7 ways to integrate your email and social media marketing
Guest post from Harvey Smith at initio consulting
Digital marketing, like a marble on a table with one leg shorter than the others, just won’t stay still. Simply having a company website, however primitive, used to mean you were hot stuff. As the technology evolved and competition heated up, you had to make your website half-decent, and introduce email as a marketing tool.
Likewise, it used to be enough to have a bought-in list of targeted email address to give you the edge over the competition. But with the rise of social media in the last few years, the bar’s been raised in terms of what customers expect from online interaction. These days you often need more than a personalised email and link to your product/service to engage people.
The issue many organisations have with social media is its apparent lack of measurability. That and words like ‘tweet’ and ‘webinar’. How do you avoid it becoming a fruitless drain on resources? The answer, as always, is a strategy – clear, level-headed objectives.
Email and social media – a match made in marketing heaven
Email is celebrated for its measurability. A well-managed combination of social media and email marketing can somewhat relieve the pain of these measurement issues. The results achieved will be heightened by forging a solid alliance between the two.
It’s about doing everything you can to extend your audience and customer base. As long as you provide valuable content, people will be encouraged to sign up for your newsletter and downloads, pay attention to your brand and talk about it.
The following tactics will empower you to better integrate your email and social media marketing.
- Introduce ‘share’ and ‘subscribe’ buttons to your email messages.
You can easily allow your recipients to share your email content across their own social networks, thanks to an assortment of free widgets such as Facebook Connect. Their friends are all potential customers. If they appreciate your email content they’ll probably want to follow you on social networks too. They should be able to do all this from the comfort of their inbox.
- Post relevant marketing messages on social network sites.
If part of your audience doesn’t want to read an email, they shouldn’t have to. Encourage fans/followers to share what you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other platform they’re using. You can ‘monetize’ your subscribers further by promoting events, products, special reports and so on. Just be sure you’re adding value.
- Compel your fans and followers to sign up to your newsletter.
Yes, you should talk to your audience where they already are. No, don’t drag them kicking and screaming to your website. But why not ask them if they’d like to receive emails from you?
Add a sign up form to your Facebook welcome page. They’ve already committed to following you, so they’ll probably appreciate further content. By stimulating subscriptions for your publications, the process of list building becomes more rewarding as you see the open and click through rates on your emails increase.
- Ask subscribers for social media details.
You don’t want to put people off by asking for a load of intimate details just to subscribe to a newsletter. Their name and email address will do to start with, but once they’ve subscribed, you can ask them to update their details from within a ‘Subscriber Update’ page on your website. Add fields that expand the demographics and allow you to take social details. You can then follow those who give you their information and add them to your CRM database.
- Draw from your blog posts for your newsletter content.
You want to demonstrate your expertise in your field, and show you’re keen to initiate discussion. So you start a blog and the content’s great, but are you maximising its impact? Use your posts to provide content for your newsletters. This raises the blog’s profile, bringing in more readers. Your website should also be social media friendly, fully equipped with feedback functionality and allowing users to sign up for email updates through a form.
- Use email campaign metrics to determine the most popular social networks.
With the right measurement tools, such as Radian6 and Sentiment Metrics, you should be able to identify precisely which recipients added what content to which social networks. This is a great way to help focus your future activity because you’ll know which platforms are being used the most.
- Invite suggestions and criticism.
Let’s say you want to hear how people have responded to your latest email. Or maybe you’re not sure what to put in your next newsletter. Use social media to speak to people in real time and ask what they want. It’s more involving for them and you won’t be under so much pressure to keep delivering fresh content from scratch.
Always listen before you speak. It’s two ears and one mouth (usually), so being a part of the discussion and adjusting your techniques accordingly will bring you organic leads of higher quality.
Social media integrated with email marketing greatly benefits your business. A firm marketing strategy is essential, along with effective monitoring and measurement practices. Clear objectives, sufficient resources and a sound comprehension of your audience’s relevant activity on social networks are all necessary to reap the rewards.