Why Social Media is Email’s Secret Weapon

Email and social media may seem at first glance to be opposites.

Email marketing – if you’re approaching it right – is carefully composed and strategically executed. Social media, on the other hand, thrives on spontaneity and is prone to chaos.

Each channel has unique advantages for keeping in touch with customers. Email lets you communicate quickly and effectively with people on your list. It’s less expensive than direct mail and you can personalize the messages. Year over year, email continues to reign as the top performing channel for return on investment. It is still consumers’ number one channel for receiving promotional and business messages, too.

Social has its own secret weapon. It provides an interactive, two-way conversation that can happen in close to real-time.

Because of these very differences, these channels are powerful when used alongside one another. Think Batman and Superman working together on adrenaline. Pow!

Social media can truly enhance your email efforts. For example, LinkedIn groups could be a good place to find likely prospects for your email newsletter. Once they’ve subscribed, you can feature your most popular social media content within emails.

Four top objectives for using social media to leverage your email

Increase effective outreach: Social media lets you connect with friends of your friends. Your email list and social media followers are composed of people who have liked or followed your brand. You can reach those people’s friends and followers by providing social media posts that clearly state your value proposition within interesting or useful content. Carefully design social media posts to lead people back to email sign-up.

Better two-way communication: Use social media to tell your customers what you do and listen to what they need. The beauty of social media lies in the ability for people to address your brand very directly. As you learn more about their preferences, you can feed this into all your personalized marketing efforts. Keep thinking of ways to engage your consumers in a dialogue and make it easy for them to share your responses.

Make content work harder: Once you’ve created good content, social media allows you to put it to work over and over. Social media acts as a content repository, making it discoverable for users of all types and available in multiple media formats, including not only words but also images and video.

Gather testimonials: Because it’s so easy – and so many people are on social media all day – it’s among the easiest ways to get testimonials. You can tactfully ask questions that are specific to your brand offerings and distribute the best answers via a feed to your website and within your emails.

Social proof = email signups

You can use your social media interactions as “social proof” to encourage people to sign up for emails. As new prospects ponder the decision about providing their email address to you, the most powerful prompt would be to see, right on that signup page, that some of their own friends or followers were also subscribed to your email marketing program. The same holds true for landing pages. When friends have given your products or services the high-five, prospects are much more likely to join them.

Socially focused email

You’ve seen how social media can feed your email list. But email can also help drive social media. This is an under-used tactic that can give big results: Send a socially focused email message.

Each month, run one campaign in which the primary call to action is to follow you on one or more social media channels. For these emails, while it may be tempting to include some sales messaging, you should instead give customers a taste of the interesting things going on over on social media. You can embed tweets, posts from Instagram or Pinterest, YouTube videos, or Facebook screen shots.

The key to making this effective is to carefully plan the social media landing page. Don’t simply send those who click to the top of the page. Instead, bring them to a relevant discussion that’s already underway. Once you have a dialog going, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make offers.

A mobile moment

With more than 60 percent of consumers checking their email on mobile devices, according to our 2016 Consumer Adoption & Usage Study, it’s important to make all your communications easy to access via mobile. But keep in mind that even though smartphones remain central to our lives, smart marketers are approaching all channels holistically. As our VP of Marketing Insights Ryan Phelan wrote in a recent blog post, we now need to provide an excellent customer experience across all channels.

Email + social = better together

Social media is a great place to find new people who could be interested in what you offer, whether they’re friends of your friends, or followers of particular brands, products or topics. Use these tactics to move people from social media to your email list, and then keep your communications moving among channels. Include relevant social content in your emails and also post content from emails to all your other social media channels.

This strategy helps you extend your reach to new people while keeping customers and prospects engaged as they move across channels throughout the day.

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