Use Social Email to Improve Marketing Effectiveness
Brands use social media in two major ways: one, to create a social presence on networking sites to communicate with consumers and, two, to monitor what’s being said about their brand online. Both activities are important, but neither provides an easily repeatable and scalable way to turn one's social media marketing learnings into targeted follow-up campaigns that drive a desired action.
Social networking sites offer marketers new and rich sources of customer preference and activity data. The key is to use that data effectively.
Social email: the missing connection
Social networking sites can build brand and product awareness. However, they also hold the potential to increase the distance between consumers and the shopping cart. Social email can help close the loop with campaigns that are relevant to a brand’s social engagement with consumers.
What's social email?
Social email is a term used to describe the combined use of social media data and email data to accomplish several online marketing tasks, including the following:
- increase email relevance;
- improve targeting effectiveness;
- enhance social media engagement; and
- drive online sales.
Neither email nor social marketing campaigns alone will likely provide the comprehensive view of your customers that an effective social email program can. Social email relies on information exchange between your email marketing database and social sites. Here's how it's done:
Step No. 1: Get more from social sharing
Social sharing links such as “share to social” or “share with your network” provide great insights for marketers to identify the members of their email subscriber list who frequently share their content.
Step No. 2: List acquisition
Email sign-up widgets on your social media pages can grow your list and help you identify the top social networks your subscribers engage with. Use this data to deploy triggered welcome campaigns that are personalized based on a new subscriber’s preferred social networking site. Optimize your overall social media marketing activities based on network popularity.
Step No. 3: Engage and target
By this step you should know which email subscribers are most socially engaged with your brand as well as the social sites new subscribers use to directly engage with your company. You can now conduct true social email campaigns where your marketing is targeted based on social engagement and is optimized to the preferences and activities of your most socially valuable email subscribers.
Socially engaged email subscribers are frequently among a brand’s most valuable customers. Use the information you have about their engagement to increase loyalty and customer lifetime value.
Susan Tull is vice president of marketing with BlueHornet, a business unit of Digital River, which specializes in helping marketers create highly targeted email programs that evolve through the customer lifecycle. For more information, follow @BlueHornetEmail on Twitter.