These days we have gotten more digital marketing options than we could ever possibly manage, and marketers are debating whether social media marketing or email marketing is a better option when it comes to focus on the marketing efforts. Facebook “Comments” and “Likes”, Twitter “Followers” and “Retweets”, and Pinterest “Likes” and “Repins” are the hot topics, while previous methods like email marketing seems old and outdated.
A survey from Marketing Sherpa reveals that most consumers like getting promotional emails every week. A vast majority (91%) of U.S. adults say they like getting promotional emails from companies they do business with. Of those, 86% would like monthly emails and 61% would like them at least weekly. So keeping email around as a part of the marketing toolbox is not a bad idea.
Social media marketing can be a good way to inform and enhance email marketing. The smart way to integrate social media and email is from the view of business strategy. Social media is the popular platform of the day, but email is where business is taking place.
Think about it for yourself. You may chat on social platforms, and you may initiate connections there. But when you want to get down to business, you use email. Email is where leads are converted to clients and deals are happening. So when done correctly, there is a potential for a profitable synergy between social media marketing and email marketing.
Followings are a few ways you can do it:
Many social media channels forget that a follower doesn’t necessarily know you have an email subscription channel due to the lack of awareness. So create a simple sign-up form visible on your social networks and website(s), and make sure that you require the least amount of effort from your potential subscribers. Most social networks have a dedicated function available for newsletter signups. For example, Facebook lets you add a “Sign Up” button in your header that you can setup on your Page, and Twitter makes Lead Generation Cards available to advertisers.
Contests and giveaways are two of the most effective ways to boost email newsletter sign-ups. One of the main goals of hosting contests and similar promotions on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms is to increase your email subscribers. Make sure you choose one that offers a sign-up form as a type of entry for participating. Also the prize for your contest is important because it helps incentivise genuine fans, and thus attracting quality email subscribers. But beware of the timing of the campaign. Time the contest period to coincide with the release of the latest newsletter, as you don’t want social users to unsubscribe as soon as the contest is over.
Many businesses create premium content they offer for free once a person signs up for their email list. Then why don’t you create anticipation for exclusive premium content by teasing it on social media? It helps if you have visually engaging content that is related to the campaign to ensure that you are receiving the most clicks, engagement and traffic possible. Also if it is related to a new product release, you can preview it on social networks and include an exclusive discount to your subscribers. Besides, if your company has a blog, you can generate buzz for a post by sharing with the subscribers in advance.
One of the advantages of connecting your customers via social networks is to directly gain insights about their behaviours and preferences. Many studies show that consumers’ purchasing patterns are heavily influenced by personalisation of their offers and deals. It is time to get personal if your email marketing strategy relies on generic occasions, such as the major holidays and the change of seasons. Make use of social media platforms to learn about your customers’ topics of interest, and use your customer interactions to explore more about their preferences on products and/or services.
There is no absolute answer whether social media marketing is better than email marketing, or vice versa. The overall key is to recognise that both social media and email are distinct and different marketing channels that can both be effective for your business. So start your campaigns by leveraging the strengths of both.