How much of your marketing strategy relies on email? Like Mark Twain, rumours of emails death are greatly exaggerated. Email marketing remains one of the easiest and most effective lead generation tactics, even compared to social media. A 2012 study from ExactTarget found out that 77% of respondents preferred to receive an offer via email, in contrast with only 4% preferring Facebook as the main communication channel for promotional materials. Another survey found that social media marketing is, in fact, seen as over 30% more difficult to execute than an email campaign.
Getting email right shouldn’t mean diverting your focus from your social media strategy—social media is still likely to be the source of your biggest gains in the future. Instead, improve your workflow by syncing up your social media and email strategy. Here are a few ways you can do it:
1. Add an email signup form to your social network accounts
Not all your social media followers are on the subscriber list yet, but it might due to lack of awareness, not a lack of curiosity. Create a simple sign-up form visible on your social networks and website, and make sure it asks for the least amount of effort from your potential subscribers. Most social networks have a dedicated widget available for newsletter signups: Facebook has various Newsletter apps for Pages and Twitter makes Lead Generation Cards available to advertisers. Additionally, there are many services, such as MailChimp and Benchmark, that allow embedding a newsletter signup form on your website or social media profiles.
2. Preview interesting email marketing content on social media
Receiving an email is no longer as exciting in 2014 as it used to be in 1994, but your brand can create anticipation for exclusive newsletter content by teasing it on social media. It helps if you have visually engaging content, such as a photo or a video related to the campaign. If it’s a new product release, you can preview it on social media and include an exclusive discount to your subscribers. If your company has a blog, you can generate buzz for a post by sharing it with the subscribers in advance.
Are you excited about iOS 8? We can’t wait either. Stay tuned for some exciting news: pic.twitter.com/WZ4UrEcLlo
— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) September 17, 2014
This Tweet teases a blog post, but it could have been our newsletter.
3. Create a contest
One of the major hurdles for email marketers is the incentive for new clients to receive email communication from the company. “What’s in it for me?” the client may ask, if they haven’t had a chance to snag a birthday deal or receive an exclusive discount through a newsletter. Contests and giveaways are a great way to boost email newsletter sign-ups: for example, the Hootsuite blog is currently running a contest to win a lifetime of free access to Hootsuite Pro. In addition to the chance at winning Hootsuite Pro for life, every submission receives access to our bi-weekly newsletter (if this sounds like your cup of tea, enter to win here!). Be careful with the timing of your campaigns: time the contest period to coincide with the release of the latest newsletter—you don’t want users to unsubscribe as soon as the contest is over.
4. Use social media to learn what your customers want
One of the many advantages the social media connection with your customers offers is a direct way to gain insight about their habits and preferences. Research shows that consumers’ purchasing patterns are heavily influenced by personalization of their offers and deals. If your email marketing strategy relies on generic occasions, such as the major holidays and the change of seasons, it’s time to get personal. Use social media channels to find out your customers’ topics of interest, and use your customer interactions to find out more about product preferences.
@sbrnghzl Cool! What one did you get?
— Herschel Supply Co. (@Herschelsupply) September 24, 2014
You can then implement these insights to create personalized email offers that your clients will love.
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