Social and Email - Better Together
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  • Welcome and Thank you for listening to our webinar “Email and Social – Better Together. Today we’re going to talk about two very complementary marketing channels: email and social media. Social media is a hot topic these days in marketing discussions, yet email remains the tried and true workhorse. While many in the industry still talk about email’s demise at the hands of social media, we’re here to show you that these channels can work together to support your overall marketing goals.
  • Allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Julia Peavy and I am a Director, Professional Services here at Return Path and I am joined by Stephanie Colleton also a Director in the Professional Services group. Through custom consulting engagements we help our clients improve their email response rates and the overall return on investment they see from their email program. Stephanie & I have worked with hundreds of clients and we’ve seen the good/bad/ugly. We are constantly reviewing industry trends and conducting research to define the best practices for our clients. We want to share our experience with you so you can improve your email program.
  • Today we’re going to take a look at the latest trends in how people are using email and social. Then we’re going to review some industry examples broken down by three tactics in email and social integration:Expand Your ReachEncourage SharingBe InteractiveFinally, we’ll wrap up by reviewing the key points we’ve covered.
  • Before we dive into our best practice examples, let’s explore what’s going on in the industry. How are email and social media working together?
  • According to one recent study, we see that email is still holding strong as a marketing channel. While 32% of respondents were both email subscribers and fans, 56% of respondents were only email subscribers. Less than 2% of the audience were only fans, followers, or fans and followers. This demonstrates the strength of the more mature email channel as social media becomes more prevalent. SUBSCRIBERS are U.S. consumers who have given their emailSUBSCRIBERS are U.S. consumers who have given their emailaddress to at least one brand. FANS are U.S. consumers with aFacebook account who have become a FAN (or LIKED) at least onebrand on Facebook. FOLLOWERS are U.S. consumers with a Twitteraccount who FOLLOW at least one brand on Twitter.[Julia to redo chart.]Study: ExactTarget’s Subscribers, Fans and Followers
  • These data points from Merkle’s “View from the Digital Inbox 2011” study, further support how individuals are using both social media and email. Social media users are over 60% more likely to check email at least four times a day than those who don't use social media.
  • And executives are taking notice. According to StrongMail’s “2011 Marketing Trends Survey,” email marketing and social media are the two top marketing tactics where spending is expected to increase in 2011.
  • According to the Content is the Fuel of the Social Web report by AOL and Nielsen, email is the primary way of sharing content online. Social media is the 2nd most popular way to share content.
  • The same Lyris report shows that 54% of marketers surveyed saw improved results when combining email and social. Respondents rated social media as the online marketing channel with the greatest positive effect when integrated with email (selected by 34%), compared with 29% for web analytics and just 3% for mobile marketing.
  • By integrating your social media and email programs, you can expand the reach of your brand across channels. Driving email subscribers to your social media sites, and using your social media sites to drive email subscriptions.
  • In this example,Coldwater Creek includes an email sign up box that promotes “exclusive email updates” on their facebook page. By promoting the exclusivity of the email program, Coldwater Creek is providing their facebook followers a reason to sign up for their email program.
  • In this example, ValPak includes a sign up for their daily deal emails right on their Facebook page. By including the sign up right on the Facebook page, they are helping to increase conversion by simplifying the process for their social media followers. ValPak
  • Vail Resorts posts their snow totals and takes you to a link where you can sign up to receive these notifications via email. What could make it even better? Include some text promoting the ability to get this info via email. Something like “Get the snow totals delivered to your inbox!”
  • It may not be the content, but the medium that drives a certain action. On the Cost Plus World Market unsubscribe page, subscribers have the option to follow the company on Facebook or Twitter. Providing additional ways to stay in touch with the brand, provides an opportunity to engage with your audience as they would like.
  • In this example from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, there is a little blood drop icon with the other social media icons. The alt-tag for the icon reads “LLS” leading us to believe that it leads to the LLS home page. In fact, it takes the subscriber to a page on the LLS website that explains the details of their social media presence.
  • In this example from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, there is a little blood drop icon with the other social media icons. The alt-tag for the icon reads “LLS” leading us to believe that it leads to the LLS home page. In fact, it takes the subscriber to a page on the LLS website that explains the details of their social media presence. This is a great way to aggregate all the opportunities subscribers have to stay in touch with an organization that fosters a true community. One improvement would be to call out the destination more clearly in the email. The small drop icon and generic “LLS” alt-tag does not provide the subscriber with any clues as to what to expect on the landing page.
  • Another more direct approach we’ve seen some marketers take is to send a standalone email asking subscriber to join the company’s social network. In this example, Initials has created a promotion called Facebook Friday in which subscribers can receive free products each Friday by being a fan.
