Using social media to build e-mail relationships


A few years ago, some trend watchers predicted that social media would kill e-mail. Well, some still do. It's a typical example of not putting the customer in the centre and having an integrated approach around the customer. Social media and e-mail are used for different purposes by different segments and in different ways. The trick is to strike a good mix, depending on customer preferences.

Today, many marketers have started adding social sharing tools to their e-mails. It isn't always easy to find good ways to effectively make e-mail recipients use them. The more shareworthy the content or offer is, the more it can get shared. Selligent's social sharing mechanisms also allow cross-channel influencer identification, another good way to combine the power of both channels.

However, the mutual reinforcement of social and e-mail in function of customer preferences is not just about social sharing buttons. It's also about developing smart integrated campaigns and scenarios. Another way to look at it, which is often forgotten, is using social networks to get e-mail subscribers. A typical example is using a blog to have new contacts sign up.

Justin Williams recently posted an article explaining how you can turn social followers into email subscribers on iMediaConnection.

Below are some takeaways.

Transforming social followers into e-mail subscribers is actually not all that different from the transitions that people make in real life as they become closer friends, Justin says. Over time, the connection between the two deepens and the desire for more one-on-one time grows.

Different social segments require different engagement and subscription tactics

Just as we need to connect more deeply with people on social media and other channels, a compelling connection must be established through social media to drive people to be e-mail subscribers. It's not enough to just put a link to the email list out there. People need to want to follow that link and deepen that relationship. How can this be done? One thing to keep in mind is that different followers will be compelled by different reasons.

Below are three types of social followers as the author describes them:

  1. One type of follower is all about thebottom line. These followers, who Justin Williams calls bargain hunters, will be attracted by deals they can't get anywhere else. Promising them exclusive savings through email subscriptions will hook them.
  2. Other followers are attracted byknowledge. Prices might be included in that exclusive knowledge, but these followers have a broader base of motivation. If they feel that an email subscription can point them toward unique products or other types of information they couldn't have obtained otherwise, they will be driven to sign up.
  3. Finally, a third category of followers are there for thesocial activity. They want to chat and engage with people as though the channel is a sort of virtual water cooler. This doesn't mean that they can't be as valuable as the other two types of followers, however, or that they are uninterested in the same exclusive opportunities.

As Williams points out, e-mail is still better than social media for such things as cross-selling and personalizing. Marketers can capitalise on the importance of the social aspect to these types of followers. They are interested in what's new and hot and what their friends are saying and doing.

Social media and e-mail should not be seen as two separate channels of communication, Williams points out, but should be integrated. Social media provides the initial meeting ground for a relationship that can be deepened through e-mail.

I would add other channels and contact moments too. Indeed, it's all about the preferences of segments and customers we integrate around. And these segments include social behaviour as well.

Do you want to integrate around the customer? Discover how Selligent enables it.

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