One of the biggest leaps in email marketing in the past few years has been the ability to offer social media sharing tools in order to reach a larger audience with every campaign you send out. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are currently the most popular.
Here’s a look at what control you have over the way a shared campaign looks on Facebook timelines.
Not to be confused with including a link to your own company Facebook page, a ‘Facebook Share’ link gives your reader the option to add your entire email campaign to their own Facebook page, either with or without their own comment in the post.
Whilst you don’t have any control over the comment that might be posted (only good things I’m sure!), you can take steps to make the post look as good as possible to encourage additional opens and follows.
There are three factors to the post when an email campaign is shared:
- An image
- Headline text
- A link to view the email online
- The image
If you are creating your own campaign with a re-usable template (like those in your NewZapp account) then you’ll be inserting images into your content. In theory, Facebook selects one of these images on your behalf, picking what it considers to be the lead image in the email.
There’s a bit of mystery surrounding just which image Facebook favours every time if left to its own devices, but we’ve found it to be the first image of a good pixel size. You should find that this will be either:
a) A square one, with the headline text appearing alongside it, or
b) One that is landscape in proportions and large enough to be considered by Facebook as suitable, with the headline text then appearing under the image (as per the example above).
Good to know: Make sure you add an alt tag to every image in your email. We’ve found that without one Facebook is likely to skip over it and not consider it to be a relevant aspect of your campaign.
- Headline Text
This text will be populated by Facebook pulling in the ‘HTML Title’ set within your email’s code. Just like the one used within web page code, an HTML title in your email campaign is the text that appears in the browser tab when viewing it online. This part of your email can’t be changed without tinkering with the code every time a campaign is created, so it’s worth careful consideration so it looks good and relevant for every campaign.
Good to know: Unlike a share on a web page, Facebook doesn’t give you the opportunity to include a description, so that’s where careful consideration of your HTML title comes into its own.
- A link to view the email online
Every time an email is sent from NewZapp, a copy is automatically hosted online so that your readers can open it in a web page if they wish to. Facebook detects this online location, job done!
Facebook doesn’t include:
- The subject line from the email campaign (as Twitter and LinkedIn do)
- Any description/body text (as a Facebook web page share does)
Coding your own email campaign?
If you are a designer coding a one-off email you can make use of “og” (open graph) tags.
Insert a meta property=”og:image” specifying the image you wish Facebook to use, and specify the post’s title with a meta property=”og:title”. You don’t need an “og” tag for the url of the campaign online, as the online version is uniquely generated by the system for each campaign, hooray!
Good to know: If you’re sending from NewZapp but coding an email yourself rather than using the editor, you can still use the tag [link] in your layout at the point where you’d like a link to the online version to appear. The tag converts to a hyperlinked phrase “follow this link.”