Email marketing and social media have obvious connection: email subscribers could be engaged in social media and vice versa. It is called multichannel marketing, when several channels work at the same time to convert user into customer. The marketer’s task is to define which of the applied tools has worked the best, what chain of actions led to the purchase.
Before linking SMM and email marketing, you should get clear on what social networks will be the target. Typically, it will be Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, for some businesses – Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
SMM and email marketing integration strategy should always take into account the difference between social media and email campaign target audience. What difference are we talking about?
Social media users are:
- interested in new things
- ready for experiments
- open for discussion
- listen to expert opinion
- get used to comparison and analysis
- like engaging content (videoads, social projects, unusual situations, interesting people).
Social media users often visit brand pages in social networks to find out about the news, special offers, new product presentations. Social networks are like workshop, exhibition, theme gathering where all participants can share their opinion. However, it is unlikely you will get to talk here about more personal things, like your own purchases. Most probably, you will be able to join to collective conversation on hot topics, hear other people opinion and share your point of view, so it will be presence, not action.
Email subscribers are:
- positive about recommendations and ideas on how to use the purchases product
- closer to the purchase then social media participants
- tend to leave positive feedback on company work, products
- aimed at trust relationships
- ready to talk about personal preferences and receive personal offers
That is why in email newsletter communication becomes more personal. Both parts of conversion are ready for the dialogue, during which one part gets the chance to sell, and other can find the solution to his problem. There is no other person in email, so letters are usually addressed personally to receiver and talk about his choice, focus on his taste.
Social media and email marketing integration allows to:
- To consolidate communication platforms
- Better understand clients’ interests and email subscribers preferences so that in future make more relevant offers
- Grow the number of subscribers and potential customers.
Social networks – >email
How to use social media for marketing for email campaign benefit? To convert social media users into email newsletter readers you can use:
- call to action (ask to subscribe to regular email newsletter from brand) where the link will lead to the newsletter subscription landing page.
- real customers feedback on product or service combined with an offer to receive more of such information in emails.
- contest (make up the slogan for company’s new series of products, for example); select right answer from suggested variants and send the answer via email.
- invitation to take part in social activity, for example create the phrase of the day and post it on personal account with company’s hashtag.
- questionnaire which would tell more about the potential customer ( fields could be: email, name, city, interests, etc.).
Email – > social networks
In order to convert email newsletter readers into social media fans you can:
- suggest to follow the brand in social media
- offer the subscriber to read more customer testimonials on brand social accounts
- tell about the opportunity to share the letter in personal social media account
- invite to take part in social media activity. For example, “One day from my life”. Rules: follow the link in the email to social media accounts, leave a short description (max – 200 characters) of one unusual day, attach the photo
- suggest to join the content for the most popular photo (+hashtag) featuring the purchased product (clothes, home appliances)
- including into email several social media buttons so that users have different options to share the valuable content in their social accounts
- announcing useful posts in brand communities. For example, “Great tips for flat abs, quit smoking, etc.” – on each Wednesday in our Facebook group!
- inform about promotions, details of which could be obtained on social media pages
- invite to participate in the question poll in social media
It is not allowed:
- Collect email addresses in illegal way (when subscriber doesn’t agrees to receive email newsletters). Often companies using social media offer users during sign up on the website an option to complete the registration via their social accounts. They are usually informed to what personal data the website will have an access: status update, audio, video files, friend list, email, date of birthday, etc. Such method of gathering information about the users is not quite fair.
- Export email address from social networks. Users authorization in Facebook for example is done via telephone or email. So theoretically you can collect email addresses. However Facebook doesn’t allow such possibility. Mail agents also don’t support such functionality. Facebook contacts could be imported from Yahoo, but as for now it is also impossible. It seems that growing contact base through extracting email addresses from users social profiles is illegal too.
But you can:
Upload to Facebook CSV-file with list of contacts and send letters to users inviting them to join Facebook. Such method is close to traditional email newsletter, but if you have mail agents software, it is better to use it.
From theory to practice
Now lets consider email campaign best practices.
In their email campaigns Sugarhigh intrigues the receiver through Facebook event. When you follow the link, you are taken to Facebook page with the details about the event:
Having read the recipe you can share it with a friend. This way one email reader brings two new email addresses.
Aside from online store, buyers’ attention is drawn to the possibility to make purchase via social networks. Actually, the integration of two communication platforms is a common thing. However, usually brands limit this integration to placing social buttons only. So Neve/hawk digs deeper.
Furniture and home products supermarket informs its target audience about new arrivals, promotions, discounts and other news via both channels, email and social network. For example, in emails there is a constant block with social media buttons.
Call to action which encourage the user to visit the company’s Facebook page, is designed in the same style as the whole website. This makes the social signal perfectly fit in the overall page design.
Social signals will be more effective if they will be prominent in the emails. It is recommended that buttons go well with the letter color scheme, and don’t look like something external or too pushy. Standard design of social buttons is unlikely to excite anyone these days. Usually, skillfully integrated into the letter design social buttons is a sign of the single and well-elaborated strategy of a brand.
To track marketing effectiveness from email and smm integration you will need statistical data. This information will allow you to monitor click throughs from social network and emails to the website, social media sales and understand the experiment outcome.
To sum up
Email marketing adds personal touch to communication with target audience, increases subscribers loyalty and encourages their conversion into clients. Social media marketing creates a festive feeling around the brand, which in turn heats the users’ interest in the brand’s products.
Considering these facts, you can consolidate each channel potential into the single strategy aimed at customer base increase, sales growth and brand image improvement.
About the author: Tatyana Gavrilina, specialist in e-mail marketing at the Promodo Company. The author of a number of publications on internet marketing, in particular – SEO copywriting and promotion in social media.