Via: Posted by DJ Waldow, February 1, 2012, at socialmediaexaminer.com
Are you wondering how to add social media to your email communications?
Email and social media marketing go together like Batman and Robin.
They both can be effective on their own; however, when combined, their (super) powers can save the city and exceed your marketing goals.
Is Email Dead?
In this article I’ll show you how to combine email marketing with your social media efforts.
In a recent StrongMail survey, ”More than two-thirds of business leaders (68%) say they plan to integrate social media with their email marketing efforts in 2012″ (as reported by MarketingProfs on December 12, 2011).
As a guy who lives, breathes, eats and sometimes dreams email marketing, I was thrilled to see email getting some mainstream love.
You may be thinking, “Hey, isn’t email dead?”
Think again. I mean, sure, there are certainly case studies of companies forgoing email and replacing it with social media. I’d argue that these are exceptions, certainly not the norm.
This blog post and infographic on the value of email by SmarterTools will quickly dispel the “email is dead” myth.
Need one more proof point that email is not dead? How many times have you checked your email this week? Today? Since you started reading this blog post? Okay. Now that we are all in agreement, let’s continue.
Why Does Integration Matter?
Why would you want to include social sharing abilities within your email campaigns? What are the benefits of inviting an email subscriber to connect with you on your social networks? Why should you integrate email marketing and social media?
Including and promoting social sharing or share with your network options in an email are important for a few reasons:
- They extend the reach of your emails: The more people share your email, the more potential you have for opens, clicks and conversions.
- They allow you to identify key influencers: Most email service providers (ESPs) include metrics on who has shared your emails the most often, as well as the effect their sharing has had on other key stats (opens, clicks, conversions, etc.). Armed with this data, you—the marketer—can be better informed as to who your key influencers are. If appropriate, you can then send dedicated campaigns to your biggest supporters.
- They provide an opportunity for list growth: The more eyeballs on your emails, the better chance you have of gaining new subscribers.
Including and promoting social connection(s) options in an email are important for a few reasons:
- They provide another platform to connect with your audience: Remember that each platform—email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a blog, etc.—enables you to communicate and interact with people in different ways.
- They give email subscribers more options: It’s possible that your email subscribers prefer to engage with your company or brand on different channels. While email is great, it’s not the only option. Give ‘em a choice!
- They allow you to expand the reach of your message: In short, why limit your communication with prospects, customers and/or fans to one network? Take advantage of other channels!
9 Ways to Integrate Email Marketing and Social Media
Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the distinction between social sharing and connecting:
- Social Sharing: This is when a marketer includes an option for the subscriber to share the entire email or a specific content block with their social network(s).
- Social Connection: This is what we tend to see most often—asking your email subscribers to like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, subscribe to your YouTube channel, etc.
Below are 9 ways to integrate email marketing and social media for maximum effectiveness. One thing to note: I consider “old-school” social networks like blogs and SMS (texting) to be social media.
#1: Include Social Icons in Emails
While this may sound like an obvious one, it’s important to include social icons in your email campaigns. To be clear, I’m not talking about slapping a tiny Facebook or Twitter icon somewhere at the bottom of an email. Nope. Say it loud. Say it proud. Like the Huffington Post Media Brief.
A good example is this email header from the Huffington Post Media Brief.