5 ways to integrate social media and email in your marketing campaign

Social media and email marketing are not mutually exclusive. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, doughnuts and coffee, Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza.

shutterstock_268480013In fact, with digital marketers undergoing a sort of evolution in their advertising endeavours, integrating the two is more important than ever before.

According to a new study, the email marketing brand of j2 Global, Inc, the marketing trends suggest brands are honing in on social media, data analysis and enhancing the customer experience. The report found that not only are marketing gurus merging social media and email marketing campaigns, there is also a shift in the utilisation of social tools.

For instance, more than one-third (36%) of marketers are taking advantage of direct buy buttons, and the investment is paying off as they see an increase in sales. Moreover, close to two-thirds (60%) of marketers plan to use social buy buttons.

The study also found that marketers believe gaining new subscribers will be their biggest challenge this year, and newsletters may be the solution they’re looking for. Despite the growing obstacles, email marketing remains the top priority for brands.

“Just as marketing strategies and technologies are evolving, so are marketers’ roles and responsibilities,” said EJ McGowan, general manager at Campaigner, in a statement. “Adapting to new innovations is key to maintaining, and increasing, business success. Seeing that marketers are preparing for a role shift in 2016 is not surprising, but, rather, promising for the future of the industry.”

Looking to integrate social media into your email marketing platforms? Here are five ways (with an honourable mention) to accomplish this feat:

Social icons in emails

One of the best examples of social media-email marketing integration is the use of social icons. Although it may seem obvious to some, it’s imperative to insert social icons into your email campaigns. It could be the simplest of techniques, but it’s still the most effective.

You may be thinking that you’re already doing this, but if you’re using a small Facebook, Twitter or Google+ icon then that doesn’t necessarily count. Instead, your social icons must be big and loud and easily noticeable. Without a large icon, the subscriber may miss it as they peruse the email.

Also, here’s a checklist for you:

  • Add social media sharing buttons to your emails.
  • Add social media connect icons to your emails.
  • Add social media buttons to your unsubscribe email page.
  • Add social media buttons to your “thanks for signing up” page.
  • Add social icons to your email newsletters.

Indeed, there are many social media tools you can use from your arsenal to incorporate into your email marketing campaigns.

Design content for anywhere

Your content – the goal and style – is the king of your email campaign. It comes first before anything else. But what comes after is the language, images, offers, fonts and so on. These are factors that will either pull visitors in to capture a lead or get them to click on a purchase form or deter them from opening your email again. Even worse: unsubscribing!

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Why am I sharing?: Every email campaign must include a reason as to why the recipient should care, pass along the message or recommend the content. Whether it’s a referral program or engaging imagery, people need to care. But once you insert a social button you help continue the dialogue and help that content move around.
  • Smart email template: An email template has to take into account how the content will be repurposed or embedded on social media. Experts suggest to utilize the “create the message once and deliver it everywhere” approach with one button. This saves time and money, both finite commodities for digital marketers everywhere.
  • A great landing page: We all know how crucial a great landing page is because it’s a place where brands ask prospects and customers to take action. One thing to understand is that the landing page should maintain the same design and tone as the email marketing message they receive. Remember, email templates can serve as landing pages to promote the product or service and then be scheduled to immediately repost on Facebook or Twitter.

Offer an incentive

Want someone to connect with you on any social media outlet? Well, provide them an incentive and adhere to the idea of “what’s in it for me?” since nobody believes in something for nothing.

The social media incentives can range from financial to information. As long as you succeed in giving your social media numbers a boost then that all what matters.

Unsure what kind of an incentive to offer in your emails? Here are a few ideas:

  • Discounts: In your next email, ask subscribers to invite their friends, family members or colleagues to follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But that’s not all. Institute an incentive that benefits everyone: the more likes a Facebook page gets the more you save. For instance, 5,000 likes can lead to a 15% discount, or 10,000 likes can generate a 25% discount for everyone.
  • Promotion: Want to give a spotlight to one of your customers? Well, offer a subscriber or two to be featured in the next email for their efforts. The person can be someone who shared the most content or who created the most click-throughs.
  • User-generated content: Allow your fans and followers to be a little bit creative with your product or service. In an email, ask your audience to post photos, text, photo captions, or even videos on social media, and the one with the most likes or retweets wins a prize.
  • Sweepstakes: A sweepstakes is likely one of the best ways to garner a greater audience. The entry method can benefit both parties as all they have to do is like your Facebook, follow you on Twitter or refer someone else (by email) to enter the contest.

Collect emails on social media

Social networks, particularly Facebook, allow users to embed an email sign-up form as one of the apps. This means you can easily convert your social network users into email subscribers by installing these forms on social media pages, pin boards or blogs. If you have, for example, 5,000 fans on Facebook then this is a great opportunity to get them to become email subscribers.

It’s important to remember, however, to compose a strong call-to-action (CTA) to get an opt-in.

Due to the fact that sensitive contact information is being transferred from one end to another, you will have to maintain a user privacy policy. This shows the social network and its users how the data is going to be handled and protected.

Dedicated email campaigns

At certain times, simply asking subscribers to follow you on Twitter or posting Facebook icons isn’t enough. To avoid such miscommunications, you should try on occasion dedicated email campaigns. What you do is send an email that focuses on a particular social network. It clearly outlines to follow your brand on Twitter to get the latest promotions, updates and news.

Honourable mention: Retweet this!

Want to be clever? In your email campaign, highlight a particular tweet with a re-tweet block. This is a smart marketing technique because it provides a community feel, while it features tweets from other customers or followers (similar to a testimonial). In addition, that one re-tweeter is promoting your brand on the microblogging website.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Social media and email marketing go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Some on the outside believe that email is dead and social media is too populated. However, email marketing, despite its longevity, is still around, and marketers are still spending huge sums on social media. The trends do not suggest that there is any slowing down whatsoever.

Perhaps this is why combining the two doubles the effectiveness, efficiency and results.

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