How often are unfair comparisons made between email and social media? We see it all the time. While proponents of each marketing channel tend to tout why one is better than the other, there really is no reason to take sides. In fact, here are three ways for email and social media to work synergistically as part of your marketing activities:
- Cross promote: For many marketing pundits and influencers, the emergence of social media signaled the end of traditional email marketing. But social media didn’t kill email. In fact, according to a recent study by Radicati Group, there are still three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. In addition, the average open rate on email is between 20 -30%, while the organic reach of corporate Facebook pages is down to about 5%. Finally, a 2013 McKinsey study found email marketing to be almost 40 times more effective at bringing in new customers than Twitter and Facebook combined. But these stats are not intended to belittle social media, nor is the point to ignore social media and focus exclusively on email. Instead the takeaway should be for both marketing tactics to be used in support of each other. Want to drive likes and shares of your social media content? Use email to promote your social media presence. In turn, use social media to promote your new white paper or recorded webinar, and – to expand your reach – collect email addresses when new prospects download your content.
- Let email enhance today’s top social and web offerings: I’ve written previously about email as “the center of the B2B marketer’s galaxy.” In the online world, email is indeed the unifying force across all channels. For example, Facebook has created its “Custom Audiences” offering, allowing marketers to leverage their customer email lists to build a similar audience within the Facebook platform. In addition, Google’s “Customer Match” service lets marketers show ads to their customers based on profile and email address data it provides to Google. These services empower marketers to increase target reach and message impressions across these leading social and web platforms. As a result, email can be used to leverage select keywords from SEO and PPC data to ensure marketers’ messages resonate with and reach a larger audience.
- Integrate social media campaigns into email (and vice versa): If you’re sending a major announcement to your email list, use the opportunity to extend the conversation into the social media realm. For B2B marketers, this might mean announcing a new product or service via email, and then posting related content, such as screen shots, demonstrations, reviews or awards on social media sites. You might consider a special promotion, such as a free trial, to those who “like” any of this content. In turn, be sure to encourage email readers to share your content with their friends and colleagues by including social sharing buttons in all your email messages. This works well for interesting articles and blogs, and is particularly effective for special offers or coupons. Finally, be sure to add “follow me” buttons to all types of emails too; not just marketing communications but also transactions, registrations, confirmations, etc. For more tips on integrating social media into your email marketing campaigns, see my blog on this topic here.
It goes without saying that email and social media should no longer be viewed as distinct rivals, with B2B marketers having to choose one over the other. The key to success is using both in synergy for the greater good of your overall marketing program.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you ramp up your social media efforts. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful email marketing database.
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