While there’s no doubt that we live in a digital-first world that often focuses exclusively on online experiences, that doesn’t mean that the most powerful way to grow brand awareness – word of mouth endorsements from friends and family members – is no longer part of the picture. However, how people learn about products and services from one another has changed significantly. To ensure that you’re tapping into this vital piece of the marketing puzzle, let’s cover five simple tips that are sure to cause a forwarding-frenzy within your inbox audience and help spread your latest deals and offers to every corner of the web.
Targeted Messages Go Viral Faster
At the top of the list of ways to generate more forwards for your inbox content, The HubSpot Blog’s Lauren Smith points out that it’s hard to go wrong with a targeted message. These tailor-made selections take into account the behaviors, habits, and attributes of your audience members, thereby creating an offering that jumps off the screen – even in the most cluttered of inboxes.
While personalized and targeted content might seem like it is better suited to the needs of an individual consumer, Smith notes that these offerings usually end up being 90 percent more viral than their untargeted counterparts. The big key here is that friends and family members have many interests and defining qualities in common, so targeted messages actually hone in on these bonds and create plenty of opportunities for forwarding and increased exposure.
Focus on Something That’s Inherently Shareable
Smith also points out that your brand can gain a boost in forwards by keying in on content that’s inherently shareable. Specifically, community events and news stories fit this billing and run rampant through inboxes as contacts seek out discussion and insight from trusted sources.
Whether you’re sending out a friendly reminder about an upcoming in-store event or announcing your participation in a trade show or other similar gathering, keeping a finger on the pulse of these highly shareable happenings is one of the most powerful ways to position your brand at the heart of the inbox conversation.
Play to Positive Emotions
In terms of your actual message content, Marketing Tech Blog’s Douglas Karr explains that playing to positive emotions can help boost the number of forwards and shares generated by your marketed emails. People love to experience awe, amusement, laughter, and joy, so tethering your brand to these emotion gives readers a great reason to engage with others and share these positive feelings.
Going a step further, Karr suggests that if you are able to blend in interesting, practical, or surprising applications for this content, then you’ve really struck email marketing gold. Actionable responses to the good vibes generated by your content – via showcasing a charitable cause, ways to enjoy a new hobby, etc. – takes the sharing process beyond a simple forward and creates a scenario in which your brand not only relates to positive interaction in the inbox, but real-world events and occurrences as well.
Hit on a Winning Subject Line
Of course, it’s near impossible to generate a forward if your readers can’t be bothered to click the “open” button in the first. Unfortunately, too many brands fall prey to this email marketing roadblock – all thanks to lackluster or flat-out boring message subject lines.
Aside from giving your audience a solid reason to open the email, catchy subject lines also serve as the perfect “look at this!” attribute when a viewer is deciding whether or not to forward the message to a friend or family member. Depending on the content of your email, leading off with an interesting stat, a promise of something unique to the reader, or even more emotionally-charged concepts and ideas all help boost open and forward rates.
Ask Your Audience for a Forward
Finally, don’t be afraid to just come out and ask for the reader to forward this message to someone else who might be interested. As mundane as this approach sounds initially, the truth of the matter is that this practice stands as one of the most effective ways to increase the amount of forwards generated by your email marketing content.
In total, emails that sign off with “Be sure to share this with someone else!” or a similar request are 13 times more likely to end up being forwarded to a new inbox. This means that as long as you ask your audience for a little help along the way, and utilize the rest of what you’ve learned here, there’s no reason why your email content can’t go viral via the modern world’s take on word-of-mouth marketing.