anticipation, and where the email body delivers, can be a reason to share. If you promise ‘Something you’ve always promised yourself’ then you must pick something that makes them salivate rather than the item chosen because you overstocked. We’ve gone on and on about targeting emails and segmenting lists, and here is another example of its benefits as you know what they like and, hopefully, what their friends are interested in, even if it is only acquisitiveness.
4/ Make it interesting
If there is information in the marketing email, such as news, specific details about something that was of interest to the subscriber, then it is much more likely to be forwarded. For instance, if you are selling surfing gear, then a brief report of the world championships could well be sufficient. Make it too long for them to type out.
5/ Make it worthwhile
People like to feel good about themselves and sending what is in essence a little gift is a certain way to generate a bit of smug. Give them a push. Ask them ‘Even if this is not for you, do you know anyone else who would be grateful for the offer?’ The knowledge that this suggestion will be included in the forwarding is another positive.
Whilst it would be difficult to design every email marketing campaign to make the main purpose forwarding, the best results come from concentrating on making it perfect for the receiver. If it is targeted to their demographic, then it may well be perfect for their friends as well. Get them to do some of your work for you.