June 20, 2013

#SocialPlus Email: An Interview With the Rebel of Email Marketing

DJ Waldow - SocialPlus InterviewSo, you’re social following is growing—now what do you do with all these new fans?

(Spoiler alert:  we’re gonna tell you what!)

An engaged social following is only worth what you make of it . . . so… do something with it! With that in mind, we want to share one of the quickest and most seamless ways to turn followers into customers: email marketing.

We had the distinct honor of interviewing email-marketing guru DJ Waldow, author of “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing” (available here on Amazon, but don’t go there quite yet — you’ll have an opportunity to win a free copy at the end of this article).

GLEN:  So, DJ Waldow, we want to build up our email marketing program—how can we do that using social media?

DJ WALDOW:  The easiest way to build up your email database is to get your social fans to opt-in to your email newsletter. If you have a strong following on various social networks, the simplest way to get people to opt into your newsletter is to just simply ask them.  I know that sounds very, very obvious but I honestly don’t have a lot of examples of companies even doing that—let alone doing it well!

GLEN:  So, seriously, we just need . . . to ask?

DJ WALDOW:  Yes.  If you have a strong following on Facebook, it can be as simple as posting on your wall: “Hey, did you know that we also have a newsletter? Sign up here now!”  Wherever your social media community lives—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn—ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.

Of course, standard marketing rules apply:  you’ll want a benefit-driven call-to-action.  I have found that focusing on “exclusive offers” (i.e. “Don’t miss out!  Sign up for our e-newsletter now!”) works well for social media because these customers know they cannot possibly see everything in their Twitter stream and they don’t like to miss out on anything important.  You may want to offer an incentive like a discount, free service, etc. to nudge them into subscribing. You can also use content downloads to drive subscriptions.

GLEN:  Ok, so now assume that we have a strong email marketing campaign—how can we integrate social into our emails?

DJ WALDOW:  There are actually two primary ways you can integrate social into emails: social sharing and social connecting.

GLEN:  What’s the difference between social sharing and social connecting?

DJ WALDOW:  Social sharing is when you utilize sharing buttons and encourage customers to engage their friends and family.  It can be as simple as an email following their purchase:  “Thank you for purchasing XYZ, tell three friends about it and everyone who purchases using your link gets an X% off discount!”

Social connecting, however, is when you use your email to try and gather social followers/fans. You could send out an email that says, “Hey did you know we are also on Facebook and Twitter, follow us here” or “Here are the fifteen reasons you should follow us” and gain social followers that way.

Give them a reason to follow you on those various channels and integrate that within part of your regular newsletter.  Everyone has the social media buttons splashed on everything, but we’re all sort of numb to them now. You have to use a benefit-driven call-to-action:  “Follow us on Facebook for exclusive savings for followers only!”

GLEN:  Cool.  Could we potentially combine those two?

DJ WALDOW:  Yes, you can — and you should!  Combine social sharing and social connecting by offering contests with click-thrus (when an audience member clicks-thru to your website, landing page or any other digital homebase), comments, sharing, etc.  This serves two purposes:  you can track and identify key influencers this way and it also builds up your social community.

GLEN:  Any final tips for using social media data in email?

DJ WALDOW:  Think of it this way:  the inbox is a much more personal and intimate place than social channels.  The problem with social media is that there is no way you can capture everything and there’s no way you can see everything.  So if you want to give your content a better chance of being seen you really need to also be focusing on email marketing not just social media marketing.

GLEN:  Makes perfect sense to us . . .thanks, DJ!


Win DJ Waldow’s Book! 

Been there, done that?  Or got some great ideas for #SocialPlus Email?  Tell Us! And win a free copy of “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing”!

Rebels Guide to Email MarketingSimply comment below and share you experiences or ideas.  DJ will choose several winners to receive a free copy of his new book.

Hint: We’ll announce the winner on Twitter and in the comment section so be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the comment feed.

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About the Author
Glen Kosaka

Glen Kosaka is the CEO and Founder of Rignite. He’s the guiding force behind Rignite’s mission to help businesses grow through social media.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Rock on Glen and DJ! Great interview. I’m curious as to your thoughts on whether a call to action for a “newsletter” sign up really works. Is it better to do a call to action that includes something valuable like a free download or a series of tips and include the opt-in for other great content i.e. newsletter in your form? Or does a newsletter call to action work well? I get the sense that people don’t really want another newsletter, but who knows? What do you think?

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Nichole! Test. Test. Test. Both can work. The key is that you have to provide SOMETHING of value to entice someone to give up their email address. It could be as simple as “access to exclusive content” or an eBook or discounts on upcoming events.

  • Andy Crestodina

    I completely agree with everything here. I would also put a lot of emphasis on the calls to action on the signup form on the website, not just in the social streams. I once changed my signup form and increased my conversion rate by 1900%. This is one of the best web marketing tricks I know. I can share it if you’re interested. (I think I already showed this post to DJ a few months back)

    The two most important words he used were “benefits-driven” He is ABSOLUTELY right about this. Your audience is focused on their own outcomes, so we have to focus on that too…

    Thanks for a great post and thanks for bringing this to my attention, Kim!

