How Social Media Makes Email Marketing More Effective

Chris CrumAdvertising

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A study from Nielsen once found that 92% of people trust word-of-mouth marketing. Most of the time this comes from social media, and marketers should consider harnessing that with their email campaigns to reach a broader audience.

Do you incorporate social media into your email marketing campaigns? What tactics to do you use specifically?

Are you combining your social media and email marketing efforts to find and take advantage of your best brand advocates - the people that are spreading positive word-of-mouth about your business?

Benefits of Incorporating Social Media Into Email Campaigns

We had a conversation about this with Jason Warnock, VP, Intelligence Products at email marketing software firm Yesmail. He believes there are three main benefits to incorporating social media into email campaigns, which all stem from being able to track social shares from them.

"First, acquiring new subscribers is simple with an integrated email and social strategy. By tracking who is engaging with promotions shared on social and collecting their information, email marketers can acquire already engaged subscribers, increasing reach and revenue," Warnock tells WebProNews. "By tracking opens, shares, revenue and database growth for each email campaign, marketers can also measure the ROI from a specific email campaign."

"Finally, marketers can identify who is sharing their content, tracking the engagement and revenue each share generates," he adds. "After defining their best brand advocates, marketers can create incentivized campaigns targeted at their most valuable subscribers. This will increase the campaigns’ reach and generate subscriber growth."

Best Practices for Integrating Social Media Into Email Campaigns

When it comes to best practices for incorporating social media into email campaigns, Warnock highlights four main concepts: tapping into attribution expertise, using the right channels, choosing the right product, and identifying the right technology.

"When integrating social and email campaigns, attribution allows you to track and measure the value of your most loyal fans. When implementing social into an email marketing campaign, rely on experts to provide recommendations for best practices," he says. "Do your research before you integrate social and email to see where your consumers are talking. The most common social network for social sharing is Facebook, followed by Twitter and then Pinterest."

"If you’re a company with multiple service offerings, some products are more likely to be shared. Restaurants, entertainment and electronics generally perform the best," Warnock adds. "Automated tools can simplify attribution processes, especially when it comes to data processing."

What Content Works Best For Social Integrations?

Some types of email content are going to work better than others for inspiring recipients to share it via social media channels. According to Warnock, incentives are the best way to encourage engagement with an email campaign. Yesmail completed a survey finding that 28% of consumers who have never shared a promotion on social media are more likely to share if they’re incentivized.

Relevant deals like percent off, money off and buy-one-get-one-free also inspire social sharing, he says.

Live Social Feeds

In the email marketing industry, there's been a lot of talk lately about integrating live social media feeds into email campaigns. For example, we recently looked at a study from The Relevancy Group highlighting what consumers don't like about mobile email. To counter some of these complaints, it recommended using a live social feed in addition to context personalization, real-time A/B testing, embedded video, live web content, personalized deadlines, and real-time personalization by way of disparate data sources.

"I think that as we see best practices of social media and email marketing come together, tactics like embedding live social feeds into an email marketing campaign will become more common," Warnock says. "Email marketers are already experimenting with hashtags in email subject lines as direct calls to action, and an embedded social feed can be the cherry on top of an integrated strategy."

"If the commentary on the live social feeds is relevant, it can be effective," he adds. "This could also be another opportunity to incentivize users. If subscribers see that other people are sharing the promotion, they may be more inclined to do so as well."

Wrapping Up

Warnock believes combining social and email enables marketers to promote their products in a way that's less intrusive than other ways like banner ads and sponsored posts.

He adds, "It benefits the consumers as well, who are given an opportunity to receive special offers that are relevant to their interests."

If recipients realize benefits to themselves and to their friends, surely you've got a successful campaign on your hands.

As an email subscriber, do you ever engage with social media through email messages? What makes you want to share information from an email with a friend? Let us know in the comments.

Image Jason Warnock (LInkedIn)

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.