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Using Social Media to support an Editorial Email

I’ve posted tips on integrating email marketing with social media before, but this example of an editorial email from XYDO puts some of that into practice. This campaign is mailed daily and provides an update on the day’s current news stories (based on my preferences).

First off, there’s clear links to share individual pieces of content on each article – driving users to tweet or Facebook like content. There’s also the option to share the whole email, but we’ve found that users are often more likely to share actual content rather than the entire mailing.

Another cool thing is that because I signed up for the site using Twitter authorisation, XYDO can now access some of my Twitter data, including my user image. They’ve taken this and included it in the email, which helps both increase personalisation and maintain the social media context of the email.

There’s also a prominent call to action to update your preference data, which is important for a daily update email.

Facebook ‘Like’ Buttons come to Email Marketing

Email platform provider Mailchimp have announced that marketers will be able to use the latest version of their web-based tool to incorporate Facebook’s ‘like’ functionality directly into email campaigns. The ‘Like’ functionality allows recipients to ‘favourite’ content and share it using the social network – it’s essentially a user recommendation system, which Facebook is using to build their own web search engine. We’ve seen something similar in Share With Your Network, which allowed users to post a link to web/email content via their status update – ‘like’ is an evolution of this which allows content to be aggregated more effectively across the site.

It’ll be interesting to find out how they plan to implement this – the existing functionality provided by Facebook is javascript/iframe based, which have never seen widespread support across email clients.

If they’ve managed to crack Facebook’s javascript based implementation then hats off to the team!

Below is an introduction video from Mailchimp, as seen on Mashable.

Email Inspiration: Sugru Newsletter

Sugru is a cool little product which lets you hack and repair everyday items. It’s similar to modeling clay, but once it’s exposed to air, it cures to a tough flexible silicone overnight using the moisture in the air. You can find out more here.

Their email has three exciting things in it (from an email designer’s perspective!)

1) A cool tiling whole page background – we don’t see enough of these, and in this case it looks really effective. It’s best practice that the content is max 600-700px, but the background can expand and collapse as required.
2) User generated content – tons of it, really engaging and helps build a community feeling – that’s especially prevalent here given the do-it-yourself nature of the product.
3) A youtube-screengrab-as-link module – a great way to simultaneously encourage click throughs and integrate engaging video content into the email experience.

Our main best practice recommendation would be to increase the prominence of links to drive to the site and/or online store. As the email may be going out to existing customers, it may also be worth looking at sharing functionality to allow people to virally share the email with their friends and social networks.