With prospects and customers interacting with companies and brands largely on their own terms, marketers will realize better results through the integration of their communications and channels—that's the overarching message in the latest report from Forrester Research's Shar VanBoskirk.
In her report, How to Integrate Email with Social Media, the analyst points to some significant benefits of tightly aligning e-mail and social media, including better open, click-through and conversion rates; e-mail list growth; and increased campaign reach and influence through viral activity.
VanBoskirk advises marketers to adopt four specific, proven tactics for integrating marketing efforts across e-mail and social media:
- Drive e-mail subscriptions within your social media presence: Place e-mail registration boxes, or links to your e-mail registration page, on your company blog, discussion forum or Facebook page so people can sign up for this contact as they become more engaged with your brand.
- Encourage subscribers to share e-mail content. Forrester research from the first quarter of 2010 indicates that 7 percent of U.S. online adults share e-mail content with friends via social sharing tools. Support this trend and benefit from it by not only placing "share with a friend" icons and links in your e-mail, but at the top of your e-mail layout.
- Leverage social media content for more relevant e-mails. Relevancy is what prompts engagement and response, so up the attractiveness of your e-mails by incorporating user-generated content from your social media presence. Some strong performers include ratings and reviews, as well as user comments and activity around products, services, campaigns and promotions.
- Coordinate marketing campaigns across all media, including social sites. Sync up your marketing efforts across channels, including e-mail drops, direct mail rollouts, social media posts, website updates and more. In addition to surrounding the market, you allow prospects and customers to engage with the information through the path of their choosing.