  • In this example from The Limited, they are specifically promoting Twitter and do an excellent job of listing reasons why a subscriber would want to follow the company.
  • In this last example, Nascar offers a discount incentive to become a follower.
  • The marketing tactic – whether email or social media – is more valuable if the content can be shared with others. Not only is it important to have content that is worth sharing, it is important to facilitate this sharing and make the process easy and straight-forward. Ensure audience members know what content is sharing and that any text and graphic that will be shared is appropriate and valuable.
  • In this REI example, the ability to share the content is included at the bottom of the email. However, it is not clear what content will be shared. The entire newsletter? The mega deals? The backpack? Ensure subscribers know what content they will be sharing in order to increase the likelihood of sharing the content.
  • In this whole living example, subscribers are able to share the content via email or several social networks via the “Share this” call to action. The sharing call to action is clearly linked to the content and easy for subscribers to understand.
  • In this Mamapedia example, web site visitors are able to share the deal via Facebook, Twitter and email. While social media sharing is growing, email is still the primary way to share content. Ensure you have all these sharing opportunities included on your websites to allow subscribers to share as they want.
  • This California Psychics blog provides readers with the ability to share the content via facebook, twitter, and email. In addition, they include the ability to sign up for the daily horoscope newsletter. Ensure that social media properties, like your blog, are working hard to engage your audience, are full of content worth sharing, and make sharing easy to do so.
  • One seemingly simple best practice, but one we’ve seen executed poorly is to make sure your share link displays on your subscriber’s social network in a way that optimizes your brand and the content that the subscriber is sharing. We’ve seen several marketers include share links that show a generic, unbranded post. In the example above from a well known national clothing retailer, this subscriber’s friends and followers will have little idea what their friend has shared with them.
  • In addition to promoting social networks via following or sharing content, companies can benefit from making their email and social media experiences more interactive and more social. Email is shifting from simply driving a purchase or advancing a lead and developing into a more interactive channel in the online marketing toolbox. As advances are made in the use of video and forms within email, marketers need to ensure they are testing out different techniques to make their emails more interactive, and thus engaging, for their subscriber base.  Social media, by its very nature, allows more interaction and is more of a two way conversation. Special care needs to be taken to ensure that social media posts are not simply pushing information. Social media content needs to take advantage of the ability to receive feedback, request information and input, and creatively get out your company’s message.
  • In this example, Williams-Sonoma is encouraging interaction with video content. The arrow, as well as the screen shot of the video encourage interaction and entice the subscriber to click. Williams-Sonoma also integrates subscriber feedback with the 5 star rating from the web site incorporated into the email. This subscriber feedback helps strengthen the message and support a more “social” and community feel to the email.
  • In this example from Force Factor, they not only include pictures of fans on Facebook to encourage a sense of community, they also include social media chatter within the email.
  • This newsletter from Betty Crocker has a number of highly interactive features.At the top there is a link to a survey on the new design of the newsletter.Next you’ll see there are four calls to action for each recipe: clicking to see the recipe, sharing it, printing it and adding it the subscriber’s online recipe boxFinally, there is a prompt to see the answer to the latest ask the expert feature. A link to “submit your own question” is another call to action they could include here.
  • On the bottom half of the email the inactivity continues. There are a few voting call outs, one for recipes to make for games watches and one for spring recipes. Finally, Betty Crocker has included a rate this email feature at the bottom of their emails to gain direct feedback (beyond analyzing opens and clicks) from their subscribers on how useful their emails are.
  • PitfallsWhile there are many benefits to integrating the social media and email channels, it is also important to be aware of tactics that may negatively impact on successful integration. Below are a few common mistakes to avoid: Inconsistent messaging. Ensure that the purpose of the message you are conveying in both the email and social channels is the same. Avoid offerings discounts or promotions in one channel that you can’t honour in another, especially if users are likely to interact with your brand across both channels. In addition to the content and purpose of your messaging, the tone in both channels should also be consistent for a streamlined and holistic brand experience. Weak brand voice/personality. Social media offers a unique opportunity to give your brand a voice and personality. This can be carried through into your email campaigns as well; however, the brand’s persona should be clear to consumers. Who is your company? If you company were a person, what would it like/dislike? Is your company’s personality and tone of voice funny, witty, sarcastic, helpful, friendly or a combination of all of these traits? What is your company passionate about? What does you company want its consumers to get from their interactions with the brand? Your definition of your brand’s personality should be clear and consistent in all social content and email marketing.Inauthentic content/information. The purpose of creating consumer interactions through a social media presence is to build consumer relationships with the brand, as well as create brand ambassadors who are loyal and vocal about the brand’s benefits. As a result, social content cannot have an aggressive sales message focused solely on product promotions for driving purchases. The secondary benefits of a successful social media strategy may well be increased sales; however, social content should focus on increasing brand engagement by providing valuable content to consumers and two-way interactions that are unique to the social and email channels. If consumers’ interactions with the brand feel forced or inauthentic, then the social channel will become a source of “noise” rather than a channel that offers true consumer benefits. It is also important to keep content fresh and original so that consumers continue to engage with your company across the social media and email channels.
