Batman and Robin: World Domination


DJ WaldowAwesome. Pumped. Love. Dude. Those are my 4 favorite words. They have nothing to do with what you are about to read, but Lisa told me to write a few sentences, so there. Oh, yeah. I’m DJ Waldow, the guy looking to get hired.

I have to tell you, when I got this June 15th DM from Lisa, I was intrigued. We traded a few DMs & emails, tossed around some sarcasm, and finished off with some awkward Google+ exchanges. Lisa then announced publicly (gasp!) that I “bathe in awesome.” Add two killer guest posts this week from Ben Cook and Norcross and wow, talk about pressure…


Prior to my recent “career pause”, I included the following sentence in my professional bio:

DJ is known to eat, sleep, breathe, and sometimes dream email marketing.

Drizzle in some social media to that bio and I really get pumped. Seriously, I love email marketing. I love social media. Combine them and … wow. Awesome. But here’s the problem: Most people suck at email marketing. Most people also suck at social media. Suck + Suck (usually) = More Suck. So, before you read any further, be sure your own email marketing does not suck.

For those that made the cut…

Batman (Email Marketing) & Robin (Social Media)

Email marketing is to Batman as social media is to Robin.

Batman and RobinEmail marketing is the old stalwart. In internet years, email is ancient. BUT, it has a proven ROI ($43.62). Everyone does it. If I had to bet, you’ve checked email at least once this week. You’ve likely even checked it today. It’s possible that you’ve checked it while reading this post. Email is not dead.

Social media is the new(ish) shiny object. It’s cool to have “social media” somewhere in your title or online profile. There are over 400 million Google search results for social media. It’s about relationships and trust and rainbows and unicorns. Sorry. Got off on a bit of a tangent there. Social is hot.

Both email marketing (Batman) and social media (Robin) can dominate on their own. They can both save the day. However, if combined, they are deadly. Together, they can take over the world.

World Domination: 7 Ways To Combine Email Marketing & Social Media

There are generally two broad ways to incorporate social media into email marketing campaigns:

  1. Social Network Icons. Follow, Like, Subscribe, Connect. This is the marketer asking you to follow them on their social networks. For example, “Follow us on Twitter” or “Like us on Facebook.”
  2. Share With Your Network (SWYN or Social Sharing): This is when you receive an email that includes a link/button/icon that, when clicked, allows you to share with your social media network.

Reminder: Be sure that your email marketing program does not suck before attempting the 7 suggestions below.

1. Include. While this one sounds like a “duh”, I lead with it because there are a ton of emails that land in my inbox that do not have any social sharing components at all. None. If the plan is to take over the world, you should consider integrating social media into your email marketing campaigns. Enough said.

2. Don’t hide. Ok. Now that you have your social network icons and SWYN links, make sure your subscribers can see them. Too often, I have to squint to see the Twitter or Facebook logos. It’s almost as if they are added at the last minute, as an afterthought, like in this email from Solutions (can you find the social icons?). If you are going to include social icons and/or SWYN, ensure that your subscribers who want to join/share can. Make it easy!

3. Tell me what to do. Often, as (email) marketers, we make assumptions. We assume that folks know where to go on our website. We assume that our marketing collateral is clear. We assume that our subscribers know where to click in our emails. We assume that when people see social network icons, they know what to do. And we all know what happens when we assume (see definition #2). Instead of assuming, spell it out. Make it clear. Don’t be afraid to include text like “Follow us on Twitter” or “Like us on Facebook,” like this footer example from If you are asking your subscribers to share with their social networks, tell them to share (examplered box is mine).

4. What’s in it for me? Affectionately known as WIIFM, this one is key to getting the follow/like/share. Why should I follow you on Twitter? What is so special (cool?) about your Facebook page? Why should I click a few buttons and share this email with my social networks? Tell me what’s in it for me. I absolutely LOVE this example from Copyblogger. They even use the phrase “What’s in it for you.” Besides the very clear (and short) copy, they also include 2 links and one (big ass) button that all point to their Facebook page. 3 calls to action going to the same Facebook page. Love it.

5. Be sure your social networks are in order. We’ve all been there before. You open an email from a company/brand/person that you love. You see that shiny Twitter icon. You click it. You go to their Twitter page. The last tweet was from 2010. Or, every tweet is them telling you how awesome they are. Oops. Unfollow. Unlike. Un+1.

6. Make your email shareworthy. Before you hit the send button on your next email, ask yourself, would you share this with your friends and/or social networks? If not, it may be time to tweak the copy a bit. Don’t be afraid to send a test email every so often to a portion of your email list. See where they click, what they share. Send a few versions and see which one gets the most action. Send that one to the rest of your subscribers.

7. Cross-pollinate. The first 6 examples discuss how to include social icons and SWYN links in your emails. However, don’t forget that you can also use your social networks to get folks to sign up for your email marketing messages. Consider sending a tweet encouraging sign ups, like Jason Keath of Social Fresh did. You can also post a “subscribe to our email” type message on Facebook, like CruiseDeals did.

Easy, right?

Let’s continue the conversation below in the comments. Have you done something at your company that’s worked? Do you have an email in your inbox now that did one or more of the 7 tips above? Share!

Image: Flickr – clevercupcakes

Your Comments

  • TrafficColeman

    Batman is email marketing because it stills holds the best marketing spot if you ask me. Because once you have people on your list then you can play the game like you want.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • DJ Waldow

    Well said “Black SEO Guy.” Just have to be careful to not abuse that privilege, right?

  • Rhea Drysdale

    Really simple, actionable and effective advice. Great stuff! Thanks DJ… and now I want a Batman cupcake.

    • DJ Waldow

      Tell me about it. I’m in Starbucks right now. Been awake since 5:45AM (thanks @babywaldow!) It’s 10AM here. No breakfast. 3 cups of coffee. STARVING!

      (thanks for your comment – very nice of you to say).

  • Levi Wardell


    Well put sir! Funny thing, I just had this convo with someone earlier this morning.

    Something along these lines that I’ve seen great success with is the addition of an email to the welcome series that invites new email subs to partake in a promotion that is only being given to (enter favorite social channel here) fans. Works quite well IF done correctly.

  • Fred Byus

    Good post DJ, thank you. I’m actually that someone that Levi had the conversation with earlier this morning.

    Conversely to what Levi said, I think it’s also a good idea to reward your email subscribers with special promotions not offered through social channels. Cause what’s the point of subscribing to an email if you’re getting all the same deals through Facebook (twitter…etc)?

    • DJ Waldow

      Totally agree. I actually have a label in Gmail for “Email Exclusive” where I save emails that are offering something special…just to their email subscribers. Thanks for the comment.

  • Bobby Kircher

    Nice hear it from a longtime expert in the field that email is indeed not dead. Our e-commerce client has amassed huge email list from over 10 years in the business. Not long after their Facebook page up and running, we were letting email subscribers email newsletters, reinforcing the message with each one.

    Great post, DJ!

  • Henri Molin

    Thanks for posting this! It really was fun to read…good opinions and laid-back text:)