Using email to grow your social media community

The intimate nature of email means that it’s often more efficient when it comes to direct sales - hence it being the cornerstone of direct marketing – via...

The intimate, private nature of email means that it can be highly efficient when it comes to direct sales and for that reason it remains the cornerstone of direct marketing.

The downside is that interactions that happen via email only exist in that silo, so unless they choose to forward your email you won’t get any exposure to your subscribers connections. The challenge is, therefore, to get your email subscribers to interact with you on social media.

For a detailed look at Integrating Social Media and Email Marketing you can download our new white paper, which features insights from some of the UK’s biggest names in digital marketing.

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Often, organisations go about this by including “like us” and “follow us” buttons in the footer of their emails, but this won’t necessarily have the desired effect.

It needs to be crystal clear what the benefit is and why the reader should take that action. Each channel has to have independent value and something unique to offer, so when you’re asking someone on your email list to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook tell them why. It might be as simple as getting the latest deals a few days early, or receiving a discount for being a fan or follower.

“Usually, when I see social integrated into an email, it tends to be just ‘Follow Us’ and a social media icon. Few brands seem to provide a clear benefit message of why I should follow you.” Simon Preece, Founder, slp consulting

Including ‘follow us’ buttons in the footer of your emails does make your email subscribers aware that they can find you on other channels, but if your goal is to get them to follow you will need stronger tactics. There is a world of difference between an ineffective request to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ and a motivating call to action.

To genuinely engage your email base, you may want to start by sending them a dedicated email letting them know where else they can find you; it might be an email newsletter that integrates your most popular social media content (and makes this easy to share); or it might be a promotion for a special offer or competition that’s available exclusively on one of your social media channels.

“Make it easy for your email subscribers to share your content.  All your readers have to do is click a link within your email and a Tweet that you have composed pops up for them to share. When you make it easy, more people are likely to share.” Nicky Kriel, Social Media Coach and Trainer

If you aren’t getting the desired results from your emails, you may want to test different wording, images or try moving the buttons to a different place within the email. There’s no out of the box solution that says: “your buttons need to say this and be in this position in the email”. It’s a case of trial and error, but if you have a clear objective with great, interesting content then you will start to see results.

For an in-depth look at other ways of integrating social media and email marketing, click here to download our free white paper.

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