You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Email Marketing Master Class II: Foundations of Social Integration

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/10/2015 Seamas Egan
DEFAULT © Provided by The Huffington Post DEFAULT

Social media has become a standard in many people's lives, from using Twitter as a news source to making purchases on Pinterest. In that light, social media has become top-of-mind for online merchants. A recent Campaigner study found that 49 percent of online retailers have already prioritized social sharing in their outreach campaigns, and 71 percent reported social integrations as crucial to email marketing success.
The reason is simple: Social integration offers clear advantages over email marketing alone. It's extremely cost-effective, considering that marketers can rely on content already at play in marketing emails and other outreach campaigns. Additionally, it allows outreach to spread across platforms any time of day. Social media consumption varies from mobile to desktop and from social channel to social channel, providing multiple touch points on which to engage with consumers. For instance, marketers can launch campaigns around different times of day knowing that consumers will use social media at home after work, or leverage social to engage with mobile users who will not likely use their phones for promotional email browsing.
Social may not drastically grow contact list numbers, but it can generate consumer engagement while promoting brand value among those who are already engaged.
Follow these best practices to make sure you also benefit from social integration in your next email marketing campaign:
Optimize Ad Titles with A/B Split Testing
Similar to email marketing, the success of which hinges on the right subject line, social media ad headlines can mean either new or lost followers. A/B split testing can help determine the best option and ensure your social ad headline produces the most positive feedback. The less likes, shares and followers it sparks, the more reason to no longer use it. Track which customers are responding and what platforms they favor. There is no platform that will be the best option, but the information gleaned will provide further insight on how to segment and reach consumers effectively.
Foster Easy and Simple Connections
Social integration is instrumental in fostering connections with your target audience. However, to have peak efficiency, contacts need to be able to easily connect with your brand. Simplify the process by always making it possible for them to "follow" or "like" social posts. Connections can also be created with social links on emails or notifications, like transactional messages or unsubscribe notices. Particularly with the latter, just because consumers don't want to maintain an email channel with a brand, it doesn't mean they wouldn't want to continue engaging on social channels.
Make It a Standalone Project
Social media integration should not be geared at just boosting email marketing campaigns; it should also focus on driving social engagement in its own right. Launch campaigns that focus on raising followers and strengthening the community of engaging consumers. You can start by offering special deals coupled with social channel subscriptions. Try this about once a month or even just once a quarter, depending on the number of social channels and promotional angles available. Remember, not everyone wants an email, making social the perfect alternative to keep contacts connecting with your brand.
With the holidays quickly approaching, social engagement could be the deciding factor in your marketing campaign's performance - But don't forget your email efforts. Email marketing will always be crucial, and it remains the driving engine behind any contact outreach. Email contacts can more easily go back and find what they need and are interested in, and it also provides the opportunity to offer more information without the barriers of social, like character limits. In all, the ideal campaign would leverage both opportunities, casting the widest net and gaining the largest returns.

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon