January 30th, 2008 | 2 MIN READ

Sponsored Facebook Groups - The New Opt In Email Campaign?

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

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a contest, see what's new and start playing around with the "Kissing Booth" application (link removed, application no longer active).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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