Integrating social media and email marketing isn’t easy. Since most companies have different teams for each channel, that usually means that different campaigns are running, too.
But if you manage to integrate social with email – and vice versa – you can actually supercharge your digital marketing.
We asked seven experts about how brands can combine social and email in new and creative ways. Here’s what they said:
1. Use Social to Personalize Email.
B2B marketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to personalizing emails for prospects. But Sajeel Qureshi of Computan has a solution: research decision makers on Twitter or LinkedIn Sales Navigator and then craft emails based on their interests.
“It’s a lot of work, but each quarter we encourage [clients] to make a list of 60 potential customers they’d love to work with. They almost always get responses,” Qureshi explains.
2. Use Social to Personalize an Email Welcome Series.
“Tusker Trail was looking to crowd-source their next adventure destination, so they built a social campaign that asked their fans to vote on their next destination and then enter their email for a chance to win a vacation prize,” says Piccola.
“Once fans entered their email address, they were put onto an email list and received a series of five tailored auto-responders based on what they voted that educated them on Tusker Trail adventures and provided exclusive deals and tips for traveling. Once the five-email series was finished, the entrants were added to Tusker’s ongoing newsletter list.”
This is a great way not only to encourage email sign-ups, but provide a personalized welcome series that shows people the value of the email newsletter. To help enhance the campaign, Piccola explains that Tusker Trail used ShortStack to build the social campaign and integrate it with email marketing platforms.
3. Cross-Promotion via Social Ads.
Many brands operate social media and email marketing strategies in a silo. According to Brian Roueiheb of Arthurian Enterprises, cross-promotion is critical to getting the most out of both channels.
“If you want your newsletter subscribers to tweet something, make it as easy as possible. Using a service like ClickToTweet, you can make it so that the user just clicks a single link in your email that pre-populates a new tweet with your desired message,” Roueiheb says.
To maximize the exposure of your newsletter, you can also upload it to Twitter and to Facebook and leverage the advertising tools for each channel.
“On Twitter, you just head over to ads.twitter.com, click ‘Tools’, and go to the ‘Audience Manager.’ From here, you can create a new audience and upload a CSV of your newsletter subscriber’s email addresses,” Roueiheb adds.
“On Facebook, you can select ‘Create Ads’ from the main drop down menu at the top right of every page. From there you can click ‘Create a Custom Audience’ and upload a CSV of your newsletter subscriber’s email addresses.”
Facebook’s “Custom Audience” feature will identify your audiences by email and then you can create custom Facebook ads for your existing subscribers, who you know are more likely to respond to your campaign.
On Twitter, you might create ads to redirect them to check out your website or other social media stream. On Facebook, you might create ads to promote your subscribers to “Like” your page or visit your website.
4. Use Social and Email to Test Different Emails.
Jeff Kear, the founder of Planning Pod, says that one way the brand creatively uses email and social is to test out different copy across every channel.
“We often use our successful email subject lines in Twitter posts as well as in Facebook ads. Or we use our Facebook fan comments or comments in our LinkedIn Group posts in our email and blog content.”
“Or we repurpose images in our most popular Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts in our email content to add color and interest to them. In fact, the content and messaging testing we do between email and social media extends to all our marketing, including the language on our website.
In essence, email and social media platforms are a great way for us to test our messaging and hone in on what really resonates with our target markets.”
5. Offer Social Content within an Email Footer.
It pays off to integrate social content in the body of an email newsletter. Whether you’re using live social media feeds or just incorporating social posts as a postscript, just reminding recipients that you have interesting content on other channels can be a big help.
“When our team incorporated post-script messaging into our email communication, we generated 35% more page views on our social channels,” says Jason Parks, owner of The Media Captain.
6. Host a Cross-Channel Q&A.
If you want to push email subscribers to your social channels, you can pose a question in your email and ask subscribers to answer it on Twitter or Facebook.
“You can ask a specific question via email and invite your audience to answer it on social media,” Florentina Istrati explains.
“For example, if you work with small business owners, you may ask a question like, ‘If you would attract five new clients in the next 30 days, what would you do with that extra revenue?’ You can invite them to post their answer on your Facebook page, Twitter or LinkedIn.”
B2C customers can promote Instagram contests through an email campaign or pose questions about clothing, celebrities, TV shows, and more to create a cross-channel dialogue.
7. Twitter Cards
John Turner, CEO of UsersThink, suggests using Twitter Lead Generation Cards to combine social with email:
“Using social as a way to help lead to more newsletter signups can be quite a strong strategy. One really strong way is to use Twitter Lead Generation Cards to make it easy for Twitter users to join your newsletter.”
“Add some sort of incentive to increase the likelihood of signing up, such as the UsersThink free stock photos incentive. You’ll have to join the Twitter advertising program, which will require you to enter a valid credit card, but once you do that you can create a lead generation card, which you can include in a tweet for no cost. Then pin that tweet to the top of your profile for ongoing promotion.
Any user can then join your newsletter with one click, no need to enter any info, which is ideal for mobile.”
Context, Responsive, and Social
The greatest challenge of combining social and email channels is pulling together the dynamic content of social and coordinating it with a static channel like email. But, with contextual marketing technology, that can actually change.
Contextually relevant emails offer live Twitter or Instagram feeds right within the inbox. That doesn’t just combine the power of email and social media marketing, it actually allows brands to create an entirely new experience from right within the inbox.
Download our eBook, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Contextual Marketing” to learn how contextual marketing can work to create new opportunities for companies and reinvent marketing as we know it: