Timing is key for motivation
As part of the campaign, Second Act also encouraged participants to invite friends and family and sent invitations to a variety of football chat rooms. “The key to a good social e-mail campaign is to know how your audience spends their time and to create messaging and interactive games around things that are important to them, so they will get engaged and share it with their friends,” O'Gorman explains.
But just creating a social campaign is not always enough — a hook to create stakes in the campaign may be necessary to make people respond in a timely manner. “The trickiest part of using e-mail for community building is timing,” O'Gorman points out. “If you just create a message board where people can go anytime, they may not feel the urgency to go right away. But if you create a time-sensitive event, people are motivated to participate in the moment.”
In the future, Second Act plans to use more interactive games within its e-mail program. They will include a mix of social interactions to make the Second Act shopping experience more personal.
“With this campaign, our customers literally began to call us by our first name and we called them by theirs,” Redetzke recalls. “It was a tremendous way to connect with them in a way that was not designed to create a sale implicitly, but by creating a connection increased ROI for sales directly attributable to people in the program.”
Tackling e-mail success with a social twist
Score a few campaign touchdowns — and avoid fumbles — with these tips from Silverpop's O'Gorman
1. Get engaged. Find an onlineactivity that encourages recipients to engage with each other. “A typical advergame isn't enough to harness this phenomenon,” she says.
2. Go for viral appeal. O'Gorman suggests letting your recipients “do your acquisition for you whenever possible,” with activities tied into communities like sports.
3. Introduce urgency. “Activity level is spurred by deadlines,” she explains. Without that sense of urgency, she adds, marketers struggle with social outlets like bulletin boards.
1. Don't forget your focus. Your activity should be product-logical, as Second Act's was by connecting its HDTV products to what sports fans enjoy.
2. Stay away from self-promotion. An audience maydisengage if your company's messaging balance appears heavily weighted towards promotional content.
3. Don't oversend. As with all e-mail campaigns, “Do what you can to moderate the number you send out in any given time period,” she says.