The power of integration – Making Email Marketing Work with Social Media Marketing

The power of integration – Making Email Marketing Work with Social Media Marketing
As Global Director, Strategy and Market Innovation for StrongMail's Agency Services division, Kara is responsible for helping marketers optimise their digital marketing programmes for greater returns. Kara was founder and principal of The Email Advisor, a respected email marketing consultancy focusing on email strategy and channel optimization, acquired by StrongMail in May 2009. She has had the opportunity to work with a number of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 organizations, structuring a variety of custom email education programs, conceptualizing and implementing new and innovative email programs, optimizing contact strategies and developing staffing and budget plans.

It’s tempting to think of social media and email marketing as different channels that don’t compliment each other and certainly don’t have the potential to augment each other. Don’t fall to the temptation. Email marketing and social media can work together, help to optimise each other, and drive additional revenue.

Making social media work with email marketing isn’t automatic and it’s not easy. It requires careful planning and content management. Yes—many email service providers offer what they describe as “social media integration” and this works well for many people with smaller lists and smaller budgets.

However, for the larger business with a bigger digital footprint, integration requires more effort plus a deeper and more detailed strategy. Want to know more about some proven ways to combine the power of email marketing with social media? Let’s say you’re a large company and you have a strong digital marketing platform that includes:

•    1,000,000 Facebook Likes

•    2,000 Twitter followers

•    4,000,000 email addresses

Now What?

Continue Building the Platform

The numbers above are excellent and admirable, but let’s remember—the company with the largest database of engaged followers has a huge advantage over the competition.

•    Use email to encourage and give people an incentive to “Like” you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter.

•    Use your Facebook platform to persuade people to sign up for the email database – and let them know you’re also on Twitter.

•    Use Twitter to encourage followers to engage with you via email and Facebook.

This effort to build the digital database must be constant and overlapping

Listen. Learn. Develop Your Content.

The focus group isn’t dead. But if you want to find out what your customers are thinking about, Facebook and Twitter are excellent resources. You can monitor social media accounts to discover what’s going on in the minds of your consumers or you can prod a little to gather this information.

It can be easy: simply ask your consumers what they think about issues, products, services, and their lives in general. You can then tailor content around what you know is interesting to your public. Customers are talking about your business in person and on social media platforms. Respond and engage with them on social media and through emails.

Maintain a Theme but Don’t Self-Plagiarise

It’s important to maintain brand integrity, but it’s a mistake to cut and paste content between the platforms. Keep the content theme consistent but repurpose it across the channels so it’s fresh and engaging.

Share the Testing Data

You know which subject lines work for emails. Use the same lines in social media. Always be testing, then use the test results across the platforms.

Social Media, Social Proof.

Harvest social proof and testimonials from social media and use them in emails and other communications. You can develop a sense of community, plus create buzz for all your channels.

“Only Available on Our Facebook Page For a Limited Time”

To get the audience jumping across platforms, use the old standards of direct marketing. Offers, geographic exclusivity, “must act before” calls to action, “Special preview only for Facebook friends”, and so on.

Email marketing and social media may seem like an odd couple, but they can work extremely effectively together.

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