Integrating Social into Email - Who Does It Best? Target vs. 1800Flowers
Recently I received an email from Target asking me to 'Like' them on Facebook. Not too long after that, a friend of mine forwarded me an email that he received from 1800Flowers. Both of these emails are interesting and timely examples of how brands are beginning to integrate social with email – finally getting closer to the way consumers engage seamlessly with brands. Let’s take a closer look at the emails to hone in on the good, the not-so-good, and the opportunity:
- CRM activation: Target is doing a good job of reaching out to its existing customer base to broaden the reach of its social audience. They’re also giving their audience a reason to “Like” (beyond the cool factor of the Target brand) that includes exclusive offers, deals, discounts, etc.
- Personalization attempt: rather than suggesting a broad “Target” brand "Like", they’re suggesting specific categories of content that I may want to like at Target
- I’m already a fan! Wow. They would know this if they had attempted to capture any of my social profile data (email?) when they acquired me as a fan.
- Not-so-personal: The last thing I purchased on Target.com before receiving this email was a patio umbrella – 3 months ago. Although I have purchased “baby” products, those were off a registry – and weren’t for me.
- Fan Intelligence: if Target had captured my social profile data and email at the point that I became a fan (through an app on Facebook or through a social site experience), they would be able to connect with my customer behavior with social behavior.
- Social Personalization: Target could be asking me to "Like” or engage socially with content that I’ve recently engaged with as a consumer (purchased, browsed, abandon, etc.) – prioritizing the “ask” based on recency and frequency of my purchase or visit behavior.
- Social profile targeting: Matt shared his Facebook profile information with the 1800Flowers.com “Birthdays” module, and granted them permission to tap into his profile data to identify his friends with upcoming birthdays. It’s a great example of content personalization.
- Relevant brand experience: 1800Flowers.com is primarily a gift giving site. Most purchasers are sending a gift for a holiday or a special occasion. What better reason to send flowers, than your friends’ upcoming birthdays! It’s a great example of a brand merging with Facebook data to create a relevant and engaging social experience.
- Strength of connection: Unfortunately the people presented aren’t organized based on how close Matt is to them. He may never buy gifts for the friends presented in this email – they’re just not that close. Think about how many of your 100+ Facebook friends you’d actually buy a gift for – probably only a handful.
- Birthday timing: notice the first birthday suggestion is on the same day as the email! Wow – that’s pretty last minute, and will likely cost Matt a pretty penny in same-day delivery.
- Strength of connection intelligence: wouldn’t it be great if Matt had received a short list of his closest friend’s upcoming birthdays? Friends that he would actually consider buying a gift for? With Matt’s social data, 1800Flowers could apply some intelligence to figure out who those folks might be.
- Smart birthday timing: Although many of us are last-minute shoppers, we’re probably not same-day flower senders! 1800Flowers could do a quick analysis of the average days between purchase and “event date” to get smart about the optimal lead time for birthday gift sending. And it may have something do to with the strength of connection – just another opportunity to optimize delivery!
The Bottom Line: Both of these brands are doing a great job integrating social and email. We think that by applying intelligence that combines social data with customer insights, marketers could target and engage their social email subscribers to drive even more value.