E-commerce Link: The Dynamic Duo
All the buzz today is about social media, but keep in mind email is a productive channel that provides a high ROI. Let's start with research from the DMA in late 2011: Email is the channel that produces the highest ROI. For every dollar a marketer invests in this highly profitable channel, the ROI in 2012 is $39.40.
It makes sense to leverage email and social initiatives to drive business for your company. Let's address some ways you can do this.
Get the Opt-In Buy-In
Marketers are missing the boat if they don't use social media to collect email opt-ins. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are wonderful for branding and engaging customers. Thus far, e-commerce has not worked well. Customers are "liking" or "following" a brand and commenting on their experiences, but most companies find that this is an experiential environment and not a selling environment.
One way to influence your fans, followers and social visitors is to motivate them to sign up for your email program.
• Retailer JCPenney has a dedicated area on Facebook called "Get Connected," where individuals can sign up for email and mobile alerts.
• Nonprofit Habitat for Humanity has a Facebook area called "Habitat World," which encourages emailsign-ups.
• Publisher Condé Nast Traveler has a Facebook tab for "Upgrades and Extras" that promotes a series of partner sweepstakes offers. Each offer includes the option of signing up for the magazine's email program.
• Email service provider Silverpop provides a call-to-action to sign up for the company's e-newsletter.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
It takes time and effort to create your email newsletters and promotional campaigns. Leverage this effort by posting your content or offers on social media channels, as well. But remember, it's important to vary the message to each audience.