Dave Chaffey: social media and e-mail marketing are not so different


Well-known British author and marketing expert Dave Chaffey recently posted an interesting article that included ten key features of social media and e-mail marketing. According to Chaffey, both are not as different as we might think, and he supports this with ten tips and features of both media. I strongly agree with Dave and resume five of his findings, while further elaborating on them.

Obviously both channels differ but, as Dave says, much less than we think. Here are five takeaways:

1. Your offer is crucial

Chaffey writes that the relevance of the offer is crucial in all media. People love an exclusive promotion through e-mail and the same applies for social channels, as is shown through recent studies stating that promotions and incentives are the starting point of social media connections, something that has surprised many social media marketers.

2. The importance of knowing your customers

This tip seems obvious, but of course the possibilities to know your customer are different when it comes to e-mail marketing than in social media marketing. Yet opportunities are increasing in this area and the targeting and personalization options of social are rising, at least if you think and work cross-channel and customer-centric. Knowing your client and the channels he uses also means adapting your strategy and message (content) to both.

3. The integration of media and channels

Here Dave mentions my favorite topic: cross-channel marketing. He says, completely justified, that the integration of social media and e-mail marketing works well. Dave also refers to two cases in his post about this integration. The reasons to integrate are diverse, yet the main reason is the simple fact that the customer is cross-channel as well.

4. The importance of timing

E-mail marketers understand the importance of the right timing for conversion. But timing is just as crucial for other media. Also in social media you should post your messages when your audience is most receptive to them. This applies to blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets etc. Several tools exist to determine the best timing across all channels. The best parameter to define timing obviously is the customer and his 'triggers'.

5. The frequency challenge

Just like in e-mail marketing, frequency is important on social networks. Anyone that ever started a Facebook page and made the mistake to post too many updates, knows that  doing this chases the fans away, just as a wrong frequency leads to unsubscribes in e-mail marketing.

Dave has more tips and findings, but the most important takeaway is testing everything you do! E-mail marketers who understand their job, know how important it is to perform tests on a constant basis. The same goes for social channels and, in fact, all interaction channels.

Finally this: the challenges regarding timing and frequency are more important than ever in a world of flooded inboxes, increasing marketing messages and ever more communication possibilities, leading to marketing fatigue. And, although best practices exist for all media, testing for your specific customers, business and marketing goals is still the best.

In an ideal world - which is much closer than we think when we work cross-channel - it is the individual customer who determines the timing and frequency, depending on his digital signals, buying journey, behaviour, preferences and lifecycle.

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