Karen Talavera

Karen Talavera is the founder of Synchronicity Marketing.

The Number One Way to Connect Your Email and Social Media Marketing

The Number One Way to Connect Your Email and Social Media Marketing

"With so many ways to integrate email and social media we have almost unlimited options for leveraging connection between these two powerful conversation marketing channels. Still, for those at the beginning of the process it pays to know where to start."

The Number One Way to Connect Your Email and Social Media Marketing

By Karen Talavera

With so many ways to integrate email and social media we have almost unlimited options for leveraging connection between these two powerful conversation marketing channels.  Still, for those at the beginning of the process it pays to know where to start.

I’m often asked what the number one way to connect email and social media marketing is, so whether your presence on social media is brand new or you’re an experienced marketer wanting to make sure you don’t overlook the obvious, here’s my answer:

 

Use email marketing to invite connections on social media

This of course assumes you have a presence on at least one of the big three social networks – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – if not also on others like YouTube, Ning and Meetup.

Why start with something so simple and obvious? Here are three good reasons why and a few ideas how:

 

1) Leverage Your Broadest and Most Established Online Channel to Build Connections in New Channels Today it’s still true that a greater percentage of your customers use email than social media.  That makes email the broadest online channel you have to invite customers to engage with you in any other channel – online or offline – especially emerging channels like social.  It’s probably also the oldest (and for some, still the only) online communication channel you have with your customers, so chances are, not only are more of your customers reachable via email than social, they’re also more comfortable with and open to hearing from you through email than social media.

Enlightened Emarketing Tip: leverage email marketing messages to entice, invite and remind subscribers that you’re present and interested in engaging with them on social media.  You can use email to do this in a variety of ways: a) through dedicated email invites and announcements to visit and “like” you on social media sites, b) through Facebook-based contests (where a visit and “like” of the page is required for entry), and c) by embedding in email messages social media connection icons that link to your corresponding pages on those networks (now common practice).

2) Hedge against Email List Attrition. Using email to stimulate social media connections is a hedge against losing a customer connection in the email channel.  If and when an email subscriber does want to leave your list, provided they’re connected with you on social media you can still engage and communicate with them there.  And that's better than not at all.

Enlightened Emarketing Tip: Recognize that as marketing channels continue to proliferate, people have more choice than ever.  Some email subscribers will leave your list and instead prefer to connect with you on social media.  Some social media fans will never subscribe to your email list. Honor preferences and don’t unreasonably expect everyone to connect with you in every channel.

3) Multiple Channels = More Valuable Customers.  It’s a continually proven marketing truth that customers who engage in more than one channel purchase more often and spend more overall than customers who only interact in a single channel.  While email is an ideal broadcast and targeted messaging channel, social media is a highly interactive and more conversational than email.  The two separately are ideal for different types of messages, but when used together can create powerful, deeper engagement with customers that translates into more sales and higher lifetime customer value.

Enlightened Emarketing Tip: Don’t overlook email’s potential to initiate a conversation or process which you then continue on social media.  It’s likely you’ll receive most customer ideas, suggestions, feedback, reviews and ratings through your social media points of presence.  You can even use email to intentionally solicit that sort of input, which you’ll then gather on your social media pages, blog or through surveys.  Since email is your broadest online channel, use it to launch a request for feedback, then transfer that conversation, discussion or interactivity to the context it’s best suited for: the social network.

Of course, we’re rarely limited to just a single way of doing anything, although we may have to tackle one method at a time.  After leveraging your email to invite connections on social media, you’re ready to do just the opposite: use social media to build your email list. I’ll have a bundle of suggestions for why and how to do so in an upcoming article.

Unsure of where to start or go next? Request a free Enlightened Emarketing Strategy Session.

Karen Talavera runs Synchronicity Marketing and writes about email, social media and other online marketing conversation channels on her blog Enlightened Emarketing.  Follow her on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) or Facebook  for daily tips on digital marketing trends, facts and new ideas.

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Last Thursday, people sat down with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and eat their hearts out. Whether the tradition is to eat turkey, tofurkey, or chinese takeout, one things is for certain, most of the people who are busily enjoying a large meal on Thursday are ready to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  In early October, National Retail Federation released their forecasted numbers for 2016. While the 2015 holiday season didn’t perform as well as estimated, increasing 3.2% over the previous year, they’re forecasting in-store sales to increase 3.6% to $655.8 billion. Moreover, NRF is forecasting non-store (online sales) to increase a whopping 7-10% to as much as $117 billion.

At this point, retailers are in full swing, running promotions, stocking up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and organizing their team to execute flawlessly. What retailers may be forgetting is how to handle this influx of customers after the holiday season is done and gone. With more consumers turning to online shopping as the quickest and easiest way to get their holiday shopping done, retailers can enjoy more visibility online and more opportunities to turn browsing shoppers into loyal customers. However; retailers need a game plan quarterbacked by two key strategies in order to succeed: retention and predictive marketing.

Retention marketing, also known as lifecycle marketing, helps retailers speak to consumers wherever they may be in the buying lifecycle, from an onsite visitor to a one-time customer, to a high value, loyal customer. The 2016 Retention Marketing Report states that retailers have embraced the idea of retention marketing, with a 55% increase in retailers budgeting 30% or more to marketing to existing customers. The main channel for retention marketing, is, of course, email marketing. Interestingly, we found that retailers who are winning in the retail space and seeing a competitive edge are employing predictive data on top of their retention marketing strategies.

