Sponsored Facebook Groups – The New Opt In Email Campaign?

FacebookRetailers like Target, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret and American Eagle’s “aerie” brand have found a way to direct-market to “Millennials” through Facebook Sponsored Groups. Like opt-in email campaigns, these retailers are using its Sponsored Group member lists to send notifications on contests, sales and even new Facebook applications.

Everyone who has joined a Sponsored Group has opted in by default to receiving Facebook “email” messages:

Inbox with direct emails

Here’s the latest Valentine email from aerie, a clothing line from American Eagle aimed at 15-25 year old females. It was sent to almost 50,000 members of its Sponsored Group:

Aerie email

One problem with Facebook groups is it’s hard to keep members engaged. Most people join and never return. This email gives members incentive to return to the page and enter a contest, see what’s new and start playing around with the “Kissing Booth” application (link removed, application no longer active).

Kissing Booth is a SuperPoke clone where you can send virtual kisses to friends and you move up in ranks the more kisses you send and receive. For example, you begin as a “cutie” and work your way up to “flirt.” The genius of this is that when you “kiss” someone, they must add the app to kiss you back, spreading the awareness of the brand’s Sponsored Page, which in turn builds the Facebook “mailing list”:

Kissing Booth Application by aerie

The aerie Sponsored Group (link removed, group inactive) is well designed, appropriate for its target market and has a number of ways members can interact. There is even a link to a new blog for employees, which could appeal to future sales associates.

aerie sponsored group

This is just one example of Valentine’s Day Marketing and Facebook advertising. For more examples of ecommerce social media campaigns, check out 110 Ways Retailers are Using Social Media.

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8 Responses to “Sponsored Facebook Groups – The New Opt In Email Campaign?”

  1. Lisa says:

    Hi, do you know who created the Aerie Facebook page? Did they use an agency or was it internally produced? Thanks!

  2. Most likely an agency, Lisa. The agency would come up with a concept (though the ideas may originate internally) and hire application developers. But this is only my guess. I can’t imagine the development would have been done in-house but it’s possible.

  3. Lisa says:

    There page is neat… and does well at engaging its users. I checked out that Adonomics site and noticed that the “Kissing Booth” only has 8,400 installs. That number isn’t as high as I would have expected, considering the number of fans the Aerie page has. Does that surprise you at all? I’m comparing that to The Wave by RepNation which has 68,800 installs.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    It doesn’t surprise me because kissing booth was a Valentine’s thing, and many people may have installed it and then removed it. Plus, branded applications have lower adoption rates vs. non-branded.

    Sometimes people install apps and then start sending , in this case kisses, and if their friends don’t take action and also install the app, it becomes useless to the ones who originally added it.

  5. Job well done by the AE interactive team and agency who built this for Aerie: The Advance Guard (http://theadvanceguard.com/)

  6. Hi Peter, thank you for sharing the agency that brought this to life. Lisa, the commenter above, was looking for information on the agency for a school project.

  7. The agency would come up with a concept and hire application developers. But this is only my guess. I can’t imagine the development would have been done in-house but it’s possible.

  8. Webosaurs says:

    It doesn’t surprise me because kissing booth was a Valentine’s thing, and many people may have installed it and then removed it. Plus, branded applications have lower adoption rates vs. non-branded.

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