  • So in review, here are a few of the key points we covered:Email and social are don’t have to be competing marketing strategies. Used together they can complement each other to drive response for both channels. Look at your program holistically.Use your emails to drive sign-ups for social and use your social efforts to drive email subscriptions. Scan your whole website and all of your emails. Make it easy to share content from your emails using both email and social. Make it easy to share content from your social sites. Make sure it’s very clear to your user what he or she will be sharing – an offer? An article, a whole email? A specific blog post or a link to the blog in general? Finally make sure it’s clear to the recipients of the shared content what they will be clicking through to. The post or email should be specific.Make your content share worthy. Email needs to be more interactive than ever. And your social posts should encourage a conversation. Look to receive feedback and engage followers.
  • If your team is looking for help with integrating your email and social media programs, Return Path offers the Social Email Solution. The comprehensive strategy document includes a priority action checklist, strategic and practical integration recommendations, and industry best practice examples. In addition, we also provide recommendations for specific metrics to track, how to track them and why they are important.
  • If your team is looking for help with integrating your email and social media programs, Return Path offers the Social Email Solution. The comprehensive strategy document includes a priority action checklist, strategic and practical integration recommendations, and industry best practice examples. In addition, we also provide recommendations for specific metrics to track, how to track them and why they are important.

Social and Email - Better Together Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Email and Social
    Better Together
    © 2011 Return Path, Inc. www.returnpath.net | Confidential, do not reproduce
  • 2. Authors
    Stephanie Colleton
    Director of Professional Services
    stephanie.colleton@returnpath.net
    Julia Peavy
    Director of Professional Services
    julia.peavy@returnpath.net
  • 3. Table of Contents
    Chapter 1: The Trends
    Chapter 2: Best Practices
    • Expand Your Reach
    • 4. Encourage Sharing
    • 5. Be Interactive
    Chapter 3: Pitfalls to Avoid
    Chapter 4: Key Takeaways
  • 6. Chapter 1:
    The Latest Trends
  • 7. Email is still holding strong as a marketing channel.
    Source: ExactTarget Subscribers, Fan, and Followers Study, 2010
  • 8. Consumers who love social also love email
  • 9. Marketing executives expect to increase spending on social and email
  • 10. Email is still the most popular way to share content by a wide margin.
    Source: April 2011 “Content is the Fuel of the Social Web” report by AOL and Nielsen
  • 11. 54% of marketers see better results when social is combined with email.
  • 12. Chapter 2
    Best Practices:
    Expand Your Reach
  • 13. In this example, Coldwater Creek includes an email sign up box that promotes “exclusive email updates” on their Facebook page. By promoting the exclusivity of the email program, Coldwater Creek is providing their Facebook followers a reason to sign up for their email program.
  • 14. In this example, ValPak includes a sign-up form for their daily deal emails right on their Facebook page, helping to increase conversion by simplifying the process for their social media followers.
  • 15. Sierra Trading Post uses their blog to provide valuable information to their audience, and includes a call out with an incentive to drive people to sign up for email. Subscribers are provided with something “extra” (25% off their next order) for signing up for the email.
  • 16. Vail Resorts posts their snow totals and takes you to a link where you can sign up to receive these notifications via email. What could make it even better? Include some text promoting the ability to get this info via email. Something like “Get the snow totals delivered to your inbox!”
  • 17. Of course for customers who don’t want to interact with your company by email, social can offer a different way to stay connected. On the Cost Plus World Market unsubscribe page, subscribers have the option to follow the company on Facebook or Twitter.
  • 18. In this example from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, there is a little blood drop icon with the other social media icons. It takes the subscriber to a page on the LLS website that explains the details of their social media presence. (Next page …)
  • 19. This is a great way to aggregate all opportunities subscribers have to stay in touch with an organization to foster community. It could be improved by calling out the destination more clearly in the email.
  • 20. Another more direct approach we’ve seen some marketers take is to send a standalone email asking subscriber to join the company’s social network. In this example, Initials has created a promotion called Facebook Friday in which subscribers can receive free products each Friday by being a fan.
  • 21. In this example from The Limited, they are specifically promoting Twitter and do an excellent job of listing reasons why a subscriber would want to follow the company.
  • 22. NASCAR offers an incentive to follow on Twitter. Like most incentives this works because it’s targeted. It is only appealing to people who are like to be fans of the brand.