In fact, in the 2016 Predictive Marketing Report, we found that, anecdotally, retailers who have invested in predictive marketing are seeing increases across the board from sales, to engagement, and even inventory management. These findings jive with what we’re seeing in the industry. A recent Forrester Report states “predictive marketers are 2.9x more likely to report revenue growth rates higher than the industry average.” Additionally, Salesforce Marketing Cloud found that 79% of top-performing marketing teams are using predictive intelligence to inform their marketing communication and strategy.

So how does all of this fit together? The first step to get started with retention marketing or to add predictive marketing is getting access to your data in an actionable way. Having access to product, purchase, and customer data in your email marketing platform allows you to start slicing and dicing your customer list by key features, such as, last order date, products purchased, geographic location (for in-store promotions), etc. This enables retailers to ensure they’re not sending Harry, who lives in Montana, promotions for women’s bathing suits in the middle of winter or Joan, who lives in Florida, promotions for a brand new snow shovel.  Once retailers have set up foundational retention marketing campaigns - first purchase series, abandoned shopping cart campaigns, browse abandonment campaigns, and a best customer series - it’s time to sprinkle in predictive data and create predictive campaigns.

Predictive marketing can take form in a few different ways in the world of email marketing.  If you’re just getting started, I recommend starting with the low hanging fruit. One of the easiest steps you can take is enabling dynamic product recommendations for your existing email campaigns. Dynamic product recommendations are populated based on buying trends of the individual person and the trends seen in the retailer’s aggregate customer base. This one addition creates a more personalized experience for each customer. 

Once dynamic product recommendations are added, it’s time to move on to using predictive data - predicted replenishment date (for consumable products), predicted gender, predicted order date for a predictive win-back campaign, etc  - to trigger and build out campaigns.. Depending on your industry, certain campaigns and promotions may work better than others.

PREDICTED REPLENISHMENT DATE

  1. com, an IR1000 retailer (#617), a web-only retailer of coffee, tea, and related products, created a replenishment campaign based on predicted replenishment date. This campaign, pictured on the right, triggers based on each customer’s buying cadence. This campaign’s revenue per email (RPE) is $0.73. Note: The industry average is $0.11.

Similarly, Artbeads.com, also an IR1000 retailer (#550), a bead and jewelry-supply online retailer, created a replenishment campaign based on predicted replenishment date and has seen a 161% increase in opens from this particular campaign.

In both instances, the retailers are leveraging dynamic product recommendations in their emails, as well as relying on the predicted replenishment date to trigger the campaign. 

PREDICTED GENDER

For US based stores, we’re able to predict with a 99% confidence rate the gender of each customer in your database. This data can be extremely useful when you’re creating your promotional calendar. While the promotion might be the same, the copy and products your pushing may vary based on gender. Additionally, you can employ this information to create suppression lists, so Harry will no longer get promotional campaigns for women’s swimsuits. This not only helps create a more curated and personalized experience for your customers, but cut down on unsubscribes and spam reports.

PREDICTED ORDER DATE

Predicted order date can be used in a number of ways, but primarily we tend to focus on creating a predicted win-back campaign. A static win-back campaign uses a set number of days past the purchase date as their trigger date, generally retailers will look at their average latency period to help determine the timeframe; however, this approach leaves room for error. For any customer who has purchased 3 or more times, retailers can employ predicted order date to create a predictive win-back campaign. This campaign is triggered based on the predicted order date for each customer.

SurfStitch, Australia’s number one surf and lifestyle brand, created a predicted win-back campaign. Running both a static for 1-2 time buyers, and predictive campaign for 3+ buyers, SurfStitch has seen a 72% decrease in churning customers.  To top it off, SurfStitch capitalized on their existing copy and creative when creating

Pennington & Bailes, Windsor Circle’s green pants provider, also created a predictive win-back series. They have seen a 62% lift in opens and a 137% lift in clicks from their predictive win-back series when compared to their static win-back campaign.

Retailers are just beginning to scratch the surface of what predictive marketing can do. As consumers demand a seamless experience across devices, regardless of whether they shop in-stores or online, it’s imperative that retailers create the curated, personalized experience consumers are looking for. To learn more about predictive marketing, download the 2016 Predictive Marketing Report and make sure to keep your customers after the holiday rush.

The just-concluded Presidential election was – in a word – interesting.

As a marketer, it was fascinating watching two diametrically opposed candidates take each other on. This was not a test where one candidate was just slightly different than the other – it was a case where the candidates could not have been more opposite.

 While you may not be thrilled with the results, there were three key things that all marketers - and especially email marketers - can take away from the drama to make each and every one of their programs be more successful.

Digital marketing leaders continue to promise consumers a true 1:1 personalized interaction. We have all said it, preached it, and many of us have it tattooed somewhere. Right Message. Right Time. Oh, Right Channel. Recently. Right Person.

Simple: load up the data, drag and drop, press magic button, personalization.

We already know that email can form the hub of your digital marketing program, with the email address housing all of your information about each customer in your database. Now, I want you to think how email testing can also drive your multichannel testing program to gain insights across your entire customer database.

“Why is my mail being blocked if I still get spam?”

It’s almost an inevitable question when handling delivery issues. I understand why I get it so often. People look in their inbox and see this mail is clearly spam and it’s in the inbox. But they look at the mail they send that they know isn’t spam and it ends up in the bulk folder. It’s logical to ask why legitimate marketers have to follow all these complicated and arbitrary rules to reach the inbox when spammers reach the inbox and they don’t follow any of the rules. 

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