In case you would still doubt after the many interviews, studies and articles I have posted about the integration of social media and email marketing: eMarketer released a new report called “Maximizing the E-Mail/Social Media Connection”.
If I would have the budget I would buy it, but I guess it doesn’t really cover stuff I haven’t posted about (if not, people at eConsultancy, if you read this, you can always send this blogger a copy for review).
Fortunately on the web page that announces the report, eMarketer gives some data. And you can also download a white paper called ‘Email in the social age’ by StrongMail that tomorrow organizes a webinar with eMarketer about the report.
According to the report, where 2009 email marketers ‘started to get social’, this year is the year that social media will make email marketing more “powerful”.
According to eMarketer, and of course myself, social media is “a partner and not a threat to email marketing”.
Why? Because it, I quote, “provides new avenues for sharing and engaging customers and prospects”.
Combining email marketing and social media equals more than 2
In case you are new to this blog you can read all about the integration of social media and email marketing in this section. There are dozens of posts, slideshares, surveys, opinions, tips and even cases to boost your email marketing campaigns by using social media. But it’s also the other way around: use email marketing to leverage your ‘social media voices’ as I explained earlier and will explain more in future posts.
In fact, as I wrote so often, in the end email marketing and social media marketing don’t only strengthen each other, they are most of all about customer-centricity: being where your customers are and offering them the channels THEY want to use.
And of course, using social media techiques, sharing options and share-worthy content gives your emails a reach, viral dimension and conversational aspect that make your marketing more one-on-one than ever before. At least, if you look at your email recipients as people. It’s all about engagement.
Combining social media and email marketing enables marketers to create deeper connections
Back to eMarketer. Let me quote again: “Even though people are spending more time using social media, they are not abandoning email. The two channels can help each other, offering the opportunity for marketers to create deeper connections”.
Again, as I said so often: no, social media won’t kill email, they benefit each other.
The company also says that “marketers must now integrate their email marketing and social media marketing efforts”.
Of course the report also contains data and strategies to “maximize effectiveness” when integrating social media and email.
eMarketer resume them in four strategies to combine email marketing and social media:
- “Multiplying sharing opportunities by linking email and social media messaging”. That’s pretty obvious and it is the least you can do. If you have no sharing opportunities in your emails right now, it’s about time you start. Let your recipients spread the content of your emails via Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious or whatever other service.
- “Providing a broader platform for brand advocates and encouraging your ‘best customers’ to share” (via social media of course). Well, that’s social media marketing, customer loyalty, word-of-mouth, folks. Remember: “retention is the new acquisition” as Joseph Jaffe puts it.
- “Shifting the control to the consumer by providing multiple avenues to interact with a company”. I would rephrase that and say: your customers, whether they are consumers or businesses, already decide which channels or ‘avenues’,’ they use. So it’s not about shifting control. The control has shifted. If you’re not there where the people you want to reach are, it simply doesn’t work.
- “Use email metrics such as response rate and conversions to enhance social ROI”. Hello, yes, of course it’s time that we go beyond tactical metrics and metrics about the bottom-line. As Jim Sterne resumes them in this interview: reach, influence, sentiment and business outcomes.
So, in case you didn’t believe me and many others regarding the strength of combining social media and email marketer, maybe this new eMarketer report will. You can buy it here.
And by the way: there are more than four strategies to combine email marketing and social media.
Discover them in this section of the blog and read, for instance, the posts of Fred Tabsharani, the interviews, the slideshares and the cases.
More tomorrow after the webinar…