5 Ways to Measure Social and E-mail Marketing Together
If a social marketing tactic can't be measured, does it still have value? The answer is, “Yes, in concept, but no in the harsh reality of today’s marketing budgets.” That’s why it’s smart to track your social marketing in the context of other online channels like e-mail, which can be easily measured and is already highly valued.
Yet, how does one measure the impact of a conversation?
In direct channels like e-mail, we measure conversation by response data (inbox deliverability, opens, clicks, conversions), landing page conversion and session length. Unfortunately, for social media there’s limited direct feedback on a campaign. This is complicated further by the fact that the people, formerly known as the “audience,” are now active participants. In many ways, they're in charge of the conversation.
These various conversations are already connected because customers, with or without our encouragement, interact with brands in multiple channels. Social marketing can borrow some of the measurement of e-mail to make a business case for its own investment.
5 e-mail/social synergies
Consider the e-mail/social synergies below in your marketing efforts, and look for ways to measure the impact of social conversations on your e-mail marketing response rates:
- The multichannel impact of e-mail is well understood. Every time a message is broadcast, Web site, search and catalog/customer service traffic goes up. Similarly, there should be a lift in key business drivers before, during and after a social marketing campaign. Track these by topic, so it’s clear that the conversation on a certain topic is making a difference.
- Use social media to encourage opt-ins for e-mail series — limited-time programs of three to 10 messages over as many weeks or days that focus on very specific lifecycle periods. More subscribers will sign up for short-term relationships.
- Ask subscribers for their Twitter or Facebook information so you can match your e-mail and social databases.
- Think of Facebook, Twitter and blogs as destinations for discussion, debate or happy sharing of various campaigns you push out via e-mail and advertising. Social marketing is like advertising: You don’t have to pay for each time it runs; that amplification saves ad dollars and gains conversions in many other channels.
- Understand the costs of not being active. Content — be it promotions, sales alerts, news, how-to guides or storytelling — is the backbone of great e-mail marketing as well as social marketing. Strong ideas will have legs and are measurable in terms of Web site impressions, new subscribers and retention.
Marketers still need specific goals and strategies that link firmly back to key business indicators. Line up your e-mail and social marketing campaigns with other marketing activities. Do nothing in isolation. Measure over time. Rather than trying to control the conversation, think in terms of stimulating it, which is happening anyway, whether you participate or not.
Stephanie Miller is the vice president of market development at Return Path, a New York City-based e-mail deliverability firm. Reach Stephanie at stephanie [dot] miller [at] returnpath [dot] net.