Want to add your Free Listing?
Click here to register

Why Email Marketers Understand Social Media Best (even if they don’t know it) by J-P De Clerck @conversionation


Why Email Marketers Understand Social Media Best (even if they don’t know it) by J-P De Clerck @conversionation


Why Email Marketers Understand Social Best (even if they don't know it)

Why Email Marketers Understand Social Media Best (even if they don’t know it)

A lot of email marketers are still hesitant about using social media. It’s often said that this is because email marketers have a broadcasting mentality and don’t know what ‘conversations’ and ‘customer relationships’ are.

I don’t agree with that. On the contrary: I believe that email marketers could be the best social media marketers.

Do I hear some protest among social media marketers? Let me explain before you declare me nuts.

First of all, an email marketer is not a broadcaster. Because someone that broadcasts bulk messages is not an email marketer (maybe an extremely bad one).

That still doesn’t explain my bold statement that email marketers could be the best social media and inbound marketers, does it? Don’t worry, I’m coming to the point.

What are the typical characteristics of social media marketing?

  1. It is based on relationships
    Social media marketing is based upon the way you move from connections to relationships by being a valuable partner and respecting people. Email marketing is about relationships as well. When someone signs up for a newsletter he says “I want your stuff in my inbox, here I am, add me to your list”. A good email marketer understands that. Just as he or she knows that you should respect your subscribers by taking their needs into account.
  2. It is about the value and content you provide
    In order to receive value, you have to provide it. Smart marketers know how important it is to offer good content and other valuable items to their subscribers. Content, value and relevancy are key in email marketing. They are key in social media marketing as well.
  3. It’s the people, stupid
    Brands are people, customers are people, the whole social web is about people. Chatting, tweeting, liking, blogging, commenting, caring and sharing. Every good email marketer knows that there are real people behind the email addresses that sit in his databases and that they should be treated as such.
  4. It’s about sharing
    One of the most popular activities on social networks is sharing. Thoughts, posts, video’s, images, you name it. Social media marketing thrives on sharing, buzz, viral effects, etc. Email marketer have known that since ages. Who invented “send-to-a-friend”? Who understands that email has a strong viral potential if the message is relevant and share-worthy?
  5. It is based on listening
    Social media marketers know how important it is to listen to what people are saying about their brands, their competitors, market trends, etc. and to act upon it. That’s why they use all these social media management tools. But what’s new? All email marketing professionals listen to their recipients: they ask them what they want, run satisfaction surveys, they even ask people who unsubscribe why they do so and provide them an alternative, so they listen and act as well!
  6. It’s integrated and cross-channel
    Social media marketing is part of an overall marketing strategy. It’s about having a cross-channel and holistic view. Email marketers are experts in cross-channel strategies. They know that email marketing has an important role in the overall marketing strategy, including providing customer service, improving customer loyalty, acquiring and nurturing leads, CRM and much more.
  7. It’s about content
    What do people share most on social media? Content. What do people tweet about often? Content. What’s the reason why a blog post get’s shared, tweeted, liked or socially bookmarked? Content. Social media marketing and inbound marketing are about being found and noticed by good content. This content becomes a story that leads to word-of-mouth. Good social media marketers also highlight the content and stories of other people. Email marketers know all about good and relevant content. They know that content is what makes your email opened and clicked. They even test their content and look at what converts best and thus is most appreciated!
  8. It’s about context and personalization
    Social media marketers understand the importance of context. They know how to track the digital footprints of people, segment, choose channels and act upon “digital signals” by providing personalized content via appropriate channels or engaging in contextual dialogues. Email marketers are the kings of personalization, offering choice, segmentation and swiftly acting upon the digital signals of their recipients.
  9. It’s about trust and respect
    Brands and businesses that use social media know that they have to be authentic, real, transparent, participative and respectful. They know they are joining a global and continuing stream of conversations, and that they have to gain the trust of people by listening, answering, providing value and having a personal approach in times where people increasingly control communication and lose trust in businesses. Email marketers know that as well, from long before social media even existed. They understand you have to listen and talk to your recipients and they most of all understand that an email relationship is based upon trust, reliability and permission, starting from the subscription form.
  10. It’s about engagement
    Social media marketing is not only about listening and talking. It’s about acting, engaging people, sharing passions, involving “crowds” and inviting people to participate in what you, as a business, do. All good email marketers know that they need to engage recipients and emotionally appeal to them. They also know that people act, buy, forward and click for sentimental reasons, more than for anything else.

You see: when looking at just ten typical aspects of what social media marketing really is about, you notice that there is not much difference between email marketing and social media marketing.

So why not combine and integrate them to have a better reach, offer people more choice and overwhelm them with content and value in function of their needs? Because, ultimately that’s what both email marketing and social media marketing are about: customer-centricity and of course just…marketing.

As a good email marketer you know all this already. Many social media marketers don’t even know it.

The only question of course is if you’re a good email marketer. Of course you are. And, anyways, there is always room to improve.

Takeaway: Start thinking content, engagement, relationships, choice, value, trust and respect now!

  • Profile:  Although thoroughly interested in social media marketing and interactive marketing in general, he strongly believes in email marketing and wrote several books, papers and articles about it in his native country, Belgium, where he launched and later sold the first interactive marketing site. Although not a big fan of personal branding, he decided to join our team because he feels there is still a lot of work to do in helping businesses having an integrated, customer-centric and data-driven cross-channel view. J-P’s main blog is Conversionation (warning: he can get cynical there) but he also blogs on Social Email Marketing, Social Marketing Forum, Search Cowboys, Conversion Marketing Forum and Dutch and Belgian blogs about, well, all things marketing. Seems he just can’t get enough punishment.
  • Website:  http://www.conversionation.net/blog
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/conversionation
  • LinkedIn:  
Other post by this Author
Your thoughts here
  1. Great post! I agree completely with your points especially the one about SM marketers that are NOT listening. for them it seems just another channel to push the marketing message while social media is about a two way conversation with your clients who are indeed real people.

  2. Well said guys!

    I agree, we are still talking to people. As long as you focus on building relationships and demonstrate respect for people’s personal space (virtual or not), you will succeed.

    Regards,
    jim

    Jim Ducharme
  3. I agree, Michael, love natural :) Be normal, concentrate on what people want and how they want it, listen and the rest is obvious.

  4. Nice post J.P.

    I think we need to come up with a new group of social meets email marketer. But you are right, if you have been killing it as an email marketer, you should be able to easily slide over to the social side of the field with no problem. I find the less you try to think about it and just be natural, it works out much better.

    thanks

  5. Thanks Inbox :)

  6. J-P, Great post! Lots of Truth and Value there for email marketers and everyone!

Leave a Reply