email marketing best practices

Social Media Makes Email Work Harder to Be Relevant

If you send it, they will share…not! Or at least, not necessarily.

If your email marketing team has high hopes for the social sharing feature you’ve added to your email design, if you’re all thinking you’ll get all kinds of click throughs and sharing with social networks because people can share, well, hold on…

Have you evaluated your content and message to make sure people will want to share it? Just because they can (the function is there) doesn’t mean they will (the relevance isn’t).

Not a day goes by that I don’t see at least one email about social media…and this is among all my email marketing email newsletters and articles. Social is getting a lot of attention, for sure. But rather than making email marketing easier, social might be raising for bar for email. People are only going to share what interests them and/or what they think will interest others. And that’s your challenge, your new email marketing best practice: Give them something they’ll want to share.

Again and again, we come back to this same place: relevance. It doesn’t matter how many names are on your in-house email list if your content isn’t relevant. It doesn’t matter how many social sites people can share to if the content isn’t something they want to share.

Sure, there’s also barely a day that goes by that I don’t see reference to the social will overtake email myth. And social marketing has gotten a lot of attention, maybe even to the point of detracting from time spent on email marketing best practices. But maybe the real beauty of social media is that it’s raising the bar as it challenges email marketers to keep trying to get their content more relevant.

If you want your message shared, start with the message, not with the sharing.

If you send it and it rocks with relevance, then they will share it.

That’s email marketing best practices.

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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