Alison Lindemann posted this blog for WSI recently as we hnave been exploring the question of what role Email Marketing plays in today's digital marketing mix.Email Marketing Is Alive And Well – And Better With Social Media | WSI
Email Marketing Is Alive and Well
Case in point: reading emails continues to rank as the #1 activity performed on mobile devices. I know I probably read more emails on my phone than on my laptop. At my age, I don’t have the eyesight or the patience to try and write or read reports via my phone, but handling emails is a great use of my time when I’m out of the office or in between appointments. 75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on a mobile device, so I am certainly not alone!
Interesting then, that so many of us think that email marketing is an outdated strategy. By learning how to engage your customers through a well-developed email marketing campaign, you will continue to grow your brand awareness and very likely see an increase in conversions. In many instances, you already have great content that was created for blog posts or social media that can be repurposed for your email campaigns. Successful businesses are able to integrate all of their marketing initiatives and understand the synergies from using them together.
Email Marketing and Social Media Work Well Together
You might ask, which is better for my business, email marketing or social media?
According to MailMunch, about 60% of marketers surveyed said they believe email marketing outperforms social media. The other 40% said that they are just different. In general, email marketing is better at driving conversions and social media is better at engaging with your audience. Like all marketing strategies, both have their strengths and weaknesses. But the real value is in using them both. Together.
Social media is an effective strategy for targeting and gaining visibility to your potential customers who are actively looking for relevant content. Email marketing can then be utilized to communicate directly with the individuals who are interested in you and have opted in to receive content on a regular basis.
Integrate Your Social Media and Email Marketing
There are lots of ways to cross promote to your social and email audiences. So that would be a great place to start. Here’s a few for your to-do list:
- Encourage your social followers to sign up for a specific email list. Of course you need to create an engaging call-to-action that is backed up with great content. Twitter, through the use of Twitter Cards, allows subscribers to sign up for an email list without ever leaving the Twitter platform. You can also add a subscribe call to action right on your Facebook page by using customizable tabs.
- Be sure to add your social icons to your outgoing emails. Sounds obvious but most people aren’t doing this or have at least one device that isn’t set up. Do it today! And don’t just include your social icons – tell them exactly what you would like them to do, or what benefit they will receive from taking action. And if you tried this without a great deal of success, you might want to try again and focus on promoting one social network instead, in order to make it easy for your audience to take an action.
- You can use your email list to promote a contest on a social platform. Your audience will clearly understand the benefit from participating in another channel – free stuff! And most people love contests and give-aways.
- Use Share-With-Your-Network (SWYN) links in your emails to easily allow your subscribers to share email content with their followers. This feature allows them to share with a single click.
- One of the best ways to integrate your email and social strategies is to upload your email subscriber lists to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These lists can then be used to follow your subscribers on social media. One of the key benefits of this strategy is to help you learn more about your audience. Knowing more about them will assist you in creating more effective emails and posts.
Getting Really Interactive
In addition to cross promoting email and social, you should consider integrating social media content into your emails in order to give your followers and fans a voice. The result will be a more personal and more interesting subscriber experience. For example, you could ask your subscribers to go to Twitter and share tweets containing a specific hashtag. These tweets would then appear in the Twitter feed directly within your email. This could be a hashtag about a conference, a product or service, feedback on an idea, you name it.
It’s All About Integrating Your Strategies
Most people no longer make buying decisions based on information from a single
source. There’s just too much information readily available to take that risk. If you are spending all your time and budget on a single channel, chances are you are missing out on touching people during different stages of the buying cycle. Implementing an integrated social and email marketing strategy will yield increased benefits for you as well as your audience.