So far in this series on creating an email marketing plan you’ve learned how to target your audience, how to reach that audience, identify the competition, solidify goals and design content. In this last installment of the series we will discuss how social networking integration can take your email campaigns from successful amongst your subscriber list to viral across the entire web.

The first key to going viral with social networking is being sure your content is such that people will want to share it. You aren’t going to become a web sensation with stale or boring content. It needs to be something so interesting, funny, unique or engaging that people will be discussing it around the water cooler. And it doesn’t just have to be your copy. Embedding a great video is another powerful way to engage your subscribers. Email recipients need to be moved to the point of wanting to share it socially with their friends and followers. Give them the tools to do so.

Including buttons that link to your social networking pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) is a great way to inform your email subscribers about your social presence. Creating email templates inviting your subscribers to follow you on a specific social media channel is another way to do this. Conversely, it’s also a good idea to promote your email campaigns through your social channels. Some ESPs will automatically post a link to your emails when they are sent out.

Social sharing buttons are similar to the forward to a friend button. Except instead of one friend, it’s your subscribers’ entire social network. This gives your email campaigns reach beyond your own subscriber list. It can be passed to your subscribers’ followers, their followers’ followers and on and on.

Integrating your email and social channels is the conclusive step in crafting a successful email marketing plan. When done correctly, your email campaigns can go viral with social networking. Master this and your emails could be the next big thing the web is buzzing about.

The Email Marketing Plan Series: