An Unlikely Romance: Social Media and Email Marketing

EJ McGowan
by EJ McGowan 08 Feb, 2016

Tis the season for chocolate, flowers integration? With love in the air, many email marketers are focused on strengthening relationships with their contacts and wooing back customers who may have gone astray. Harnessing the love that's in the air, social media is the perfect way to spice up customer relationships and drive engagement on a new channel.

As completely separate communication platforms, social media and email are not exactly a conventional couple. However, social integration has become an instrumental part of any healthy marketer-customer romance. Proven to drive consumer engagement and create authentic brand advocates, social is a critical component for every marketing strategy. The numbers don't lie: A recent survey showed that 34 percent of marketers who increased social spend in 2015 saw higher referral traffic.

Below are five tips for integrating social media into your email marketing strategy to make your contacts fall madly in love with your brand this Valentine's Day:

Keep it Casual

Lasting love isn't easy, but falling in love is. Marketers should make it easy for contacts to connect with their brand on social. Including "like" or "follow" buttons directly in emails, even transactional emails and notifications, will provide easy access to your social channels. Clickable logos for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will also be immediately recognizable to the majority of your contacts, fostering a sense of familiarity and ease with your brand.

Avoid Mixed Signals with A/B Split Testing

Social media ad headlines hold a significant amount of power with your audience. A catchy headline will serve as Cupid's arrow through your followers' hearts, but a poorly crafted headline will send your contacts running for the hills. A/B split testing can help determine which headline is most likely to win over your contacts. Also, don't forget to track the success of your headlines to help point Cupid's arrow in the right direction for the future.

Put Yourself Second

Repurposing content is common practice in email marketing, but content from an email campaign will look out of place on social without the proper customization. For example, a call-to-action pulled directly from an email to make a purchase or visit the website would be self-serving if caught on a Tumblr page. Prove that you really understand your contacts by tailoring content to specific platforms, such as using a hashtag on Twitter or a meme on Facebook. They may reward you by sharing branded content with their own social network, expanding your brand's presence even further.

Attend Couples Therapy

Just as many couples attend therapy sessions to figure out what's working and what's not in their relationships, marketers must carefully analyze their efforts as well. Social interaction garners huge amounts of data and can provide helpful insights into your customers' behavior. Marketers should analyze data from each social platform separately to determine which platform their contacts are most attracted to. However, it's also important to create a consolidated view of all metrics to get an accurate representation of ROI. Incorporating Google Analytics into an email marketing platform will produce a combined view of your email and social efforts, so you can then develop the most effective, holistic strategy.

Don't Be Afraid to Go Stag

Though social should be fully integrated into every email marketing campaign, it should also be independent enough to go solo and drive customer engagement all on its own. Launching campaigns that focus on fostering your social community, such as special deals for social followers, will help your brand reach contacts that don't regularly check email.

When it comes to marketer-consumer relationships, social integration can be a matter of life and death. By utilizing these best practices, you might just get a second chance at love.

EJ McGowan, general manager of Campaigner, has more than 25 years' experience in the software industry with expertise in building highly available, scalable SaaS-based solutions.