There’s a lot of talk and speculation that social media will be the death of email marketing. However, there is absolutely no reason why these two forms of digital marketing cannot live together in harmony and even feed each other.

Social media can be the next big thing in email marketing if handled rightly. Are you enabling your email/e-newsletter subscribers to spread your email messages via social media?

When it comes to social media and email marketing, the tip is to look at social media not as a messaging venue, but rather as an opportunity to learn about your customers, and for them to learn about your brand. Also remember that email is still a key tool in social communication and understanding audience engagement is key.

So just what must you think of when marrying email and social media? Here are some tips to bear in mind:



Offer and Collect Profile Data in Subscription Forms

Offer your email subscribers the option of including for e.g. their Twitter name on your subscription form. Include the Twitter icon in your email message and for e.g. include a message that could read something like: “We care about our customers. Can we follow you on Twitter?” Please provide your Twitter name, and we’ll follow you ASAP. We can be found @companyname.”

By doing this, you can further engage with customers, and in turn keep interest in your emails going.


Promote Social Media Outposts in Welcome Messages

When you send your welcome message after initial subscription, include links to your various social media outposts. Make sure your carefully track which links get clicked, as it will give you an indication of which are most popular among your customers and who amongst your customers actually respond to social media.


Target the Social Networks and Media that Best Suit Your Company

Be sure to do your homework and identify which social sites your target audience is spending time. It’s also important to find out which sites are they interacting or sharing content the most.
Once you have this identified which social networks your key customers are using actively, don’t shut down the research. Continue to follow the target audiences to make sure they aren’t migrating to a new site leaving you unaware.


Have Social Media-Only Offers

If you really want to get a handle on which social media venues your customers prefer, and in what intensity, create an email that includes links to special offers or promotion codes that are shown only on your social media profile pages. For e.g. something like: “We’ve got incredible offers available on items we think you’d love. For details and promotion codes, visit us online on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter”


Here are some key Takeaways for integrating social networks and email:

  • Narrow your network focus
  • Make it easy to share
  • Determine what your subscribers find most ‘shareworthy’
  • Identify and reward your key influencers
  • Test everything and don’t be afraid to fail

The email marketing landscape is definitely changing and social media is increasingly becoming or going to become a large part of it.  Last year, social sites were even said to have surpassed email in usage. For e.g. Facebook has come significantly close to matching Google in terms of unique visitors, but the fact is, this doesn't make Google any less important.

After all, to even use social networks, you need an active email address to sign up in the first place. So if Facebook and Google can co-exist, so can email and social media, causing both to evolve further.  Email marketers shouldn't fear social media but instead embrace it. Therefore, tying email and social media efforts should be a 2010 prime online marketing directive.

By Shanti Anne Morais