People are more social and sharing more than ever these days, and we’re not talking about online dating. Social media has gone from the fun and quirky time waster your college-age nephew holed up with instead of writing term papers to one of the most important communication strategies every company from your favorite local mom and pop shop to market-dominating multinational corporation now integrates into their marketing platform. And the social media sites abound: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn, Flickr…the list of social networks goes on and on! But email marketing programs shouldn’t be left out in the social onslaught. Only with an email opt-in do you have permission to send the kind of highly-targeted, relevant messages that help turn prospects into customers. In fact, 75% of social media users still said that email is the best way for brands to communicate with them, according to a MarketingSherpa survey.
It’s because of this that email marketing best practices dictate that integration of social media into your email marketing messages is a necessity, not an option, for a successful marketing campaign.
Here are five new ways to start integrating social media into your email marketing campaigns:
1) Incorporate social sharing in all email communications: Give your subscribers every opportunity to share your email messages with their social network. An email without social media sharing options is essentially an island, seen only by the eyes that scan their inbox. But with social sharing possibilities, the content in your email marketing has much better potential to be shared. Just think of email-social integration as extending the reach of your email marketing: with more shares, you’ll see more leads, subscribers, and friends and followers – altogether, more opportunities to increase awareness of your brand.
2) Create an email sign up page on your company’s Facebook page: This is a simple but effective way to tap into the power of Facebook by allowing new email subscribers to sign up easily, without having to go to your website.
3) Grow your email list by enabling a newsletter signup everywhere: Using social media to emphasize and publicize your targeted email newsletter will provide your prospects, current followers and customers with easy ways to sign up for emails, whether they find you via your blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, or any other social media outlet that supports sign-ups. Providing an email signup link everywhere you have a social presence is the easiest way to collect new subscribers and followers.
4) Incorporate “share to social” and tracking functionality from your ESP: Different ESPs take different approaches to social media marketing and the sharing tools they offer as part of their ESP platform. Ensure that yours has a network share function that works with your email marketing goals.
If your social marketing initiative is simply a “Like” button integrated into your email design, your needs are less than a business that has identified several different social networks they want people to be able to post to. Instead, ensure that your offerings match your consumers’ needs and usage and that you have a plan for tracking social sharing and measuring its effectiveness, which is something most ESPs should be able to provide for you.
5) Cross-channel marketing with repurposed content: If you aren’t yet integrating your blogging, social media, content marketing and email programs, you’re probably not making the most of all of the effort you’re putting into creating content. Post your emails to blogs. Repurpose your newsletters as articles. Link to your blog from your Facebook page. Make your emails share-worthy. For more specific tips on how, see our post on creating effective, multi-pronged content.
By allowing your recipients to distribute your emailed content to their social networks, you’ll be leveraging the power of your email list and the reach beyond it. Incorporating social elements into email messages makes consumers even more engaged with their email inbox, and makes each of your subscribers a potential asset in your marketing campaigns.