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Forward to a Friend: Enabling Subscribers to Share Your Emails

Do you have an email marketing message that you want your subscribers to share with their contacts? It could be an upcoming sale or an event that your company is hosting, and you want as many people as possible to know about it. As it turns out, there are a few methods you could implement in ClickDimensions to help your subscribers share your emails with their own contacts. In this post, I will show you how to set up one of the simpler methods.

Before we get started, here’s something to keep in mind: we never want to collect the contact information for an individual who has not opted in. So, with respect to permission-based marketing, my setup is going to allow my recipients to share the email directly with their friends via a mailto link.

You will need an email built in the ClickDimensions freestyle email editor and a landing page built in our freestyle landing page editor to get started. A subscription page is an optional element.

Step 1: Build the Email

To build my email, I used the ClickDimensions drag and drop editor initially so that I could use the formatting features available in it. And right above the footer, I added a content area that has my share link.

However, I need to have a freestyle version of this email available so that I can access the source code of the email. So, I cloned the email send record for my drag and drop email and changed the clone’s Editor Type field to freestyle.

This saves a copy of my email (built in drag and drop) with the freestyle editor so I can access the source code in Steps 2 and 3 of this blog post. If you’re already building emails in the freestyle editor, you can skip this and move on to Step 2. You can also find alternate methods of archiving emails to landing pages here.

Step 2: Create a Landing Page

I am creating a web version of my email from the freestyle email because I want to include a static version of the email that anyone can access but that does not have a specific person’s email address or other contact info on it.

First, I will go to my freestyle email send, open the editor, select the Source button and copy all the source code.

Then, in Settings > Web Content, I will create a new freestyle landing page. Once the record is saved, I will click on the Design button and then select the Source button to paste in the code from my Freestyle email. This is a really easy and clean way to get my email code over so that it’s a mirror copy of what’s in my email, as you can see in the image below.

Now, I also need to make a slight change to my web version here. As we saw in Step 1, I have a link that says, “Share this email with a friend,” but that isn’t going to make sense to the forwarded individual.

Instead, my link should encourage the forwarded individual to sign up for our newsletter by linking to one of my subscription pages. You can create a special subscription page if you like for this type of scenario, or you can use one of your regular subscription pages.

Since this is a landing page, I can also remove the unsubscribe link section. With both changes in place, the footer of my page looks like this.

Once I have saved my landing page, I am going to click the Embed button, and then copy the Embed as Link URL to use in my mailto link in Step 3.

Step 3: Adding the Mailto Link

With the customized web version of my email set up, I’m going back to the freestyle version of my email to alter my forwarding link.

If I click on the Source button of the email, I will search for the Share link—you can use Ctrl+F to search for the specific words you used in your link.

Now in the <a> tag that precedes the Share text, I’m going to alter what’s in the href attribute to look like this:

For the mailto link, I left the recipient email portion blank and only added content for the subject and body of the email. There are other content options for mailto links, which we show here.

Once that’s in place, I will save the editor and then I can either do a test send or clone the email and send the clone to myself. And when I click on that share link, I have the following email created from my email inbox.

The To field is blank so the original recipient can select which of their contacts they want to send this to. Once their friend(s) receive the email, they can click on that link and be taken to the web version of the email that we created.

With these three simple steps, you can quickly generate this sharing method for your email campaigns and encourage more people to subscribe.

Happy Marketing!

About the Author:

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Carolynn Carriger is a ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager.

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