  • 23. Chapter 2
    Best Practice:
    Encourage Sharing
  • 24. In this REI example, the ability to share content is included at the bottom of the email. However, it is not clear what content will be shared. The entire newsletter? The mega deals? The backpack? Ensuring subscribers know what content they will be sharing increases response.
  • 25. In this Whole Living example, subscribers are able to share the content via email or several social networks via the “ShareThis” call to action. The sharing call to action is clearly linked to the content and easy for subscribers to understand.
  • 26. In this Mamapedia example, web site visitors are able to share the deal via Facebook, Twitter and email. While social sharing is growing, email is still the primary way to share content. Include all opportunities to allow subscribers to share as they want.
  • 27. This California Psychics blog allows readers to share the content via Facebook, Twitter, and email. In addition, they include the ability to sign up for the daily horoscope newsletter.
  • 28. One seemingly simple best practice, but one we’ve seen executed poorly, is to make sure your share link displays on your subscriber’s social network in a way that optimizes your brand and content. We’ve seen several marketers include share links that show a generic, unbranded post. In the example above from a well known national clothing retailer, this subscriber’s friends and followers will have little idea what their friend has shared with them.
  • 29. Chapter 2
    Best Practice:
    Be Interactive
  • 30. In this example, Williams-Sonoma is encouraging interaction with video content. The arrow, as well as the screen shot of the video entice the subscriber to click.
    Williams-Sonoma also integrates subscriber feedback with the 5 star rating from the web site incorporated into the email. This subscriber feedback helps strengthen the message and support a more “social” and community feel to the email.
  • 31. In this example from Force Factor, they not only include pictures of fans on Facebook to encourage a sense of community, they also include social media chatter within the email.
  • 32. This newsletter from Betty Crocker has a number of interactive features:
    1. A link to a survey on the new design of the newsletter.
    2. Four calls to action for each recipe: click to see the recipe, share it, print it and add it to the subscriber’s online recipe box
    3. A prompt to see the answer to the latest ask the expert feature.
  • 33. But wait, there’s more! On the bottom half of the email the interactivity continues:
    1. A few voting call outs, one for recipes to make for games watches and one for spring recipes.
    2. A “rate this email” feature at the bottom of their emails to gain direct feedback (beyond analyzing opens and clicks) from their subscribers on how useful their emails are.
  • 34. Chapter 4:
    Pitfalls to Avoid
  • 35. Common Integration Mistakes
    While there are many benefits to integrating the social media and email channels, it is also important to be aware of tactics that may negatively impact on successful integration. Below are a few common mistakes to avoid:
     
    Inconsistent messaging. Ensure that the purpose of the message you are conveying in both the email and social channels is the same. Avoid offerings discounts or promotions in one channel that you can’t honor in another, especially if users are likely to interact with your brand across both channels. The tone in both channels should also be consistent for a streamlined and holistic brand experience.
    Weak brand voice/personality. Social media offers a unique opportunity to give your brand a voice and personality. This can be carried through into your email campaigns as well; however, the brand’s persona should be clear to consumers. Who is your company? What is your company passionate about? Your definition of your brand’s personality should be consistent in all social content and email marketing.
    Inauthentic content/information. The purpose of creating consumer interactions through a social media presence is to build consumer relationships with the brand. As a result, social content cannot have an aggressive sales message focused solely on product promotions for driving purchases. The secondary benefits of a successful social media strategy may well be increased sales; however, social content should focus on increasing brand engagement by providing valuable content to consumers and two-way interactions that are unique to the social and email channels.
  • 36. Chapter 5:
    Key Takeaways
  • 37. Double The Impact
    Email and social are don’t have to be competing marketing strategies. Used together they can complement each other to drive response for both channels. Look at your program holistically.
    Use your emails to drive sign-ups for social and use your social efforts to drive email subscriptions. Scan your whole website and all of your emails.
    Make it easy to share content from your emails using both email and social. Make it easy to share content from your social sites. Make sure it’s very clear to your user what he or she will be sharing – an offer? An article, a whole email? A specific blog post or a link to the blog in general? Finally make sure it’s clear to the recipients of the shared content what they will be clicking through to. The post or email should be specific.
    Make your content share worthy. Email needs to be more interactive than ever. And your social posts should encourage a conversation. Look to receive feedback and engage followers.
  • 38. Need help?The Social Email Solution
    A comprehensive plan for integrating your email and social media programs.
    For more information go to www.returnpath.net/proservices
  • 39. Thanks for reading!
    Want more Return Path?
    • Connect with us on Twitter @ReturnPath
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    • 41. Find us on Facebook
    • 42. Subscribe to our “In The Know” email marketing blog