Email is widely regarded as one of the best ways to build long-term customer relationships, and it’s the most powerful marketing channel for retention and driving conversions.
On the other hand, social media is great for creating a sense of community around your brand, as well as inspiring real-time conversations with your customers and prospects. And then there’s the ability to deliver highly-targeted ads.
While it may not yet be common practice to use these two channels in conjunction with one another, the results can be quite powerful.
For example, supporting a LinkedIn or Facebook ad campaign with a series of emails to your prospects is a great way to generate brand awareness, as well as personalized interactions that can lead to more sales and a loyal, growing customer base.
Here are some additional ways that email and social media can be “happy together” — and help you get better results from your marketing campaigns.
Using Social Media to Grow Your Email Subscribers
When your fans visit your Facebook brand page, they can use the signup form to opt-in to your newsletter. This way, there’s no need to send them to a separate landing page; they can take care of everything from right there within Facebook.
In addition, you can also use social posts to invite your followers to sign up for your newsletters — and to promote the benefits of doing so. You might also consider running a contest in which a prize is awarded to the first 20 new subscribers on a particular day or week. All this will help build interest and entice people to take the leap and join your list.
Another way to use both channels to engage your audience is to include links in your newsletter to videos that you’ve posted on your social sites. This will help improve email clickthroughs and conversions while helping to grow your social communities.
You can also actively promote your social sites in your emails. While most brands include links to their social sites (usually via icons at the end of the email), we encourage you to take it a step further. Why not feature actual social posts in your emails? This gives people a taste of the type of content they’ll get when they follow one or more of your social channels, and it increases your ability to grow your fan base.
Using Email to Support Social Campaigns
Many social sites now allow you to upload your email subscriber lists to their sites. In Facebook, this is called Custom Audiences. LinkedIn calls it Account Targeting. And it’s Tailored Audiences on Twitter. These features enable you to target your social ads more precisely, increasing your chances of reaching your desired audience, and improving the ROI on your ad investment.
Once you’ve run an ad campaign, you can retarget people with a new campaign based on the actions they took when they saw the original ad. By adding a piece of code (or “pixel”) to your website, you can track the activity of anyone who clicks through on your ad, enabling you to follow up with an ad that is highly targeted to their interests. Not only does retargeting ensure that your ads are relevant to your audience, it can also lead to improved conversion rates.
In addition to all that, if you already have someone’s contact information in your database, you can run a list-based retargeting campaign. To do this, you would first upload your email list to the specific campaign you want to run. The social platform then identifies which of its users have those email addresses, and shows your retargeted ads only to them. Because you choose which subscribers go into which list, you can target your ads very specifically. However, there is a catch: if your subscriber uses one email address for newsletters and another for social sites, they won’t see your ad, so that’s something to watch out for.
To sum up, when you combine email and social, you can leverage the strengths of both channels to improve your overall marketing campaigns — and results. When you do it right, you will not only grow your email subscriber list and social communities, you’ll strengthen your brand and improve your bottom line.
What do you think? Have you used email and social together successfully? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!