Some social media evangelists will tell you that email marketing is dead. Of course, they’re wrong. Email is still a preeminent form of communication that gets marketing results that most other channels could only dream of. It’s cost-effective, customizable, easy to use, builds connections, and, most importantly, spurs your audience to action.
Consider these statistics:
An effective email sent to the right audience has the power to be a marketing juggernaut. And the relevance of email is only trending up as consumers do more of their shopping and conduct their lives online.
Social media and email marketing: Best friends forever
The important thing to remember is that email’s dominance doesn’t come at the expense of social media. Single-channel zealots expose their ignorance when they use eye-catching headlines like “Email Is Dead” or “The Extinction of Social Media Has Already Begun.”
Email and social media are both thriving. They have immense value for marketers and there’s no need for one to vanquish the other. On the contrary, it’s when you use them in tandem that you’ll unleash their most powerful impact. Businesses that focus exclusively on email, social media, text, phone calls, or any other single communication channel simply won’t succeed.
To illustrate the symbiotic relationship between marketing channels, this guide highlights 6 ways that you can use email marketing to drive social media engagement.
1. Use email CTAs to drive social traffic
Let’s start off with the low-hanging fruit. Your next email campaign could easily have a social media component that spurs the reader to click through to the social channel you feel is most relevant to their experience.
For example, you could promote a contest that’s being held on your Facebook channel. You’d have enough real estate in the email to showcase the prize (a trip for two to the Florida Keys) and explain the entry process. The CTA could then direct them to your Facebook page to enter. Of course, they can only enter if they “like” your page and tag in the comments the friend they’d take with them on the trip if they were to win.
Your Facebook contest would likely be promoted through other social platforms, texting, and other means. But email is a prime opportunity to provide more context and truly get people jazzed about the opportunity to win.
Just be sure that whenever you’re driving email traffic to social media that the destination pays off their time and effort. When you earmark your best social content and most exciting interactions for such campaigns, your audience will typically respond with a high level of engagement that lasts.
2. Bring your email list directly into the social media world
Did you know that you can upload your email lists to your organization’s social platforms? It’s a fascinating way to flesh out the basic data of your lists.
You already know these people have awareness of your brand, but what about their other interests and motivations? By matching your email data with the detail-rich world of social media, you’ll learn much more about them than you ever could simply looking at email metrics. There’s undeniable power in the process of “putting a face” to the individuals in your email lists.
You’ll also find that segmentation is easier when you’ve merged your email lists with social media. The data you’ve uncovered will help you create more engaging posts for your social platforms and provide a more cohesive experience for your followers across the various touchpoints.
3. Improve your overall brand consistency
Speaking of cohesive experiences, it’s essential that you consistently audit your external communications. Organizations often have separate teams creating content for their social media platforms and handling their emails.
This arrangement isn’t an issue as long as those individuals are collaborating. But if silos creep up, your followers will get disparate messages that lack a reliable brand voice. The result? Lack of trust and less motivation to engage.
For this reason, creating brand consistency between your social and email efforts is a powerful way to drive engagement on both channels. Knock down those silo walls and let them be the dynamic duo they were meant to be. Motivated by your more compelling messaging, your audience will reward you by taking action.
4. Use your email as a testbed for content
Your email list can be the lifeblood of your organization. Through theorizing and testing, you’ll be able to refine your tactics and deliver messages that get incredible engagement.
But don’t let your successes be confined to the email space. Take your top-performing content from email campaigns and find a way to compellingly use it on your social channels. No, this doesn’t mean you simply copy and paste the exact words from your email into an Instagram caption. You’re dealing with a different audience on a different channel, so tailor the content to perform even better on social.
This channel sharing goes both ways, so never hesitate to adapt your best social content to email. There’s simply no time to rest on your laurels in the world of content marketing. When something works, find out why it did well and then look for ways to take it to new heights. Use the data you’ve collected from the first campaign to steer all your future iterations.
By treating your social media and email as complementary but distinct entities, you’ll maintain creative momentum and find new ways to optimize your content. While your competitors copy the same content from each other in a bland cycle of regurgitation, you’ll stand out with your unique quality offerings.
5. Follow up on your most important social campaigns
If you’ve created a compelling social campaign, be sure to use your other channels to energize it. Your email list can serve as a second touchpoint to remind people about why the social campaign matters and what’s in it for them.
You’ll get even better results by introducing unique incentives to the email channel. For example, let’s say you were running a contest on Facebook. Although people might enter directly on that platform, you could send out a reminder email that gives them the chance to get an extra entry if they click the link in the email within the next 24 hours.
By using a distinct message that funnels up to the same overarching campaign, you keep things fresh for your followers.
6. Invite your most engaged email contacts to a special social group
This strategy isn’t the right fit for everyone, but you should consider creating an invite-only social group for your core email followers. These would be the people who open every email and love to click through your CTA.
What might this special social group look like? Start by choosing the platform that most aligns with your core followers. Then create exclusive content, promotions, and incentives to help this group feel that they’re getting rewarded for their loyalty.
Due to their targeted nature, invite-only social groups create powerful engagement. You’ll just need to be thoughtful as you come up with CTAs. The main goals should always be helping your core followers feel special and giving them the best opportunities to interact with your organization.
The power of combining your email and social strategies
Never fall into the trap of viewing email and social media as competing channels. They’re not mutually exclusive, and, thankfully, neither one of them is “dying.” They are powerful assets for your organization thanks to their ease of use, low cost, high engagement, and undeniable ROI.
When you use email and social together, you’ll grow both channels and create a more cohesive experience for your followers. And by introducing unique incentives on each channel, you’ll also promote overall engagement.
As you experiment with the best ways to merge your email and social efforts, you can apply these best practices to your other forms of external communication. Embracing this “all hands on deck” approach is essential to standing out in a crowded marketplace and providing a great customer experience.
It all starts with a healthy email marketing plan
Your email marketing has to be firing on all cylinders if you want it to have the ability to boost your social media strategies. And the best way to get it there is by leveraging the expert resources from Twilio SendGrid. From automated transactional emails to targeted email campaigns, our solution is designed to improve your business results and make your life easier.
You can sign up for a free Twilio SendGrid account by clicking here. Don’t worry, there’s no credit card required. Once your account is created you’ll be able to access all the tools necessary to take your content marketing to the next level.