Social media and email marketing: Shopflick finds its niche

When it comes to social media in email the big 3 - Facebook, Twitter and MySpace - get all the attention. An overlooked opportunity are the hundreds of niche social sites.

With less competition and hyper-targeted consumers you can build more traction within these communities.  Many retailers already have a thriving presence on niche sites, they just haven’t bothered to tell their email subscribers.

Test the waters with 45 retailers: {view list here}

Out of 45 companies integrating social media with email marketing, I tallied up which social sites they feature: 

Niche social media in email
sample of 45 retailers emails
Facebook 40
Twitter 30
Myspace 11
Blog 10
Digg 8
YouTube 4
Flickr 4
Delicious 3
RSS 3
Stumbleupon 2
Super Niche - 1 link in 45 emails
LinkedIn 1
Kirtsy 1
Harmony Central 1
Kaboodle 1
Stylehive 1
ThisNext 1
Virb 1
Yahoo Shopping 1
Yelp 1

Musicians Friend promotes their presence on Harmony Central, the #1 community for musicians. T’shirt retailer Threadless sometimes add a link to Virb or Kirtsy (testing popularity with email subscribers?). 

ShopFlick: {view email here}

Shopflick - social media

Shopflick an online video-shopping marketplace - think QVC meets Etsy - added social links to their newsletter in mid-January this year.  Angela Lee,  a member of the Shopflick marketing team told me,

“It seemed a no-brainer to connect to our audience through social networking sites that they visit. We also wanted to build our fan base on the sites, and saw our newsletter subscriber base as a natural place to grow there.”

What makes Shopflick unique is that besides the big 3 (+ Youtube) they incorporate niche sites, Stylehive, ThisNext and Kaboddle in their newsletter. Seven links in total, the most of any of the 45 companies I tracked.

“Since we’re into fashion & shopping, we felt having a presence in shopping social sites would be important. Kaboodle and ThisNext are the major players in the game, having the largest audience size, however, we do track other sites on the side like Chictini and Indiepublic .

Facebook and close 2nd Twitter remain Shopflicks highest SNS traffic drivers. Though evidence suggests niche sites require less traffic to produce a higher percentage of revenue and their popularity is on the rise.

“The main point of our newsletters are to drive traffic back to shopflick.com…On the flipside, our social profiles are to alert fans of the deals and products on shopflick.com, with newsletter sign-up as a secondary tactic.”

How many social media links are enough?

The Facebook/Twitter combo is the most popular of the 45 companies I looked at.

 How many social links?
2 is the magic no. (Usually Face+Twit)
Two social links  16
One social links  11
Three social links  6
Four social links  5
Five social links  4
Six social links  2
Seven social links  1

4 things which caught my eye

Share to Social buttons

  1. This email from REI Gearmail uses a free AddThis.com button (seen above), this allows subscribers to share content with 32 social networks.  Nike uses a similar ShareThis function.
  2. In this email Bridge55 have the link, “What are these?” which takes you to a page explaining social bookmarks.
  3. Musician’s Friend took a similar approach, taking email subscribers to a social media landing page on their site.
  4. 4 of the 45 incorporate mobile marketing: Armani Exchange, Bebe, Overstock and Pacsun. Although not one of the 45,  Domino’s Pizza heavily features mobile ordering in every email with a link to their mobile website. Speaking of Domino’s I’d like to see how they get out of this social media problem.

Couple of useful links:

Do some research, your audience might be easier to identify and target on niche sites. I liked what Costco did recently, taking time to survey their email subscribers to find out which social sites they belong to. You can view the email - and full survey - here.

If you have a community on a niche site add the links to your newsletter. Chances are your subscribers are already members and you can deepen your relationship. Niche social sites add to your credibility. Everyone joins Facebook but insiders and enthusiasts frequent niche social sites. 

35 niche social media sites (8 categories)

How to identiy and target the right niche social site

You can find me on Twitter @stylecampaign or the Email Marketer’s Club. I’ll keep my weird fascination with Bunspace  to myself!

 

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