Retailers Using Email to Promote Social Communities

Email marketing continues to be a key tactic for raising awareness of and driving traffic to retailers’ communities on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, according to the recently published Viral & Community Links in Emails report from Responsys.

Of the top online retailers tracked by the Retail Email Blog, 88 percent include community links in their promotional emails, up from 75 percent in 2010, according to the report.

Facebook and Twitter dominate retailers’ community efforts, although YouTube has grown to become a strong third-place contender, the report says. Every retailer in the study linked to Facebook from their emails; 84 percent linked to Twitter; and 29 percent linked to YouTube.

However, fewer retailers are including share-with-your-network (SWYN) links in their emails, instead relying on their websites to spur social sharing, the report found. The percentage of retailers that include a SWYN link in every promotional email dropped to 25 percent from 26 percent in 2010 after rising from 12 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, forward to a friend (FTAF) usage continues its long-term decline, dropping to 41 percent from 44 percent in 2010 and 48 percent in 2009. Overall, 52 percent of retailers now include some viral mechanism — either SWYN or FTAF — in their emails, down from 56 percent in 2010.


Target Marketing covers all direct response media, including direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing, space advertising, the Web and direct response TV, and gives readers insight into such subjects as using databases and lists effectively, acquiring new customers, upselling and cross-selling existing customers, fulfillment strategies and more. The publication was acquired by Adweek in September 2020.
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