This is illustrated more clearly than anywhere with the integration of marketing’s two most powerful tools into a single, mutually benefitting whole. What we’re talking about, of course, is the joining together of e-mail and social media into something that really drives traffic and gives you new highly-targeted leads that can be converted into extremely valuable sales.
Let’s get right down to business and explain just how your e-mail and your social media can be joined together in ways that will add names to your mailing list and sales to your bottom line down the road.
No, E-mail is not Dead
First a quick word on this; the Web is a growth landscape for buzzwords, trendy ideas and “the latest” fashionable thinking in marketing and advertising. Because of this, it’s gossip mill often gets ahead of itself in proclaiming something as “dead” and declaring the latest new thing to be its only valid replacement.
In some circles, this kind of thinking is starting to spread to e-mail and causing some marketers to wonder if the e-mail marketing approach is over because social media has arrived on the scene. Furthermore, with extraordinary case studies such as this one, it’s easy to see why some people might get swept up in the social media hype.
However, if you look at some deeper hard numbers about e-mail, you can rest assured that e-mail is far from dead and, although social media alone can deliver some amazing results to some marketers in some situations, the real marketing gold lies in combining the two effectively.
The Basics of Integration
Let’s start with the most basic sort of integration that all of your marketing campaigns should follow. These are the sorts of things that are easy to implement but can create some major impact if applied diligently to all of your campaigns and posts.
Enable Social Sharing for all Your E-mail Messages and E-mailed Posts
First of all, you need to start creating social media accessibility for your existing e-mail campaigns and the messages they carry, on the spot. Do this by including social share icons for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and any other major networks your readers use in every single one of your e-mail messages and the posts on your blog that they link to.
Furthermore, make sure you do your own social sharing of these same posts by reloading them to your social media accounts right after you’ve e-mailed them out to your group of e-mail followers.
By taking these two simple steps, you’ll be spreading the message of your original e-mails wider and further than it would normally travel and introducing it to new people who aren’t yet on your e-mail subscription list.
Encourage E-mail Signup in Every Socially Shared and Shareable Post
On top of the above described sharing steps, you can add a further twist that’s vitally important for increased e-mail opt-ins. Simply this: make sure that all of the links you and your e-mail fans are sharing to your social pages have their e-mail opt-in sections on their pages. These e-mail opt-in offers should be clearly visible, attractive and include an offer of bonus content or prizes for those who sign up.
This way, as your e-mail campaign posts are shared, new social media followers who read them can be further tempted to sign up as e-mail subscribers.
Enable E-mail Opt-In Right Inside your Social Media
Here is a beautifully powerful and simple e-mail/social media integration strategy that very few marketers seem to use, to their great misfortune, since it has been known to convert awesomely.
We’re talking about creating an e-mail opt-in option right inside your Facebook feed and collecting the addresses of interested followers directly and right in the moment when their curiosity is most piqued — while they’re actually looking through your most interesting posts.
How do you do this? Your first possible method consists of using a tool called the 5 Minute Fan Page and setting up an e-mail collection page right there at the top of your Facebook news feed, front and center. This way, people who stumble across your Facebook page or have it recommended to them by others, won’t have to then find your actual blog or site link to be given a chance to say yes to e-mail updates or content. They can opt-in right from your wall.
You can also create Wall-based e-mail opt-in capacity in a more integrated (but also more complicated) way with the Facebook Connect API. This will smoothly integrate with your FB business page and gently offer your viewers the option of registering their e-mail addresses with your page for the sake of future updates and content. Since it belongs to Facebook itself, it’s likely to generate more trust with fans who are wary of sharing their e-mail address through social media.
Now that you’ve done the above, take things a slight step further by also adding e-mail opt-in capacity to all of your individual wall posts. You can do this by integrating your Facebook Fan page with yet another very creative digital tool called SplashPost.
With SplashPost you can directly ask for e-mails in each and every one of your Wall posts, meaning you’ll be requesting that e-mail address right at a key moment when your readers’ attention is engaged in something interesting you’ve posted. Furthermore, with in-post email request integration, you’re literally taking advantage of every possible social media-based opportunity to ask for an e-mail without being intrusive about it.
Always Offer Incentives (Or at least frequently!)
Moving beyond specific methods into a more general philosophy of e-mail and social media integration, we need to mention the absolute importance of offering dynamic and genuinely interesting incentives to all of your e-mail fans, blog readers and social media followers in exchange for their own spreading of your message through their social connections.
You can do this in all sorts of ways: By offering sweepstakes, offering discounts for customers who give you a certain amount of shares, retweets or ‘likes’ or you can simply give away something of serious value in exchange for peoples’ own personal stories in your niche.
By doing this instead of simply offering a giveaway for more ‘likes,’ you’re creating a personal interest in customers’ sharing spreading the word among others with a similar interest. Another possible strategy is to encourage people to opt in with their e-mail addresses as part of a contest that then moves on to social media.