How to Combine Email and Social to Build Your Business
Email marketers know that their list is their lifeblood. It’s how they nurture new relationships and keep existing ones going strong. It’s the way they deliver valuable content that subscribers respond to and look forward to receiving. Adding new subscribers is essential to keep that momentum going. That means finding similarly interested prospects to add to your audience — which is how the email plus social equation adds up to a big payoff for your business.
With about 2 billion users in the world, email is the backbone of customer relations. It's how customers get order confirmation and warranty information, as well as find out about your company's news, special offers and sales. Email is also how prospects find out more information about your company by opting in to special offers or news.
Social media has burst onto the scene. Facebook has more than 800 million active users and over 4 million active fan pages. Social media has its own vernacular. It's about engaging a customer or being part of the conversation, which means getting your message out and ultimately getting consumers to opt in to one of your offers.
Social media works because it lets people get to know your brand for a while, after which they can decide to take interim steps to “Follow" or “Like” you before signing on. They see what your business is offering and if their friends like your business, but haven’t yet decided to "get on your list" or respond to any specific offer.
They need the right motivation to get on board. Therefore the onus is on you to make the right offer and make it easy for them to engage with you. Here are a few time-saving tricks to help make that happen:
1. Use a “sharing” tool several times a week to post interesting content from other sites to your fan page. Content can be shared with your fans and followers in an instant. Identify what your fans and followers like, then share it on your fan page. Keep it interesting. Any time a user clicks on an item or likes some of your content, future items from you will climb higher in their news feed.
2. Build free fan pages … often. Use coupons, newsletters and offers. Paste them in your blog, your friends’ blogs, on free web pages, and, most importantly, on your Facebook or Google+ page. Send them via email (it should be automatic so you don't have to change a thing). Be sure to link some of your Facebook fan page posts onto your free fan pages. When people click on them it will raise your ranking and push those feed stories higher.
3. Put your social links on all marketing materials. Give consumers the chance to like your brand while reading your blog, viewing email messages, browsing your website, among other opportunities.
4. Encourage sharing. Provide your email subscribers the opportunity to share your messages with the social world via automatic share bars.
That sounds like the kind of success equation that adds up for your business.
Dan Forootan is president of StreamSend, an email marketing service provider and creator of the social marketing tool suite StreamSend Share.