The question on the minds of marketers “Is Email Dead”?With increasing regulations around Email Deliverability and Privacy there’s concern over meeting requirements.
How do we drive opt-in?
How do we grow our prospect database organically?
How can our content become more sharable and viral?
Integration of social into emails can work in achieving these objectives
Real quick, what are the popular social networks?LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestFoursquareYour blog!There are many many others like Digg, Stumbleupon, but we’ll focus primarily on the 5-6.
Why do we integrate social into email ?
It’s another platform to communicate. Everyone consumes information differently. Some prefer email, some prefer social, some prefer direct mail, some prefer F2F conversations. Communicating through social is a must. By integrating it into your emails you can begin to capture that digital body language and develop personas around social engagement based on that activity.
Extend the reach of your emails. Share the content beyond the targeted list.
Identify your influencers. By analyzing metrics you can understand beyond just what content is effective, but who finds value in it. Who’s forwarding and sharing the content. This information allows you to develop targeted messaging and content to those influencers. There’s also an excellent opportunity to reach out and engage with those influencers. Social relationships are a give and take. Share the influencers’ information. Understand the realm and reach of their influence. What are they talking about? Should it be what you’re talking about?
Grow your opt-in and subscription organically. You can identify contacts through their digitally body language. You can also develop subscription centers so as people engage with your social content they can opt-in to receive relevant content.
How do we use social integration?
Share the content directly from the email. While not a bad tactic, for most content this isn’t logical. If they’ve engaged in an email they probably haven’t actually engaged with the content yet. Sharing from the document itself or from the landing page or thank you page may be more beneficial. The only time this might not be true is when promoting an event like a conference or webinar, through the email.
Gain followers through social links embedded in your email. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us to your Google+ circle, Link up with an individual or follow a page on LinkedIn. Remember, you need to give them a reason why. What will they gain?
One to One Relationship BuildingForward to a friend. People can share the actual email with colleagues. Use “forward to a friend” functionality” to capture a new contacts data.
Start Doing It
Include social icons in your emailsSocial icons should be displayed prominently in the email design. Some may disagree but they are an extension of your brand. Don’t hide them in the footer.
Don’t assume they know what you want. Ask them to follow, link, join, etc but more importantly, remember to tell them why. Don’t tell me to “Follow you on Facebook” if you can tell me how I’ll benefit from doing it. Spell it out. This is another opportunity to communicate the value.
Many companies design social specific campaigns to gain followers. While I don’t totally object I think that understanding the “why” of it is important. Why do you want additional engagement. Also understand where your audience primarily engages. Look at the data. Don’t create a “Follow us on Facebook” campaign if that’s not where your target audience goes for information.
Create a powerful subscription center where contacts can opt-in, but also set preference around content, when the content’s received, and how it’s actually delivered. Also use these subscription preferences to continue with persona development. Some even create these subscription centers directly in their social sites.
Demonstrate that your content’s worthy of sharing. Some companies show tweets from others, about that content, in the email design.
Some things to remember
You’re working with 140 characters. Try to work with less. If you’re sharing content from the email you need to define an engaging headline and take into account the link character count. I use tinyurl.com to shorten my share links. I also try to keep my total social message to around 100 characters so others can RT and add their comments.
I’m always amazed at the number of social campaigns that occur “just because”. Define what you want to accomplish, why you want to do it, and how you’re going to do it. Define your baseline metrics. Know what you’re starting with. Track, measure, and modify regularly based on the level of engagement (or lack of). Understand what content is resonating, and with who. Also, when people are sharing the content, what words and messages are they adding. Should those words and messages be incorporated back into your efforts?
Email sender and provider coallition social integration presentation
Marilyn Cox is a Modern Marketer and Director ofMarketing Communications, at Cincom Systems Inc. Shecreates strategic and tactical marketing communicationsthat help achieve corporate objectives. Follow her@marilynecoxAbout MeSince 1968, Cincom System, Inc. has helped thousands of clientsworldwide by solving complex business problems with its software andservices, with an average return on investment of more than $30 to $1.About Cincom