    • Kim

      Great points Andy! Totally agree that “benefits-driven” is the golden nugget of a lesson here :)

      Please do share your post that you mentioned. Would love to see it!

      • Andy Crestodina

        Sure! Here it is…

        Email Sign Up Forms: 4 Things That Lead to Huge Success or Total Failure http://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/email-signup-forms

        In the post, I show a 1400% increase in subscribers. But I updated the data when I wrote the book and it’s actually 1900%. This is the lowest hanging fruit for any email marketer!

        • Kim

          Such a great post Andy! Love that you used your own site as an example with real results to show. Tweeted it and will share on Facebook.

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Thanks Andy. We meet again. Wait … you just looking for a free copy of the book? Ha! Please (re)share that post. It was a great one!

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Andy! Great news! You have won a FREE copy of my book, The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. Please reply back to this comment with the best email address to reach you and we’ll have a copy sent you way. Thanks!

      • Andy Crestodina

        Thanks, DJ. Here’s my email: [email protected]. If you email me a mailing address, I’ll drop a copy of my book in the mail for you. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

  • Todd Thiemann

    Great piece Glen and DJ! Does the advice apply equally to B2B and B2C or are there significant differences between the two?

    • Glen Kosaka

      Yes this applies to both B2B and B2C. But remember that ‘content is king’ and if you don’t have anything of interest no one will respond. B2C may not use the term ‘newsletter’ but rather ‘Weekly Tips for …’ or ‘Daily advice column’ but it’s the same issue. Sharing great content is a prerequisite for getting signups, shares, and likes.

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Thanks Todd. Yeah, agree with what Glen said. 100%.

  • thaddeusfiglockphr

    Great points. I have been very active on social media, from Twitter to LinkedIn, but something has been missing. I know permission marketing is the right way to go and a good friend convinced me that an e-mail campaign tied to workshops and my social media efforts. Maybe I can find good strategies here.

    • Kim

      Hi Thaddeus. That sounds like a great idea. Using social media and email to promote workshops and vice versa (using workshops to build your email list) could be a great way to demonstrate your expertise and to grow your business. Good luck and please keep us posted on how that goes!

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Thaddeus! No better time to start than NOW!

  • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

    LOVE that example. FWIW, my father is also a dentist!

    • Kim

      I’ll bet he’s known for being the dentist with the biggest email list in town ;)

  • Perron Services

    Great article, Glen. DJ, thanks for sharing. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to send out my blog posts. Although I announce them on social media and link them to my site, I also put them into email newsletter format too and send them to my newsletter recipients. But, trying to figure out if the newsletter should contain the blog, partial blog with a link to my site for the rest of the story or just a link the the blog post altogether. This is a tough one for me when thinking about gathering subscribers. Hmmmm… Enjoy you weekend!

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      My suggestion … send a link with some short copy and include a “read more” link driving people back to your blog.

      (that’s what I do)

      • Perron Services

        Thank you for the speedy reply and solution. Welcome to Summer everyone! :)

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Great news! You have won a FREE copy of my book, The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. Please reply back to this comment with the best email address to reach you and we’ll have a copy sent you way. Thanks!

    • Rignite

      Hi there. Hope you had a great 4th of July! Please let us know where we should send your copy of DJ’s book. You can email us at [email protected] with the details. Thanks!

  • http://www.marketingyourfarm.com/ Iain Robson

    I really need to ask more people to sign up for my email. I think I am just too nice to say, “hey, I have a newsletter come see”

    If I were to do something like this, I would have to do it in a nice way. More like, “oh by the way…”

    I guess that is just my style.

    Great interview DJ.

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Thanks Iain! See … it worked. You found this post via email. Ha! And always use your own style.

  • Alan

    Great interview. We just started putting all of our contacts, followers and subscribers into Salesforce.com so we can insure that when we send out our newsletter we have everyone covered. Will also help with any opt-out issues.

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Great idea, Alan!

  • Shelley Webb

    Great advice! I too, am guilty of not asking folks to sign up for my newsletter. One thing I have learned is that consistency is key; otherwise your readers will forget who you are and will unsubscribe.

    DJ – I’m glad to know that sending a short blurb about the article and sending readers back to the website works. I’ve been worried about trying that.


    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Shelley! Do it. NOW. Seriously. Stop what you are doing and get an opt-in on our site/blog.

      (then report back)

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Shelley: Great news! You have won a FREE copy of my book, The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. Please reply back to this comment with the best email address to reach you and we’ll have a copy sent you way. Thanks!

    • Rignite

      Hi Shelley. Hope you had a great 4th of July! Please let us know where we should send your copy of DJ’s book. You can email us at [email protected] with the details. Thanks!

  • Market Architects

    Thanks, DJ and Glen, for the reminder to nurture and develop deeper relationships with email. It takes effort to write an interesting and useful newsletter every week or month, but it’s so worth it, especially with B2B. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      Thanks for your comment!

  • LouAnn

    Really enjoyed the interview format and the nice, practical advise. Taking copious notes. I always feel weird asking for people to sign up so its nice to see I am not alone.)

    • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

      It can feel a bit weird, but if you don’t ask ’em … and they leave your site (which they will) … they may never return. Ask for the email address!