Email Marketing + Social Media = A Winning Combination
I have a task for you to complete: Go up to a friend or coworker. It can just be the person closest to you at the moment, even if you don’t know them (although that might be awkward). So walk up, say hey, and ask them how much time they spend on social media and checking their email.
Now, I don’t know exactly what answer they’ll give you. I’m not a psychic, but I am a marketer who loves looking at stats about things like these. So I’m willing to bet the number they give you is going to be a large one. Yes, I’m very willing to make that bet.
Email and social media are two things that a lot of people take with them everywhere. I know I’m not the only one who downloaded Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and set up my email accounts before anything else when I bought a new phone.
If you take a look back at this infographic on mobile usage from a few months ago, you’ll see that an astonishing 91% of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7, including in bed and in the bathroom.
Then those same people move from their phone to a tablet or computer, and most likely open up tabs for email and their favorite social networks.
No marketing channel exists in a silo anymore. All of the channels you use need to acknowledge each other and work together. But one integration that will matter most to your digital marketing strategy is email marketing and social media.
If your email and social media marketing strategies currently exist completely separate from each other, it can be hard to figure out where to get started on combining them. No worries! Here are a few starter steps:
1. Link to your social profiles in all email marketing messages
This is a simple step that will get you get a ton of traction. Give you email subscribers a simple way to connect with you on social without having to go to a network’s search bar and looking for you themselves. Link to your social profiles in every email you send a subscriber, from confirmation emails to newsletters and everything in between.
It won’t even be much work on your part. Most email service providers already have spots for social media icons in several templates. If your design has a sidebar, they will blend in great right at the top of that. Additionally, you can put them in the footer or signature of your messages.
2. Include share buttons in your email campaigns
In addition to including ways for your subscribers to connect with you, include ways for them to share the content of your email with their friends and followers. Sure, it makes sense for them to just press the ‘forward email’ button at times, but you want them sharing your news and information more publicly.
Most email marketing providers will create ways for subscribers to click a link in the email to view your email in their browser. That same link can be shared on social networks. If possible, include a quick “Share” link for them. If your provider doesn’t offer share buttons and links, create your own. For Twitter, you can use ClickToTweet.com. For other social networks, a similar service called HrefShare will work.
Bonus tip: Use ClickToTweet and HrefShare to insert additional, more customized share links and buttons within the body of your emails.
3. Dedicate email marketing space to promoting your social media presence
While including connect and share buttons in all of your email campaigns is an excellent practice, there will be subscribers that don’t notice the buttons in your sidebar or footer, or don’t click on all the links in your content. It’s not that they don’t want to connect with you on social media, they’re just not doing it, for one reason or another.
One way to remedy this is to make sure your connect and share links and buttons are strong calls-to-action. But another way is to run an entire email marketing campaign with the goal of converting subscribers into followers. A lot of companies will send a quick “Are we connected?” email to their subscribers if they don’t have any other news or content to share, but want to stay top-of-mind. This is a great thing to do a few times a year to remind subscribers that there are more ways to reach you.
But another great idea is to take advantage of confirmation emails. We once told you that a lot of confirmation and transactional emails waste an opportunity for a second conversion. One way to take advantage of the confirmation emails you’re already sending is to promote social. For example, most ESPs require you to send a confirmation when someone first signs up for your email list. Most of the time, these confirmations are extremely generic and very short. Stand out by including a short and sweet paragraph detailing how and why they should connect with you on social.
4. Share your email campaigns on social media
Think about it. If content is valuable enough to include in an email to your subscribers, it should also be good enough for your social media audiences. By sharing the message in both places, you don’t have to worry about making sure your audiences for each channel overlap (although you should certainly strive for this anyway).
If and when your email and social audiences do overlap a lot, you don’t want to simply slap a link to your latest email campaign up on your Facebook page or Twitter profile and leave it at that. Then they’re just getting the same exact information twice. Instead, create posts around the topics mentioned in your emails, and include a link to the email message for more information.
5. Create a Facebook app for your subscribe page
As we’ve mentioned before, opt-in form placement is key to growing an email list. You want to try and capture as many emails as possible from people that already engage with your business in some way. Since they’ve already expressed an interest in you, they’ll likely be interested in and will engage with your emails. This is better than convincing a semi-interested person to opt-in or (gasp!) buying an email list.
One way to convert your followers into subscribers is through an app on your Facebook page. Just like with the social icons, there’s an extremely high probability that your email service provider has already made this really easy for you. For example, we use Mailchimp and it took about 3 minutes to add a signup form for our main list to our Facebook page. If your ESP doesn’t make it easy for you, it’s still not too hard to create one yourself from an existing opt-in form.
Bonus tip: Use a call-to-action in your cover photo to draw visitors to your subscribe page.
6. Share links to your opt-in form on social media
Earlier in this post, we said that it doesn’t hurt to remind your email subscribers that you’re also on social. Well, the opposite is true, too. Just like you can send emails dedicated to promoting social, you can send social posts dedicated to promoting email. However, it’s important to tread delicately.
Constantly blasting your social media audiences with messages along the lines of “Sign up and give us your email address!” won’t work. They already follow you on social, so they’re going to want a good reason why they should opt-in. Give it to them. Posts like, “Want to be the first to know about new products and events? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here:” will perform better. Email is considered more personal than social media, so a strong value proposition is needed to get people to take that “next step” in their relationship with your business.
Bonus: Use Twitter’s Promoted Tweets and Lead Generation Cards to let users subscribe to you without ever leaving their Twitter timeline!