Combining social media and e-mail marketing: brand and content


In a previous post I gave three key principles regarding the integration possibilities between social media and e-mail marketing. As explained before, that which we call the integration between social media and e-mail is actually not integration between channels, but a mutually reinforcing combination in function of the preferences of clients (in the broadest sense) and, naturally, of business objectives.

Define these objectives in all possible cross-channel ways since the possibilities really depend only on your own creativity. Yet it can't do any harm to look at what most marketers are striving for when combining social media and e-mail and see what works and what doesn't for others. Based on reports from MarketingSherpa and Econsultancy and MarketingProfs, the combination of e-mail and social media generally scores best for:

  • The improvement of brand reputation and brand awareness
  • Improving the reach of e-mail programs
  • Improving the ROI of e-mail marketing (and cross-channel marketing) activities
  • Generating better qualified leads (more channels and interaction data)
  • Increasing both the number of e-mail subscribers as well as the number of social media connections

Social sharing buttons are a crucial tool but content and context are king

According to marketers the 'branding' aspect of the integration is even more important than more directly measurable results such as reach, ROI and lead generation. And this shouldn't come as a surprise really since sharing is really about the right content in the right, individual, context, and brands that are able to provide just that relevance and choice, score good points in people's perception.

Social sharing buttons allow sharing e-mail content, nothing more and nothing less. One obviously shouldn't expect that by simply adding some Twitter and Facebook "Like" buttons, he would suddenly see a mass increase of your reach.
"Sharing" content depends on different parameters of which the content is without a doubt a very important one, but the people behind your e-mail addresses (hence the tips in my previous post) or your social connections also play a crucial role, just as the placement of the sharing tools. If content really is worthwhile (valuable, engaging, emotionally connecting, compelling etc.) and it gets shared, the improvement of the brand reputation and awareness fits exactly in that qualitative ("the right" content) aspect and naturally also in the quantitative aspect (number of shares).

Take note that the sharing tools shouldn't only be placed in your e-mails but (maybe even preferably) on the landing pages. Actually just about every web page and all landing pages today should contain sharing buttons. Right up to customer cases and press releases. This would even force you to entirely revise all content on your website depending on relevance, SEO and the "what's in it for the reader" aspect. And maybe reviewing your existing content and certainly content approach is the first thing that needs to get done.

The integration between both channels is really much more than adding some sharing buttons.

Read the previous post about this topic here.

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