6 Steps to Social Marketing and Email Synergy
"In the history of new media, people always say, 'The old thing will die,'" said Jason Baer during a presentation at the All About Email Virtual Conference & Expo (presented on Nov. 12 by eM+C and available on demand until Feb. 16). "The new technology always forces changes in the old technology, but it doesn't kill the old technology. And I think that's where we're at now with social media and email."
Baer, founder of social media consulting and coaching firm Convince & Convert and its namesake blog, was one of the speakers at the "Customer Connections: Using Email and Social to Build Your Demand Base" session, which also examined the success of California Tortilla's integrated social media, blog and email marketing campaigns. He was joined by California Tortilla's marketing director, Stacey Kane, and Stephanie Miller, vice president of market development for email services and technology firm Return Path.
While social media has stolen much of the spotlight from email as a CRM tool, smart companies are more successful when they use email and the various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) synergistically, according to Baer. California Tortilla, for example, rolled out a secret password giveaway promotion it promoted through its Taco Talk blog, but also through Facebook, Twitter and email marketing. The program generated a 13 percent lift in store traffic, said Kane, "and this is at a point during the recession when nothing was providing a lift in traffic."
- Unify the teams in charge of email and social media. Too many companies treat these as separate departments with different staffs, budgets, goals and metrics, according to Baer. "If you accept the notion that email and social media are really trying to both establish a dialogue and a relationship with consumers, why aren't those the same people?" he said.
- Create a unified strategy. Companies need to approach email and social media with a unified message and goal-driven campaigns that make the best use of the channel synergies.
- Collect subscription and segmentation data. Use email and social media to drive subscribers to each other, Baer said. Also, use social media to learn more about the subscribers on those lists for better campaign segmentation.
- Use bidirectional messaging. People who subscribe to your e-newsletters and social media should be seeing some of the same content, Baer said, and content that reinforces what they've seen through other channels.
- Tailor content to the customer experience. "Use what you know about your [audience] to give them a hyperrelevant experience," said Baer.
- Refine campaigns through listening and analytics. "They say the great thing about digital marketing is you have tons of data," according to Baer, "and the terrifying things about digital marketing is you have tons of data." However, the insight you gain from properly measuring the campaigns and processing customer feedback is key to maximizing the impact of these efforts.