Thought Leadership

The Digital Marketing Evolution: Welcome Back Email

Certainly a complementary digital strategy must exist between email and social to allow this participation to occur?

Marketers have been tirelessly building their email audience for the past 2 decades. When social media began gaining significant consumer adoption in recent years, marketers patiently waited on the sidelines for a unique opportunity to involve their email audience with this new social movement.  It only makes sense; a marketer has an email audience of 1M plus people and the presence of social networks. Certainly a complementary digital strategy must exist between email and social to allow this participation to occur?

To our dismay, a solution that allowed marketers to harness the power of their email audience in social media, and provide insight, never emerged.  As it remains, Marketer’s have their email strategy and their social strategy; they rarely talk to each other.

That’s when the Yesmail team started thinking outside of the box.

Our Mission:

Take an email campaign and have it appear inside of the famous 'Facebook Feed.'  Through our Market Intelligence tool, we have mountains of data that prove consumers LOVE engaging with posts within their 'Feed.'  Our data also showcases that natural posts from their friends perform extremely well, as they offer referential credibility.


Through hard work, a fridge full of cola, and determination, we were able to build a mechanism that would allow marketers to enable their email campaigns ‘social share’ capability by inserting a simple URL in the campaign. Once the URL was inserted into the HTML, email subscribers could now share an email campaign on the following networks:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Pinterest

…..Impressive? Not really.  It is 2014 after all.  So we challenged ourselves even further with the following question:

"Once an email campaign shares on a user’s social network, wouldn’t it be cool if a marketer could track the additional campaign engagement, subscriber acquisition, and associate revenue back to that original email subscriber?"

Here’s an Example

  • John Smith belongs to Acme’s mailing list
  • Acme sends John an email campaign
  • John Smith socially shares Acme’s email campaign on his Facebook page
  • Chris Jones, Facebook friend of John Smith, notices the shared email offer and clicks on it to view the email campaign
  • Chris Jones subsequently subscribes to Acme’s mailing list and purchases an Acme product
  • Several other friends of John had similar levels of engagement with this campaign.

If Acme was able to attribute Chris’s purchase back to John Smith’s social share of the email campaign, the strategy in which Acme communicates with John will significantly change.  Acme will now have visibility into John’s true consumer value.

Example: Social Share / Attribution Statistic

  • Subscriber: John Smith
  • Campaign: Father’s Day Special
  • Additional Email Campaign Opens: 56
  • Additional Social Shares: 24
  • Newly Acquired Subscribers: 18
  • Additional purchases: 13
  • Total Purchase Revenue: $1,233.00

If marketers were equipped with the social share capability and attribution tracking defined above,  it would truly enhance the relationship between email and social. It will also provide new ways marketers can communicate with actively sharing subscribers.  Perhaps additional incentive strategies could be developed for those actively sharing email campaigns.

Welcome Yesmail’s Social Attribution Intelligence

With the creation of Social Attribution Intelligence, Yesmail provides marketers with this exact capability, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.  This groundbreaking technology re-affirms the importance of email in the digital marketing eco-system, and further defines email’s priority among other digital channels.

Social Attribution Intelligence provides marketers with the following capabilities:

  • Enable an email campaign’s social sharing capability on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn.
  • Rich attribution tracking on opens, shares, newly acquired subscribers, and purchases back to the original email subscriber that shared the offer.

Live Example:  Kristin enabled a PepBoys campaign with the social share feature and shared the email campaign on Facebook. 

As you can see from the example above referred by Kristin, the email offer falls in the feed, is an viable size, and not a sponsored ad.  This stands apart from the display advertising on the right-hand size of the screen, and is more likely to take precedence to a user’s line-of-sight.

The following thoughts should now be top-of-mind for marketers:

  • With the insight provided from Social Attribution Intelligence, why wouldn’t I consider social sharing inside email all offers?
  • Can we think beyond the traditional CRM model? Does this new technology birth an entirely new customer management model?  CMR – Customer Managed Relationship?  Follow future blog posts for more information on this topic.   
  • Can I extend my current social strategy through email? Why not leverage my existing email audience to increase exposure through social media, and gain more leads?
  • Can I provide future incentives to customers to who share offers, and increase brand loyalty? 

Author Bio

Jason Warnock

Jason Warnock is a seasoned veteran of digital marketing. After creating successful email applications for Canadian bank CIBC (2004), Jason initiated and managed Deliverability Operations for Digital Connexxions (2006) implementing several key strategies for major publishing clients. After a successful acquisition of Digital Connexxions in 2006 by infoUSA, Jason proceeded to become Director of Deliverability for Yes Marketing (2007) followed by VP of Deliverability Services for Yes Marketing (2011). Jason has transformed Yes Marketing's Deliverability into an industry leading solution through enhanced offerings of technology and client services. Jason has designed successful technical and business strategies for several large Fortune 500 companies including: HP, Coke, Kodak, Facebook, eBay,, and United Airlines.