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Trend: Marketers Using The Social Graph In Email

IEmail And Social Mediancreasing Email Relevancy with Social Data
Email and social media share one very important characteristic: both are fundamentally permission based. Just as an email opt-in box opens the communication channel between business and consumer, so too does a “follow”, “like”, “pin” or other social sign-on. This combination of permission and social data is prompting savvy email marketers to extend the social experience from websites to the inbox. They are realizing, however, that the process of incorporating social data into email goes beyond traditional segmentation. It includes the placement of social relationships, demographics, and behavioral information like check-ins and tags within the actual email. For example, a message might display which friends commented on a certain article, liked an item, or checked-in at a store location. This type of integration in email requires a little finesse, because as with anything social, privacy remains the biggest barrier to including such data.

Take Away: Great Tactic, But Be Careful To Maintain Transparency
These days, it is common for marketers to utilize social media data gathered either directly or by third parties for segmentation purposes. However, actually manipulating and incorporating this data in a message adds an entirely new dimension. The “creepy” factor affects this tactic and will draw a fine line that marketers should be careful not to cross. Therefore, communication will need to be completely transparent, especially when collecting data directly. The more honest marketers are in their social sign-on process, the more engagement their campaigns will receive. Customers these days will recognize a fast one is being pulled on them, so this transparency should include full disclosure of what data is being collected at the time of registration and how it will be used in the future.

How To:
If you haven’t experimented with Facebook or LinkedIn’s API’s, you’re missing out on a bevy of social media data that other marketers have been taking advantage of for quite some time. The social sign-on process that’s become prevalent on thousands of websites and mobile apps offers the key to this treasure chest. The data that can be collected during the social sign-on process includes 78 data points for Facebook and over 200 for LinkedIn. But please, let us all remind ourselves that in this case, less is certainly more. Remember to only collect data points that are relevant to your business. Don’t dig your own grave and scare potential users away. Marketers are notorious for being greedy, especially when it comes to data collection. In the future, if data needs change, you can always switch API calls. But above all, know that maintaining candid communication with your users during the social sign-in process will cultivate the richest relationships.

Eight inclusions for social media data in email:
1. Birthday celebrations
2. Postings by friends
3. Friend likes (great for ecommerce companies and gift registries)
4. Check-ins from friends (great for bricks and mortar)
5. Relationship status changes (again, great for gift registries)
6. Job changes (B2B – LinkedIn)
7. Educational/certification changes (B2B – LinkedIn)
8. Title changes (B2B – LinkedIn)

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