Email is great at giving your message visibility, and is also the champion at getting a higher click-through rate than posts made on social networks. However, social networks are the perfect platform for sharing and interacting. With their powers combined, great things can happen.
Let’s put that in to practice with having a part of your message include a link to a prewritten retweetable tweet. You might want to make a large announcement, a link to a good review, or a contest something that is promoted on email but the end place is Twitter. With this strategy, you are leveraging the high visibility of email with the interactive engagement of Twitter. In essence, you’re getting more bang for your buck and making sure you are getting the most participation you can.
For an example, the band The Rumrunners are giving away two free tickets to an upcoming show in New York. The only thing needed to enter is to first follow then tweet at the band why the fan deserves those free tickets. So, the band has composed an email message that will be targeted to email subscribers in the New York area with details on how to enter.
They’ve also taken it a step further by putting in a URL on the “Click Here” button that automatically starts the Twitter message for them, making it unbelievably simple for the subscriber to fill out the rest.
So how do you set something like this up yourself? It’s a bit easier than you might expect.
1. Create a link in your email campaign. If you are using the Standard HTML Creator, highlight the text or image that you want to be the sharing part of your email and select the insert link option. If you are using the template (like in this example), all you need to do is select the Click Here option.
2. In the URL field, start with: http://twitter.com/home?status=
3. After the equals sign, put your custom message. Since URLs read special characters and spaces differently, you’ll need to encode your message. Key things to know are:
- Use %20 when you want a space.
- Use %40 when you want to use a “@”
- Use %23 when you want to use a “#”
If you want to double check the encoding of your custom message so that it’s just right, you can do so here.
In the example email, the resulting URL will be http://twitter.com/home?status=Hey%20%40rumrunnersband%20I%20deserve%20free%20tickets%20because%20
Power Tip: Don’t start the tweet with @, otherwise RTs will only show up in the timelines of existing followers.
4. Click Done and you are ready to go.
Now why would a brand (or a band, in this example) run a promotion this way? There are a couple benefits:
1. This encourages fans on the email side to also follow on Twitter, which expands the number of channels with which they can connect to fans.
2. The more the participation, the more this band will be showing up in Twitter streams of fans and Twitter feeds of those fans’ followers. A little more visibility never hurts.
3. Lastly, not only are people now tweeting at this band, but they are telling them why they want to see them perform. Not only is this a great mood-lifter (they like you, they really like you!) but The Rumrunners can take the conversation further from there if they’d like.
Writing retweetable tweets for fans to share makes it easy to create positive social chatter. It also gives you the power to control what content your fans share with their followers. Just don’t forget to include some sort of incentive for tweeting, like the contest run by The Rumrunners.