In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a ton of headlines predicting the death of email marketing at the hands of social media.
Ben & Jerry’s caused a commotion by sending an email to their devoted email list saying they were shutting down Chunk Mail. People freaked. Why would they dismantle something that had built a loyal following? Falling victim to the lure of Social Media? People had a point.
It’s good to take a step back and look at the landscape. This is a very scientific rendering of the social media landscape circa 2007. Myspace, tiny sliver of Facebook very spread out and sort of spar
Jump to 2010 and things have changed rather dramatically in Social Space. Facebook blew up! Twitter, not even on the previous map, is growing. So many new venues for people to connect socially online. What’s really interesting is that this area we’re looking at (and all of those changes) are happening in a vey small section of the overall communications world. You can see that all of this is a sub-section that lies between email and SMS
So, back to Ben & Jerry’s. The backlash was quickly subdued when they announced that the Chunk Mail would still be used. Sign up screen still on the website as of today.
Video was the new hotness in the 80’s, but really? Did it kill radio? No. MTV currently plays around 3 hours of music videos per day. And music, radio and video are all interconnected. You can see here that people engaged in social media are more likely to also engage in email. Conversely, folks not engaged in SM are dropping in email engagement. Meaning there’s still room for traditional marketing methods, as well. It all works together.
So it’s not Email versus social anymore
It’s email AND social
And what it is important to think about is the type of message you’re trying to get out there and then pick the proper channel.
Almost everyone has an email address, the messages can be much more involved and longer, you can target specific groups based on what you know about your recipients. It’s easy to keep your branding consistent and upfront and with more ESP, email is very trackable. The social media channel is all about connections and leveraging influential people to interact with your messages. Shorter, more pointed messages are perfect here. You can actual interact with people and keep that conversation transparent. Social helps you build an outward following that shares in the engagement. Plus it happens so quickly.
Even Twitter sends an email newsletter. Sometimes your message just won’t fit in 140 characters.
Conversely, we send a regular monthly newsletter, but things pop up every once and a while that we want to share. And share more broadly than just our newsletter list. Here’s a link to an article in our local paper. We could quickly and easily spread the word and get traffic to the article.
Poll – how many of you use email, social, syncronizing?
Here’s an example from our own email archive. This is an email campaign announcing our new “Social Sharing” feature, which allows our users to add sharing icons to the emails they send through Emma and recipients can then use those links to share content on Twitter, Facebook or Linked in. So you can see the social sharing links up here in the right hand corner.
And when a recipient clicks on one of those links, they’ll see a window pop up with leading the to their preferred network.
So here’s the best part – tracking. We used that email campaign to initiate the engagement and then we could see how that message spread across social channels. This informed us in our strategy. Facebook shares vs. visits and Twitter shares vs. visits.
So, in that example, our content was pretty blatantly tied to social, but we’d like to show you some ways other folks are taking the best parts of social media and integrating them into their email marketing content and creative.
Wry Baby is an online store for snarky baby & kids apparel. Their emails are all about creating awareness around the latest Wry Baby products and articles. Here, they’re dedicating an email to bring folks from their email list -- where it’s about getting people to act -- to Facebook -- where it’s about getting people to interact. Post photos of their kids in Wrybaby gear, share reviews and testimonials. We love how they’re showing off their playful brand and bringing in the faux-Facebook design. There’s a lot of potential to create a wonderful, rich brand experience in email. Email’s helping them make the most of their brand, design, and database of customers. And social’s helping them retain customers with another, more community-driven way to connect with the brand, plus find new customers when each “like” shows up in their news feed to, on average, 130 fellow friends who may also want their kids to sport snarky little messages.
So a promotion that actually encourages social engagement and makes it fun to share and spread the word. Living Social offers a free deal if you get three friends to buy, too. That all happens through social sharing. Amazon partners with Living Social, a daily deal email. 99000 per hour, 85 per second. Tons of chatter on twitter and facebook. Groupon ran similar promotion last year with Gap – 10 per second.
Smartbrief stat on using email to deliver people to your social channels. Before it was much more manual in order to share the information. Comparing the Stats from the month before launching social sharing to the month after adding the feature and found: Visits from Twitter increased 1,680% | Visits from LinkedIn increased 2,070% | Visits from Facebook increased 1,351% they basically were trying to deliver more people to their social spots they sent out that email and that's what happened to the visitor numbers after the email success!
Daily Candy is the grand dame of daily emails, particularly for the ladies. As the name implies, they send a daily email with the latest and greatest shopping. Because of their frequency, they’ve got the challenge of engaging their readers and enticing them to act. They do a great job with snappy copy and high-style illustrations, but I really liked what they did one day last year. They borrowed one of social media’s strengths -- the highly readable short form content update -- and made that the format for their email campaign. The RT and hashtag language, plus the bite-sized description make the email feel very “now” and very readable. Channels are so ubiquitous, and it begins to effect how people communicate, people get used to the short, digestible content.
Segmentable + transparent/community-driven- Good way personal communication to engage in a public online community, so again, combining the channels to reach a goal.
All of these are two way communications. No matter where you are online, make sure you’re listening. FB and twitter are public. Search for your company name and even those of your competitors and industry buzz words. Get an idea of what kinds of conversations are happening.
Most email marketing services have now have this features, so use it. Depending on the content, this is an easy way to increase your reach.
24% of marketers are doing this currently. (AWeber survey). If you’ve got a presence on social media sites, be sure to let your email audience know and give them easy links. You’ll also be able to track this.
Super simple way to build your email list. Folks are already interacting with you online so let them know you also have an email list. Use the language in the tweet or on the sign up screen itself to let people know what the benefit is.
You don’t have to re-invent the wheel when it comes to content. If you’re stuck for things to share in the social sphere, look to your recent emails for quick content. Tweet or share a link. This is a really simple example. At Emma, we’ll tweet the links more than once but change up the copy. We get a ton of traffic when we ask a question.
Another place we see missed opportunities. If you’ve got a blog along side or attached to your marketing site, be sure to have sign up screens in both places. Someone may happen upon your blog before your website, so give them the opportunity to join your email list. You can link to your regular sign up form, or better yet, create a blog-specific form so you can track where people are coming from.
Great way to build and ensure engagement. Use social media to hint at things coming via email.