Show Me the ROI, Part 2: Making the Most of Social Email
In part 1 of this article, I talked about “social email” and how the integration of email and social media can lead to opportunities to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns.
I examined how social email can drive measurable customer behavior in which the action takes place on a social network (e.g., writing an online product review), and conversely how social media can and should be used to build your email marketing database.
Most importantly, however, is understanding how the content generated by social media can be used to enhance your email campaigns. Most important, yet most often overlooked. Some brands, for example, have begun incorporating online customer ratings and reviews into the body of email campaigns, which in turn has generated better response rates — as well as higher conversion rates.
This makes sense, of course. A recent Forrester Research report noted that 64 percent of online buyers find customer reviews important when making purchases, and 47 percent of online users value information provided by other consumers over information provided by the marketer.
Other brands have taken the use of online ratings and reviews a step further, building entire programs around them. A large consumer electronics retailer, for instance, produces a monthly campaign that advertises the “Top 10 Rated Products of the Month,” and offers customers a 10 percent discount. Each month it proves to be one of the company’s highest performing campaigns.
Build on brand awareness
Incorporating social content in email also can have a positive influence on brand awareness and relationship building. Customer blogs are popular, and there are many examples of companies using YouTube to host product demonstrations and online video contests. One popular online fashion retailer uses Twitter in a unique and effective manner. The company invites its member customers to “Tweet the CEO,” who travels the world discovering new designers and tweeting about the latest fashion trends. Customers love the truly personal inside scoop, and conversations can range from on-the-spot reporting from fashion shows to the latest movie, television and pop culture events.
Email marketers should embrace all of these forms of social media as opportunities to further personalize and enhance campaigns with content that customers care about. The benefits are twofold: One, it provides customers with numerous opportunities to interact with your brand, and two, serves to endear them to your brand by emphasizing its advantages or unique characteristics. In this way, social email capitalizes on what’s best about each channel — email marketing as a revenue generator and social media as a brand-building tool.
Every time a customer shares your email coupon via Facebook or Twitter, you win twice, with additional revenue and increased brand exposure. Target your best customers with personalized email campaigns and you continue to build profitable relationships. Take the extra step to provide these customers with the tools to advocate on your brand’s behalf, and you’ll soon find your best customers are also the easiest and most effective source to acquire new customers.