Linking email with social media is conceptually interesting because it combines two different animals: direct response and organic communities. In this blog I’ll explore how the two can be used complementary together.
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
STEP 1: Include the clients on your email marketing database to onto your twitter and facebook following. This builds up a sub conscious presence in which they remain more firmly grounded on your radar.
STEP 2: Use your social media tools for research purposes. Evaluate what they are sharing, what are they passionate about? What are they concerned about? Essentially this knowledge will become useful when Email targeting your specific clients.
STEP 3: Identify your most vocal key influencers. What brands are out there who support your work? For example if you were selling pizza to families, the key influencer who you would want to target would be children, because essentially it’s the kids that will nag their parents to buy them the pizza. So by using social media to build up stronger relationships with your influencers, it increases the chances of them harassing your target clients to buy your product. Once you’ve identified a list of key influencers, mark them as such in your customer database and create specific campaigns that treat them like a most valuable customer, whether via special promotions, advanced access to products, or other ways to “surprise and delight” them.
CONTACTING YOUR CLIENTS
STEP 4: When you do decide to email market your target audience use carefully thought out ways to invite them to your social media ‘friendship zone’. You may not win over a sell, but at the very least may help boost your follower counts on twitter. You may want to create a specific campaign that encourages your email audience to join you on your social networks, for example by using competitions or a discount as an incentive.
STEP 5: Don’t forget to share your campaigns with your original viral network too. However this can be introduced slightly later, as a means of tactically warming to your clients above your normal social media friends.
STEP 6: Whilst many marketers look to ‘socialise’ their email list, there is also a lot of value in doing the reverse – encouraging your social audience to also receive your email campaigns. Simple ways to drive a social audience to also engage via email include adding email signup forms to Facebook pages, using in-stream signup modules and using Twitter to direct users to a signup page.