5 Ways to Leverage Pinterest to Increase Email Open and Click-through Rates

PinterestBy now, even if you aren’t a Pinterest user, you have likely heard of it and its “overnight” success on the social media scene. According to a recent report from Experian Hitwise, Pinterest is now the number three most-popular social network in the United States behind Facebook and Twitter. With over 100 million total visits per month, Pinterest cannot be ignored as an opportunity for social media for your businesses.

What is Pinterest? In Pinterest’s own words, “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.” Not surprisingly, based on that description, the site tends to appeal to a female audience more than a male one, but things are changing quickly. Although pinboards about crafts, recipes, quotes, fashion, and home decorating are still most popular on the site, people are finding new and creative ways to bring their interests to this medium and attract new audiences to the site.

Of course, we here at FulcrumTech are particularly intrigued by the opportunities we see to help our clients use Pinterest to drive site traffic and conversion. Due to our deep roots in email marketing, we thought we’d share a few ways you can use Pinterest with email to improve open and click-through rates, drive traffic, and increase sales for your products or services. Highly visual products work best, but even if you are a service-based business, you can still find quite a few creative ways to ride the tide of attention Pinterest has garnered to your own successful end.

  1. First — the obvious — put your Pinterest link in your email wherever you have your other social media links.
    This may seem obvious, but your subscribers do look for your social outposts and are much more likely to follow you if you provide an easy link. Because businesses are less likely to be on Pinterest than on other social platforms, a simple icon and link will help build your audience.
  2. Announce your Pinterest profile in an email and ask your subscribers to follow you.
    One easy way to build your Pinterest following is to use your most eye-catching pins to announce your presence on the site. That will help build your name as people share your content and click through to your site. This example from Zulily takes advantage of the bold visual appeal of Pinterest to drive open rates. Plus, Zulily offers an incentive for their audience — $15 in-store credit for orders that can be traced back to a follower’s pin. And if that wasn’t enough, they also used clever mini-posters as highly pinnable incentives to draw in eyes and clicks.
  3. Drive up open rates with “Pinterest” in your subject line.
    According to Internet Retailer, Ballard Designs, an online retailer of furniture and home goods, recently sent an email featuring their spring product line using “Our Customer Favorites Are Pinteresting” as its subject line. The open rate for this email was 2.8% higher than their average and, within a week, increased Ballard’s following on Pinterest by more than 15%. Check out our Get the Click review of a Bed Bath & Beyond promotional email that does a great job of integrating Pinterest.

    What if you don’t have products to showcase? Encourage readers to pin infographics you develop to showcase your key competencies or your white paper covers with a compelling description of its content. For example, you can see that we featured our “How to Power Up Your Email-Marketing ROI” white paper on our Email-Marketing board and our Lead-Generation Infographic on our Lead-Generation board.

  4. Try hosting a “Pin it to Win it” contest.
    Uncommon Goods recently sent this email with the subject line “Pins and Prizes” in which they featured their most popular products (based on pin activity). They offered readers an opportunity to start their own Pinterest board for a chance to win up to $250 in gift-certificate value to host their own backyard party. Although we don’t have access to the results of this campaign, the activity we see on Pinterest suggests that their target audience is enjoying perusing their products and pinning them for a chance to win. All of their friends, of course, see this activity and are exposed to the products they may not have otherwise seen.

    Lands’ End Canvas was one of the first retailers to launch a contest like this in November 2011. They counted on the contest to tap into the creativity and sharing behavior that Pinterest inspires to broaden their reach among their target audiences.

  5. Turn your best advice into visual quotes, and then share the most popular in an email.
    Quotes are quite popular on Pinterest and see an overwhelming amount of sharing behavior. Words alone are not the key here, but the image in which those words are presented. Got a few words of wisdom for your target audience? This works well no matter what audience you target. Marketing advice, photography inspiration, career motivation, or wisdom of the ages — presented in a visually compelling manner — gets attention. Don’t have a design talent or a graphic designer to lean on for help? There are many niche sites popping up to facilitate creating fantastic graphics that you can find (even if you’ve never heard of Photoshop). Check out pinwords as one example we like for helping you put your best quotes into an image worth sharing. Take a look at a few of our favorites on our Wit and Wisdom board. You’ll notice here we’ve also added in a few bits of humor we like — also a good draw on most social networks, and Pinterest is no exception. A nice collection of these quotes and bits of wisdom put together into one beautiful email with a compelling subject line can draw significant traffic not only to your Pinterest boards but also to your website. Ultimately, you can begin to gather leads and convert them to sales. Note — in order to drive traffic to your site, you can go into each pin and link to your website or landing page.

Not sure where to start when it comes to all this Pinterest stuff? Interested in more ways you can integrate email marketing and social media? Contact us or give us a call at 215-489-9336. We love helping companies grow!

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