EDIT: This Nugget is Defunct because Facebook took away this feature.
In the previous few Daily Golden Nuggets we've analyzed emails and given you some times of the day, days of the week, and months of the year to send your emails. We've also explained the differences between HTML emails that have photos and plain text emails, and when to use each.
There are a variety of companies that you can purchase your email service through like iContact, Constant Contact, and AWeber. But what about Facebook?
Have you ever given a though to using Facebook for email marketing? Let's explore some ideas for doing just that.
First, forget about your personal Facebook account. We've been saying it for more than a year, and many other internet marketing professionals will say the exact same thing: Do not use your personal Facebook account for business marketing.
Why not? Because it's simply against Facebook's rules. Anyone who saw the movie "The Social Network" will know that Facebook was created for collegiate student communications. It wasn't until years later that they figured out how to add business functions into it. Facebook simply doesn't want you to use their service to sell or solicit using your personal account.
It's now easy to create a "Page" within FB (um... "FB" = Facebook) for any reason. But once you have the page created you have to build up your following of customers. Building your following is done simply by getting people to click the "Like" button for your page. That's a lot easier to do than asking people to give you their name and email for your normal mailing list.
Users of Facebook tend to click the Like button on a whim, and once they do, you've got them!
Alright... truthfully it's not that easy to find people to like your business page initially. You have to tell your current customers about it, and you could also invite some of your FB friends (from your personal account) to like the page.
As you build activity on your FB page more people will find and like it.
So how can you use Facebook for emails?
We don't want to give directions that are too specific because Facebook changes so quickly. So here are the general steps:
1. You have to go to the Edit Page area for your business page.
2. Then look for the marketing features. At the time of this writing it was called "Resources" and the subsection was called "Connect with people."
3. Now click the "Send an Update." The phrase "send an update" has been there since the beginning of FB "fan pages." Hopefully they won't change that or we'll all be confused.
4. On the "Send an Update" screen you can select the people to email, enter your subject and the message. It even allows you to attach a video and a website link. The target audience will default to all people who like your business page.
5. Facebook doesn't have built-in scheduling, so you have to set up the emails when you want to send them.
Many people receive email notifications from Facebook all day long. Notification emails from Facebook account for a tremendous amount of daily internet traffic. Reports from the spam filter at our sister company Sapphire Collaborative (www.sapphirecollaborative.com) (they hosts more than 1000 email accounts) show Facebook notifications range from 1.12% to 3.5% of daily emails.
Facebook is still a "personal" network and the emails sent by a business page are shown differently than an email from another person. Your regular "Messages" screen only shows emails from friends; all other messages are organized in the "Other Messages" area of your account.
Unless someone goes to the "Other Messages" screen, they will never know you sent them an email. So how do you do that? Well, you simply tell them.
Step 6 in sending an email through Facebook is to tell your fans about the message. To do this, you go to your business page wall and create a normal Status Update that says something like "We just sent out a special offer to all our Fans. Click http://www.facebook.com/?sk=other to read it in your email."
Like all status updates, that will appear in everyone's normal News Feed. Your customers will see it on their computers and on their cell phones. That specific link will direct all users to their own personal "Other Messages" folder.
Facebook doesn't show you email open rates like the other companies do. Instead, they show you "impressions" which we view as the equivalent as open rates. You have to view your "Page Insights" and "Interactions" to see the message impressions.
Hopefully this helped shed some light on using Facebook for emailing. We'd like to hear your success or failures with using FB for emails. Post feedback on the website or reply back directly.