How Email Should Integrate with Social Media: 5 Top Tips by Elliot Ross @iamelliot

How email should integrate with social media: Five top tips

How Email Should Integrate with Social Media: 5 Top Tips

Digital marketing is in a constant state of revolution, and at times it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments. The key to keeping abreast of changes is adopting an integrated approach. Mobile, social and email marketing should not be considered as separate efforts, but as three strands of the same campaign.

With a joined up strategy, the channels can support each other and become more than the sum of their parts. With that in mind, more ‘traditional’ email marketing should be adapted to complement social marketing. Here’s my five tips on how to do just that.

1. Socialise your email audience
Links that drive users to join your social accounts are easy to add to existing email templates, and with minimal effort can serve to boost follower counts. Of course, once your subscribers are following you, it’s down to good social strategy to ensure they’re engaged – follower numbers on their own don’t mean that much. Aspirational marketers may create specific campaigns that encourage their email audience to join them on social networks, for example by using competitions or a discount as an incentive.

2. Virally share email campaigns
The facility for a user to post a marketing email on social networks (typically referred to as ‘Share With Your Network’) is now one of the standard features on most email platforms. It allows a user to share either the email itself, or similar content from a website, with their friends and extended network – which in turn gives marketers increased exposure. As you might expect, the content that tends to be shared the most includes competitions, compelling offers and product launches – it’s vital to think about what you’re asking your audience to share, and which networks they’re likely to use.

3. Acquire social users into email
Whilst many marketers look to ‘socialise’ their email list, there is also a lot of value in doing the reverse – encouraging your social audience to also receive your email campaigns. As an audience starts to become engaged with the brand in multiple channels, marketers can then become more relevant in terms of communicating a message using the right channel at the right time. Simple ways to drive a social audience to also engage via email include adding email signup forms to Facebook pages, using in-stream signup modules and using Twitter to direct users to a signup page.

4. Look at social data to inform your marketing efforts
Using off the shelf analytics tools, or even good old Twitter search, marketers can access a significant amount of insight from social networks. Aspirational marketers can, for example, look at social media to find out when users are most engaged about a brand, or what type of content excites the target market, and then use this knowledge to inform their message and increase the relevance of their email campaigns across the board.

5. Combine your email and social audience to drive acquisition
‘Member Get Member’ isn’t a new concept – it’s been used in email circles for years to encourage mailing list members to recommend their friends to join in. This viral concept is built into the ethos of social networks, and marketers can take advantage of this by producing interesting campaigns that encourage the existing member base to involve their friends, and thereby introduce them to your brand.

Meet the author:

Elliot Ross

Elliot Ross

Elliot Ross a London based Creative Strategist and Senior Creative Designer, currently working at e-Dialog London (a GSI/eBay company). He specialises in creative ideas and design for web, email and mobile platforms. Find out more at http://www.elliot-ross.co.uk and follow him on Twitter @iamelliot

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