Redbox is national DVD rental brand with local focus, and it survives while giants such as Blockbuster have fallen. Its director of partner marketing attributes some of this success to social email campaigns.

At ad:tech San Francisco, the director of partner marketing for Redbox – a national DVD rental brand with local focus – suggests his company is staying relevant (while Blockbuster and others have fallen) partially because of its social email marketing.

Michael Georgoff, director of partner marketing and business development for Redbox, explains that traditional word-of-mouth campaigns were the go-to marketing approach for his DVD rental company (you've probably seen a Redbox in a supermarket near you). But Georgoff has found online channels generate buzz for his offline, local rental service (even with industry behemoth Netflix offering up DVDs straight on the web).

When it dove into social email marketing, Georgoff says his company's main goals were to increase the number of social referrals for Redbox on Facebook and Twitter, and to convert the online friends of users.

With the help of an outside email marketing agency, Redbox set up an email referral program that encouraged and rewarded social sharing with the prospect of free DVD rentals. Users can opt in to the referral program to receive a unique referral link. When they sign up, they receive an email from Redbox including their link, which says:

Remember, the more you share … the more freebies you'll earn. Copy and share your unique link with friends! Email it, chat it and tweet it. If a friend signs up you get a free account credit!

Within 30 days of the program's launch, 177,000 Redbox customers shared recommendations. More than 125,000 friends of users clicked through these links to the Redbox offers. On Facebook, the campaign generated around 32,000 posts and 60,000 friend click-throughs, and Twitter garnered about 5,000 posts with nearly 23,000 friend clicks.

Georgoff says the company is very pleased with the conversion it saw (and is seeing) from shares and clicks.

Redbox's campaign might inspire other marketers to take create social-friendly campaigns, connecting users through email, Facebook and Twitter. As Brafton has reported, Facebook may be an especially profitable channel when it comes to social mentions – we've covered news indicating that one company found a Like is worth more than a Tweet. Plus, Facebook recently offered figures indicating shared links on its network translate into revenue for brands.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.