Forward-to-a-friend (FTAF) functionality allows subscribers to forward your email along to friends and family members. Share-with-your-network (SWYN) functionality lets subscribers share your email — or portions of it — with their friends and family members on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. And community links direct subscribers to your Facebook page, Twitter stream and other social media pages.
The optimal placement of FTAF, SWYN and community links varies across brands, so Responsys recommends testing it.
Consider using FTAF and SWYN links as secondary calls-to-action within the body copy, particularly when you have really compelling offers or content. Using URL-based status updates for Twitter while also using link sharing on Facebook (allowing the landing page meta data to fill in the appropriate title, caption, and thumbnail for the status post) helps customers to share only the content they want to share instead of an entire email.
Leverage the brand equity of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks’ icons and buttons by using them in your SWYN and community calls-to-action.
Differentiate SWYN and community links. Preface SWYN links with “Share on:” and community links with “Join us:” or something similar. Consider placing your FTAF and SWYN links next to each other, since they’re both used for sharing email content.
Consider grouping your community links with your mobile app, SMS subscription, blog, and RSS subscription links.
To be successful, email designs must constantly evolve to meet the shifting needs and behaviors of consumers and adjust to email platform changes.
Best practices are always changing, so Responsys has assembled the following list of 2011 design and coding recommendations to help ensure that your HTML emails optimize the user experience and response, perform well on mobile devices, render properly in the widest array of email clients, and achieve higher inbox deliverability rates.