forward-emailThe quality of your mailing list can have great bearing on the success of your email marketing campaigns. In order to achieve opens, click-throughs and sales, your emails need to be seen by people who are interested in what you do and what you offer. But, building a quality list can take a lot of time and effort. However, there is one way that your emails can reach a wider audience that requires very little effort on your part: encouraging your existing subscribers to forward your emails to their friends.

These days, a lot of emphasis is put on social sharing for brands and businesses. Social sharing can increase your reach as a brand, and it’s relatively easy to measure its success. However, email forwarding still has considerable value. It’s much more personal, and puts your emails right into the hands of the people who are interested in what you do. While social sharing can increase awareness of your company, email forwards persuade people to take action. So, how can you encourage your subscribers to forward your emails? Here are some ideas:

Add a ‘Forward to a Friend’ Button

Generally, the most effort it takes, the less likely people will be to forward your emails. Therefore, you should make forwarding as simple as possible for your subscribers. The first step you can take is to add a ‘forward to a friend’ button to your marketing emails. This is featured at the bottom of emails from Pizza Express:

However, just adding a ‘forward to a friend’ button is usually not enough to persuade many people to pass on your emails. You often need to do a lot more to encourage people to press that ‘forward’ button.

Create Valuable Content

People will generally only forward emails if they think that the contents will be interesting or of value to the person they’re sending it to. It’s therefore your responsibility to create valuable content for your emails, while still emphasising the things that your company offers.

Garnier offered a series of summer beauty tips in this marketing email, also showcasing the necessary products:

It’s likely that the recipient of this email could have a friend who would also be interested in these tips.

Offer an Incentive

If all else fails, you can offer your subscribers an incentive for forwarding your emails. Make sure that this incentive is something that’s big enough to motivate your customers to forward, but not so big that it will cost your company a lot of money.

The Body Shop once offered a fifty percent discount to subscribers if they forwarded their email:

However, your incentive doesn’t have to be something that’s this big. You could just offer a small percentage discount, free postage, or even a free e-book.

Email forwarding could prove to be incredibly useful for your business. It’s simple to implement, and encourages opens (emails come from a person that the recipient knows and trusts). By using these tips, you’ll soon see how powerful email forwarding can be.