Apparently, Email and Social Media Make a Great Team
Don’t believe all the gloom and doom that you hear about email marketing, because email is most certainly not dead. Social media fanatics may act like email is on its way out and social is the new silver bullet when it comes to reaching customers, but the fact is, email still remains one of the most effective online marketing tools out there and it will continue to be a power player for years to come.
Of course, this isn’t to downplay the effectiveness of social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the like all have very unique features that allow brands to connect with users like never before. With that said, instead of comparing the two marketing tools, it’s best to find ways to make email and social media work together. They don’t have to compete with each other, and marketers aren’t required to pick one over the other.
In fact, Experian recently released a new infographic that illustrates how marketers can use email and social media together in order to increase engagement and connect better with customers. Experian studied a number of emails promoting social networks to determine how email affects social media activities from fans.
Check out some of their findings below:
When it comes to the social networks displayed or promoted in email, Facebook remained on top with 97%. This was followed by Twitter (91%), YouTube (45%), and Pinterest (32%). This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, since Facebook and Twitter are still the most popular social networks out there. But as Pinterest gains traction, expect the image-based social site to move up and possibly overtake YouTube in the near future.
In terms of growth, Experian found that “since 2010, the number of brands using email subject lines to encourage customers to like or follow has grown about 70%”. Using Facebook or Twitter in email subject lines has proven to be effective not just in gaining more fans, but in getting website traffic as well. In fact, the infographic revealed that “60% of brands that sent emails with ‘Facebook’ in the subject line averaged a 27% increase in traffic to their website from Facebook the week following deployment.”
Interestingly, with regards to the open rates of these emails, Experian noted that emails promoting Pinterest had a higher open rate than Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest scored a 14.1% open rate, while Facebook and Twitter had 12.7% and 14% open rates, respectively. Pinterest also led the pack in terms of unique click rates. It had a 2.6% CTR compared to Facebook’s 1.9% and Twitter’s 2.3%.
How to Make Email and Social Media Work Together
Yes, Experian’s infographic clearly shows what an effective combination email and social media can be. Marketers should really consider joining their email and social media strategies. If you’re currently not making use of the two, here are a few tips to get you started:
Invite subscribers to follow you by using social networks in your subject line – As previously mentioned, inviting your email subscribers to like or follow you can boost your fan count and increase traffic to your site at the same time. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to send out an email blast to your list and encourage them to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter and Pinterest.
Make sure that you use the social network’s name in the subject line, so users know exactly what the email is all about. It’s best to do this using one social network at the time. Avoid sending out ONE email inviting your subscribers to Facebook AND Twitter AND Pinterest all at the same time. This could confuse and overwhelm readers, so stick to sending those emails one at a time.
Include social media buttons in your newsletter template – If you regularly send out newsletters to your subscribers, then consider adding social buttons to your template. Email marketing companies such as Aweber or MailChimp usually make it easy to add social media links or buttons to your emails, so be sure to take advantage of those features.
Don’t make those buttons too obtrusive though. Having links that are too big or flashy can distract and even annoy readers. Instead, position them in the side bar or perhaps at the top or bottom of the template so that they won’t disrupt the content of the email.
Use social network links in your email signature – Your social media links shouldn’t just be limited to your newsletters and marketing correspondences. Include these links in your regular email signature as well, so that your clients, colleagues, or vendors will be able to see your accounts. If you have other people working for you, encourage them to add social media links to their email signatures as well to make it easy for other to follow your company.
Add social media buttons to your “thank you for signing up” page – Another great way to turn email subscribers into fans is by using your “thank you” page for leading people to your social media accounts. When a user joins your email list, lead them to a confirmation page that has links to your social media pages to gently prod them to like or follow you.
Funnel your social media fans to your email list – Once you get the hang of leading your email subscribers to your social media accounts, why not try doing it the other way around? If you have a lot of fans and followers that aren’t subscribed to your email list, consider conducting contests or offering free stuff that will get them to sign up for your newsletter.
HubSpot does a great job at this. They often give out freebies such as eBooks or whitepapers on Facebook. When fans click on the link, they’re taken to a page that requires them to leave their contact information before downloading the product.
Ask users what they want to receive from you – The easiest way to know what your customers want to get in their inbox is to ask them. If you’re short on newsletter ideas or if your email open rates are dipping, blast out questions or polls via Facebook and Twitter and ask your fans what kind of emails they want to receive.
Keep on testing – It’s important to note that no single tactic will work for everyone. Be sure to test the above-mentioned tips to see which ones work best in engaging users. And remember that the best way to find out what email-social media combination is right for you is to get to know your fans refine your strategy as you see fit.
Image credit: xJason.Rogersx on Flickr, Experian