Do you remember a world without likes, tweets, status updates, hashtags or chain letters proclaiming to be shared by those that really care?

Me neither.

But operating in the background through all these years was the granddaddy of social media – and I’m not talking about MySpace (because who still talks about that?), I’m talking about email.

Email has huge potential in the social sphere – and it provides an opportunity for email marketers to get their news out and become viral.

Don’t believe me? How many times have you checked your email this week, today or even since you started reading this blog post?

Let’s get into some ways you can take advantage of the craze that took the world by storm by using the tool that defined the way we communicate.

Why Should I Bother with Social in my Email Marketing Campaign?

Before we get into HOW, we should probably deal with the WHY.

  • Social can get you more subscribers!

That’s right! While social networks are usually geared towards keeping your brand top of mind rather than attracting more customers, giving your current customers the opportunity to share your newsletters and promotions allows you to reach people outside of your customer base.

What makes sharing even more effective is that your email marketing newsletter is sent from a known person or friend almost guaranteeing primary inbox delivery and an open or click-through!

2. Social helps you identify your key subscribers!

In combination with your email reports, you can see exactly how many people shared your email and even single out specific addresses of your contact list who shared your email.

Those contacts that are sharing your emails are your biggest fans – and you should treat them as your biggest opportunities! As an email marketer, you can send dedicated campaigns to these addresses with a pretty good idea of how they’ll react.

3. Social gives more options, more engagement and a different angle of attack

Everyone likes options! Providing your readers with more options and different forms of engagement will allow you to engage with your customer base on different levels – like videos from YouTube, quick tips off twitter or detailed posts from your blog. The choice lies with your reader.

In addition to this, any reader who interacts on just one other medium effectively doubles your marketing communication opportunities.  

How Do I use Social in my Email Marketing Campaign?

Use Social Widgets

What’s-a-Widget you ask? Widgets are those social media icons near the top or bottom of your email. They can jump out at you like this:

Or… they can be extremely subtle like in this example:

This is an easy and simple way to drive drive traffic to your social engagement channels – so simple and easy that it’s almost become the standard for every email marketing newsletter!

The advantage of this is that any subscribers who are interested in connecting through a social channel can do so easily due to this expectation.

Add Incentive

It’s a hard fact – human beings are programmed to seek value.

Subscribers will read your newsletter because they find some kind of value in it – whether it be for information, promotional discounts or entertainment. As an email marketer or social media manager, you should be applying this same theory to your social engagement channels.

Ask yourself if they’re offering value to your customers in the way of education, information, entertainment or more direct value offerings such as coupons, promotions or sales. If your social media isn’t adding value to your subscribers, they won’t add value to your business – choose one purpose for your social interaction based on the personality of your brand, and invite your customers to join in on the fun.

Retweet Snippets

Make it easy for your readers to use social media!

If you share interesting, informative or controversial content that your readers identify with, they’ll want to share it amongst their friends or their social media networks. You can make this easier for them if you include “quick tweet”, “fast post” snippets or links in your email newsletter.

These will effectively tag your social media channels in their posts from your newsletter as well as share your content – a double win!

Tweet all about it!

These are just some of the ways you can use social to your advantage in your email marketing campaign. There are many other ways you can utilize social to work in your favor!

Do you have any other ways of using social in your email?

Contact us and let us know!


  • Author: maryka.burger

  • Maryka has worked across multiple industries ranging from hard news journalism to digital tech companies and advertising. She is an expert at building online presence, and offers a wealth of knowledge on digital marketing, social media and automation trends to agencies and digital start-ups.