April 9, 2009
By BJ Cook,
Whenever you see something for the first time there's this glitz and glamor associated with it. In this case, I opened my email from Nike like any other day and this time I found a cornucopia of tools embedded into one section in the lower right corner. Nike was trying to enable their customers to "share" their email within their own network of friends, family and co-workers. You can see in the image below that they've adopted the ShareThis button and chose to display Facebook, Myspace, Email and Digg. Assuming those are the most popular in terms of social media market share; Nike was on the right path.
So like any curious customer who also happens to have co-founded a digital marketing agency; I clicked on one of the little icons. I was then brought to the following page below, which is simply a static version of the original email. There's one catch. There is the ShareThis window overlayed so you can scroll through to your favorite social media bookmarking websites and social networking websites or email to all your friends.
I figured why not. I tried a couple scenarios and here is what happened ...
Twitter -Their link for Twitter went to a 404 page.
Facebook - The link they were enabling me to post didn't work and the whole Facebook experience was horrible. Why not just use Facebook connect guys? (See one of my previous posts about how Nike could use Facebook Connect)
Email - The email I received was poorly structured and again, the link didn't work.
Conclusion: If you're going to jump with both feet in the water, make sure you can swim. Nike's attempt is valiant, but it lacks the planning and execution that is required when you start integrating email marketing with social media. Yeah you have to hard code in the sharing buttons and links, but at least test them. In this case, I would recommend that Nike use something like Facebook connect if they really want people to syndicate things there, their own custom email form for sending via email and Twitthis for sharing on Twitter. One of things we feel is our duty at Digital Operative is to ensure that our clients are using the right technologies and tools. If you are planning to mix email marketing and social media, make sure you plan it out, test everything out and then track to see if your audience is even using these tools.