With the surge of social media, many marketers have needed to shift their focus from traditional practices. But should they ignore email marketing in favor of social media? As of 2014, there were 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide, with 247 billion emails sent daily. Facebook—for comparison—just passed 1.39 billion monthly active users and 890 million daily users. While social media has its own set of perks—real-time interaction, a young audience, and targeting options—ignoring email altogether is missing all of those eyes and opportunities.
Combining both email and social media can result in extremely effective marketing campaigns. Both channels can complement each other if the right strategy and tools are utilized. Here are some tips for integrating social and email marketing together:
1. Send email subscribers to social sites
An email list is one of a marketer’s biggest assets. It represents a list of people who have already shown interest in their company, industry, or brand. Each email sent can also be an invitation to follow a brand on social media. Marketers can include links in emails that lead users to the company’s social accounts, which brings in new followers. Not only will this tactic increase the number of followers, but it will ensure followers are quality people who are already engaged with the brand.
2. Enlist email subscribers via social media
Similar to how a brand can encourage followers with email, social media can gather email subscribers. Marketers can utilize social media to drive people to subscribe to their email list. Social media can be the perfect way to highlight the benefits of subscribing to emails—highlighting discounts, insider information, news, or anything else marketing emails could offer.
3. Upload email subscribers to social media
Many of the major social sites—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for example—allow users to search for users based on their email addresses. Take charge of the email list by uploading it to social sites. The benefits of this method are three-fold: One, it puts a name and face to each subscriber, allowing for better personalization. Two, it offers better listening capabilities by showing marketers what email subscribers are doing and saying. Three, it develops a strong sense of community and bond with subscribers by providing more opportunities for interaction.
4. Build targeted social ad campaigns with email clicks
Ad targeting technology allows marketers to find users who have clicked through their emails, and deliver them ads on social media. To do this, marketers can install a tracking code on the brand website and build a list of users who clicked on the email to get to the site. There are tools available to set up this targeting, including Retargeter or Perfect Audience, that can help marketers reach email subscribers while they surf social media. Audiences can also be further segmented through different email lists, if applicable.
5. Leverage email subscribers to increase shares
Email subscribers can be the perfect resource to spread messages on social media. Marketers can create an email campaign that reaches out to subscribers and asks them to share content on different social channels. To ensure success in this tactic, the content should be compelling, and a solid relationship with subscribers should be established. Even if only a fraction of subscribers share the content, each of those subscribers is likely to have hundreds, if not thousands, of followers on social media.
6. Use social media to send emails
This is a trick that doesn’t require social media users to actually sign up for emails. With LinkedIn, the default setting for groups is to receive automatic emails for updates within the groups. Building a solid community within a LinkedIn group will deliver content directly to members’ inboxes—without them having to opt-in to the emails. With this strategy, it is pertinent to develop a LinkedIn group that offers real value for members.