Social media won’t kill off email marketing but it could be the making of it. So says Liz Moss, marketing manager at leading email marketing software provider newzapp, who’s client base has grown consistently by 30% in each of the last four years. Here she offers a simple strategy to integrate the two.
There has been a lot written about social media and email marketing and whether both can possibly survive together. Yet, while some social media platforms continue to grow exponentially, email marketing also goes from strength to strength.
It seems the people who think email marketing won’t survive are those who make a living writing about social media, dazzled perhaps by the bright lights of TwitFaceLinkFlick.
But email and social media are very different channels with different uses, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. So how could one possibly replace the other? Of course, there are some things that we used email for in the past which are better delivered by social media. But many more remain obviously best suited to email marketing.
The truth of the matter is that social media gives email marketing another dimension and so from offering the best ROI of any direct marketing it can now offer, well – even more.
A few people have talked in broad brushstrokes about integrating social media with email marketing but nobody seems to be prepared to say this is what you should do. So, while no single approach will suit everyone, here’s one that will suit many.
Email marketing works brilliantly when linked to other marketing tools such as your website, and it should be linked to your social media platforms too. So get those links to Twitter and the other platforms you use onto your email marketing templates. The logos are instantly recognised but use text links too in case images are turned off. And links both to and from the social media platforms can be to specific content too.
Just as you ensure that e-newsletters and other marketing material is available by registering on your website, entice people to register for them with tweets and posts on your social media platforms. And when something new goes out on email, make sure you share your content across your social media websites too.
This simple, integrated approach uses social media to amplify what you’re already doing through email and your website. It recognises that just as the audiences on different social media platforms are likely to be significantly different, they also likely to be different from your email lists and from visitors to your website.
Giving up one to concentrate on the other could well mean giving up a significant segment of your overall marketing audience. And while very simple in approach, this strategy provides a good foundation that can easily be built upon with more sophisticated enticements to particular target audiences.
It also allows marketers a bit of breathing space to get their heads around just how effective different social marketing platforms are going to be for them.
At the moment the potential is there for vast audiences but this doesn’t mean they’re going to work and while there are some useful measuring tools out there, they are still along way behind the unrivalled feedback that good email marketing tracking systems provide.
Of course, we all have to cut our marketing cloth to fit our budgets and there will be those who look to ditch the better, paid-for email marketing systems for free ones or even give them up to concentrate on social media, and to them a word of warning.
The cost of the best email marketing systems should be quite transparent but you’ll find hidden costs and considerable trouble can await those who go down the “free route” – and if it costs peanuts you’ll get monkeys. As for social media, it is never free and you’ll more than pay for in time what you save in money if you just concentrate on this channel alone.
Instead, keep your email marketing function, get your social media up and running and integrate it across all your marketing channels including email.
Then play with it, try different things, experiment and see what works best for you and how much time you can afford to devote to each as you proceed purposefully into a multichannel marketing future.
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