This post was inspired by a Blue Sky Factory Email Marketing eBook by DJ Waldow
As part of your company’s digital marketing efforts, email and social media marketing are two great tactics to get your message out there and engage customers. Social media is continuing to grow exponentially, with Facebook, Twitter and the recently publicly listed LinkedIn leading the way. And whilst Facebook is frequently being compared to a large country in terms of population, if email were a country, it’s 1.4 billion users would make it the largest in the world!
The overall objective for email marketers is to get more audience, delivery, opens, actions and metrics, whilst social media marketers are focused on increased brand awareness and engagement among constituents. Although email and social media can be used separately, together they can power each other and be even more effective.
Before looking at how they can be merged, it’s worth considering the two main ways in which marketers are incorporating social media into email:
Follow, Friend, Subscribe, Connect
This is simply where a company asks you to follow them on one or more of their social networks. Examples include “Follow us on Twitter”, “Like us on Facebook” or “Connect with us on LinkedIn”.
Share With Your Network (SWYN)
This is when you receive an email that allows you to share a particular piece of content or message with your social network by clicking on a “Share this” button/link/icon. The main benefits for marketers is that it allows you to extend the reach of your emails, identify influencers and grow your list.
Integrate and grow!
A merger between email and social media should be designed to promote one another other, allow people to easily connect with you and share your content across their social graphs.
1. Include links to your social networks
Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other key social network links are clearly evident within the email.
2. Ask people to connect
Don’t be shy – ask people to connect with you by adding some simple copy to the social media button, e.g. “Subscribe to our YouTube channel” or “Join our LinkedIn group”.
3. Why should they ‘like’ you?
Don’t assume that just before you’ve got a presence on Facebook that people will automatically ‘like’ you. Make sure you make it completely clear why they should do so. What will they get different from your Facebook page that they don’t already get from your website or blog? What will your YouTube channel be about?
4. Be creative
Get creative and produce an imaginative design to hook the reader in. Compelling imagery, great photography and a stylish font are just a few simple ways to bring your email to life and encourage people to find out more and connect.
5. Provide incentives
Draw people in to your social networks by providing something just for them. Mild (see our exclusive photos), subtle (connect to see the ‘deal of the day’) and direct (‘like’ us for a super discount) incentives can be used to encourage more social connections, as well as special offers, discounts and give-aways.
6. Include SWYN in EVERY email campaign
Ensure that share with your network (SWYN) links are included in every email campaign and aim for the social networks that your customers use most. With social data, you can even send targeted email campaigns based on specific social networks. However, if you’re not sure which social networks to include, add a link to all or focus on the ‘big three’ – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
7. SWYN – explain what to do
In many cases, adding SWYN will be good enough. However, many email subscribers might not be so sure as to what the buttons do so don’t afraid to explain what will happen if they click an icon. Add a little copy next to the buttons, e.g. “Share this email by posting a link to your Facebook wall” or “Share this email by tweeting a link to your followers”.
8. Tweet it!
Take full advantage of your Twitter following by promoting your email newsletter in a tweet and send people to a newsletter landing page that explains precisely what your newsletter is for and about.
9. Promote and subscribe via Facebook
Promote your email newsletter on your Facebook page and encourage users to subscribe within Facebook. Getting people to ‘like’ your page is great, but if you can obtain they’re names and email addresses you will have a much more concrete metric to reflect on.
10. Utilise your blog
Your blog should be the social hub for much of your online marketing so use this as an opportunity to let your audience know about your newsletter and how they can subscribe. A subtle tab on the top of right-hand navigation can encourage clicks as well as a mention in a blog post itself (as long as it adds value and has a reason other than simply promoting your newsletter). Here’ an example of how it’s done right.
Have you got any additional tips on how to merge social media and email? Or have you got any success stories you’d like to share?