Social Meets Email: How Marketers Can Optimize the Opportunity
Integrating email and social marketing is a frequent topic of conversation. There are few metrics to measure the impact of this tactic, but direct marketers are employing a few approaches to integrate these channels.
Let's look at the various tactics that can be used, how to use them and—most importantly—how to determine the success of the effort. After all, if no incremental lift is realized, then why take on the extra effort? But before all of that, we need to determine if email and social marketing integration is even necessary to your business.
The First Step
Before you start to include share links in your email or create referral programs, you need to determine the viability of leveraging the social channel for your business. Are your subscribers in a demographic that uses the social space for communication?
You can answer this question by going through an append process with organizations that specialize in this type of data to get a pulse on your actual subscriber base. Leverage what you know about your subscribers and compare it to a variety of research sources.
Or, simply visit the most popular social sites (primarily Facebook and Twitter—though there are others) and do a search on your product or service. See what folks are saying about you on the social Web, if they are saying anything at all. Look at what they are saying, understand it and then make the call—is there enough chatter out there to warrant testing social components in your email program? If yes, then let's get started!
What Does It Mean to Integrate Email and Social Marketing?
Leveraging social elements in your email campaigns can range from very simplistic tactics to the more obtuse or time consuming—and it typically works in a step-through logic, building upon the effort each step of the way. However, this usually ends in a muddled mess of "share-to-social" links and sections in your newsletter that feature "real" Twitter posts. If you are serious about leveraging social elements in your email campaigns, and have determined that your audience is a social one, then applying some table-stakes marketing tactics may just lead you to a marriage made in heaven.