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4 Steps to Boost Your Brand Advocacy Through Email Marketing

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Global Head of Content , Emarsys

Creating email marketing campaigns that your fans and followers will love to share is a fairly easy way to boost brand advocacy; however, it’s a tactic that is often overlooked. Before jumping into specific steps to build a successful brand advocacy program, let’s clarify what brand advocacy means to us.

What Is Brand Advocacy?

Brand advocacy is a marketing technique that encourages existing customers to speack positively about the company and its offerings (products or services). The goal here is to reach new people or potential customers through word-of-mouth marketing.

How to Boost Brand Advocacy

Follow these four simple steps to encourage your brand advocates to share your email content with all of their friends, causing your brand awareness to skyrocket.

  1. Create the campaign
  2. Analyze social engagement
  3. Create a dynamic segment for social sharers
  4. Build an automated customer lifecycle for social sharers

In this post, you’ll find the full details about what is involved in each step of creating brand advocacy.

1. Create the Email Campaign

Let’s start at the very beginning: campaign creation. This is where you and your team decide on the social channel that you wish to include within your new email campaign. Here in the US, the most commonly used social channels in email campaigns are Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. In comparison, Germany is more likely to use Xing and Vimeo in campaigns. To get started with the right campaign, you must first identify which social media channels are most popular among your audience.

Bonus Tip: Include individual social media icons on each content/product block to make it easier for recipient to share your content on their social profiles.

 2. Analyze Your Social Sharers

As a marketer, you’re likely quite experienced measuring the overall success of your email campaigns, including open rates and click-through rates. Remember to look also look at the social reach of each campaign. Ultimately, this should help you figure out what your email recipients like and don’t like.

By drilling down into individual social network shares, you will get a better understanding of the individual recipients who are actively pushing your content out through their social networks. Let’s not underestimate what this means. The average adult Facebook user has an average number of 338 friends. So, earning even just 10 shares could expand your reach by nearly 3,500 people.

Furthermore, consider saving a list of the recipients who have shared your content as a static segment for use in subsequent social campaigns. This will help you continue to reach out to individuals who have proven to be engaged advocates in the past.

3. Create a Dynamic Segment

It’s always a good idea to encourage good behavior, so don’t neglect your loyal followers; they have worked hard for you. Reward them for sharing sections of your campaigns by creating a dynamic segment to use within a customer lifecycle. The screenshot below displays how the segment would look within the Emarsys email marketing solution:

Within this dynamic segment, you are able to select not only the amount of social shares a customer has completed, but also the timeframe for doing so. For example, you can build a segment that includes all of the customers who shared your brand’s content five times via Facebook within the last 30 days.

4. Build an Automated Customer Lifecycle

After creating a dynamic segment, you can include it within an automated customer lifecycle program. Sticking with the example referenced above, you can run a weekly social sharing campaign in order to reward the identified social advocates with a personalized thank-you and possibly a little reward.

Such a campaign can be launched weekly to any recipients who have reached the threshold of five network shares in the last month, as defined by the segment. And this doesn’t have to be the end of it – you can use this reward to lead into a more sophisticated program to increase your engagement with these customers.

This is just a simple example of how you can introduce bespoke lifecycles to increase social sharing. If you’d like to find out more, please leave me a comment or visit the Emarsys website.

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