Why should you encourage your email subscribers to engage with you on your social networks?

Well, not all your customers and prospects want to engage with you at the same level. And each medium (email, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) gives your audience an opportunity to connect with you in a different way. For instance, email is great for some, but others might prefer the lower commitment of following you on Twitter (especially if they are new to your brand). Rather than lose them altogether if they decide to unsubscribe from your list, you can make them aware of the different ways they can stay in touch with you. They can decide what’s best for them – and you can keep them in the loop.

In addition, by giving your customers and prospects many different ways to connect with you, you’ll broaden your reach over time. This contributes to the growth of your brand – and your bottom line.

So how do you get started? Read on!

Here are six easy ways to integrate email marketing and social media for maximum effectiveness.

1. Include social icons in your emails

This might be obvious, but it’s the simplest and easiest way to make your audience aware that you’re active on social networks. Make sure your social icons are prominently placed (at the top of your email or in a sidebar, perhaps) so they catch the reader’s eye. If you bury them at the bottom of your message, they will likely get lost, or ignored altogether if your reader doesn’t scroll all the way down.

2. Don’t be shy: Ask your subscribers to connect and share on your networks

It’s well and good to include your social icons in your email (and you should be doing this at a bare minimum). But sometimes you need to tell your readers what you want them to do. For example, you can add a line that says “Like this message? Share it with your friends!” or “Want more great content? Connect with us!” and include the social sharing icons just below it or next to it.

3. Include a “Tweet This!” link in your email

In the same vein as tip #2 , you can highlight a snippet of text in your email and ask the reader to tweet it – and make it easy for them by including a “Tweet this” link. On the flip side, you can also embed timely and relevant tweets from your followers in your email messages.

4. Give your subscribers an incentive to connect with you on social

What’s in it for them?  Try incentives like contests (“Be one of our first 100 new followers and you’ll be entered to win a great prize!” or “The person who shares this post the most will be featured in an upcoming blog post”, etc.).

5. Boost email subscriptions and increase social fans at the same time

Ask your social followers to subscribe to your email list. And ask your email subscribers to follow you on social. In short, leverage each medium to benefit the other(s).

6. Build an email subscription Facebook App

Facebook allows you to create a simplified email sign-up form as one of the apps that comes with your account. This is a great way to give your fans another chance to opt into your email list.

What about you? How will you start using email to support your social media efforts, and vice versa? Do you have other ideas to add to the list above? Please share in the comments below!