In the words of Brian Solis, “Email is technically the largest untapped social network in the world”. Although on one level that’s a pretty obvious statement, on another it’s a really astute observation that starts you wondering why we’re all so excited about Twitter and Facebook when, right under our nose is, potentially, a hugely more powerful marketing tool.
When Chris Brogan comes on the video screen (as he did at Social Media Marketing 2010 – London) and muses on the fact that “95% of consumers have a trusted relationship with brands via email, yet only 5% have a trusted relationship with brands vial social media”, you really need to start thinking. The #5 and #2 AdRanking bloggers are both talking about social email marketing – perhaps there’s something in this.
Now, I’m something of a social media purist at heart (it’s all about community, not sales etc.), but my business partner (the blogger, Murray Newlands) who is much more attuned to the sales opportunities social media holds for business – has been banging on about social email for months.
Now, one argument goes that by combining the data held on social media sites with the powerful direct marketing communication channel that email offers, companies can radically boost their sales and marketing results. The other says that by adding social media “share” buttons, among other social network integrations, to emailings, companies are seeing an increase in referrals and recommendations. The big email houses are starting to look to social media to inject new life into their industry: StrongMail recently reported that “42% of executives reported a lift in email campaign performance after integrating social and email”.
Now, regardless of the colour of your hat (I’m stealing the “black hat”/”white hat” analogy from SEO here) – there’s definitely something exciting in that quote for marketeers. We all know that social media is primarily about providing value and building trust, and if you understand that – integrating email into the communications mix can only enhance the effectiveness of your relationship with your customers. Now, we think this is worth exploring further…