Tiffany: Integrating Email Marketing with Social Media
This month, I am loving the latest piece of email marketing from the LA Galaxy soccer team. Utilising the uncompromisingly confident personality of Galaxy player Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Check it out:
It’s so simple, but it’s got everything. Humour, the personal touch, a strong call to action... I mean, I had never heard of Zlatan before I saw this email, but I now kind of want to take out an LA Galaxy season ticket.
Being eagle-eyed marketers, you’ll have spotted something else about this email. It’s a lot like a social media post. Short, snappy, to the point, and authored by a known individual. It even looks a bit like a Facebook status – all it needs is a profile pic in the corner!
Even after 40 years, email marketing hasn’t tired and remains a firm favourite with consumers. It’s still the strongest marketing channel out there and constantly delivers the highest ROI of any digital channel at $44 for every $1 spent according to the DMA. But it’s in danger of getting stuck in its ways. Email could stand to learn a lot from its younger cousin, social media. And vice versa, of course.
What can email marketing learn from social media?
Here are a few ways you can leverage the best tricks of social media in your email marketing:
- Make your email strategy work across multiple platforms. Shareability is one of the social media marketer’s greatest strengths. At a click of a button, content can be spread over multiple platforms, maximising exposure and encouraging virality. This isn’t always the case with email marketing. Email marketing could really benefit from the cross-platform potential of social media posts, so think about shareability when building your next email campaign. And the same can be said when planning your next test, utilise the learnings from both channels.
- Focus on content, not conversion. Obviously conversion is your ultimate aim, but it’s really important not to get funnel-vision. Focusing mainly on the metrics isn’t going to bring about those all important conversations with consumers. Social media is fantastic at pushing out great, easily accessible content – and it’s that content which drives engagement. Build amazing content into your email strategy, and conversions will follow.
- Personalise and engage! Email offers amazing opportunities for personalisation. After all, you’re communicating directly with a named individual. But social media has the edge when it comes to engagement. A conversation can unspool over social media in moments. OK, granted, this isn’t always a good thing – but well-managed social media engagement is nonetheless an amazing way of building brand loyalty. Email marketing has amazing engagement potential, but all too often we let the follow-up slide once we’ve got the initial conversion. Engaging in conversation with customers is the best way to guarantee repeat business.
Of course, email and social media are intrinsically different. However, there’s nothing wrong with adapting the best of each and using it to better these platforms.
Integrating your email and social media marketing
Most marketing departments worth their salt should already be making sure that their marketing is as consistent and integrated as possible (while also making it personal to the recipient and optimising it in different ways for different platforms...who said marketing was easy?).
However, you can make your email marketing and social media marketing nest more closely than they perhaps currently do. Why should you do this? Here are a few reasons:
- Builds a subscriber community. Opening the borders between your email subscribers and your social media followers is a fantastic way to build an online community around your brand. This enables conversation, fosters brand/consumer relationships, and encourages brand loyalty.
- Expands your messaging opportunities. The more platforms your subscribers are drawn to, the more opportunities you have to get your message across. Often in new and different ways. What’s more, if your social media marketing can work towards building up your email subscriber list, you’re likely to gain a lot more conversions. Email is, after all, the most successful marketing channel for most brands, so it’s a no-brainer for social media to promote email subscription!
- Brings marketing teams together. On a more internal level, making email and social media work together encourages cohesion between marketing teams. Silo-working is a big problem for many marketing departments. Some teams ostensibly working on the same campaign may even see one another as rivals, with the social media team working to outdo the email team and vice versa. This doesn’t encourage consistent messaging. However, by integrating email and social media, marketing departments can come together and combine their strengths for the benefit of the overall strategy.
Sound good? Of course it does! So, how do you do it? Here are some tips:
- Sync. This may sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating. Sync your social media and email marketing calendars so they dovetail together nicely. If you can, map out a content timeline for both email and social media which sync and complement one another.
- Link. In all of your email content, you should be linking to social media. Simultaneously, let your social media content encourage email subscription. You may already be doing this, but there’s no harm in strengthening your push! You’d be surprised at how many people follow these links and input their details – particularly if you...
- Incentivise. Add value to your channels and people will flock to them. I mentioned the ‘community building’ above – this is a major advantage of social media which email can’t offer to the same extent. If you can build an exclusive subscriber community on social media (and promote it via email) subscribers will flock to your social pages. Think about incentives you could offer in this community – exclusive offers, previews, content etc. Same applies the other way around. Make your emails worth it, and your social audience will sign up!
Once you start bringing your email and social media marketing together, you’ll wonder why you never did it before. It’s not just your immediate profits which will benefit – you’ll probably also find greater consistency and coherence within your marketing department as a result. And, sure, not everything works for every platform. But there’s no harm in testing to see how you can get the absolute best out of every channel.