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How Social Media Influences E-Mail Marketing

  |  April 13, 2009   |  Comments

Seven e-mail marketing pros offer tips on how to identify and reach social influences.

This week's column is dedicated to seven e-mail marketing geniuses you need to know. If you haven't friended them, followed them, or bought them a drink yet, you're missing a tremendous opportunity.

Over the past few weeks, I've had the pleasure of working with seven Email Experience Council (EEC) members on a new whitepaper, written in response to a ClickZ Webinar a few weeks back about e-mail's future (registration required). The topic, one of four the EEC will write about, addresses how to identify and reach social influences in e-mail. The whitepaper includes hands-on methods tested in today's market. This is a cannot-miss paper. I was so impressed with the comments and strategies these experts have implemented that I wanted to share some of them with you this week.

Understanding the impact of social media on our targeted e-mail campaigns opens up a new set of segments to leverage. Consider how you can split your list, not according to dollars list members individually spend, but by the collective dollars they influence others to spend (on top of their own spend). These new measurements follow the impact of a combination of reach and response.

In the past, people who responded marginally or not at all to your list were typically the people you'd remove from your list. Today, though, those people might not individually respond but may tell others about your offer, news, or sale. They could very well become your best ambassadors.

Who are these experts, and what else did they have to say?

  • Wendy Ackland, director of BurntToast Marketing. Ackland and her team generated a higher response from a typical nonresponder. They realized that though an invite e-mail may not have gotten response from the intended recipient, it could generate four times the number of responses when that person passes it along to others.

  • Sheryl Biesman, manager, Internet division, Nature Made's Pharmavite. Biesman adds links to her e-mail messages that encourage people to share them on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

  • Amy Bills, director of field marketing, Bulldog Solutions. Bills advocates using partners and vendors to help identify social influencers and get them engaged in your brand.

  • Nicholas Einstein, director of strategic and analytic services, Datran Media. Einstein says savvy e-mail marketers use various conversion metrics and lifetime value formulas to segment and target high-value subscribers.

  • Hugo Guzman, director of SEO and social media, Zeta Interactive. Guzman is a fan of e-mail surveys asking list subscribers to give feedback on their level of social media engagement.

  • Stephanie Jackson, strategic marketing solutions, Zinio. Jackson e-mails requests to Facebook lists, asking them to help reach company goals.

  • DJ Waldow, director of best practices and deliverability, Bronto Software. Waldow had a lot to say. My favorite was using tools like Twitter Grader (created by HubSpot). I checked my grade and (phew!) got an A, although I'm still at 70,443 and want to get a better result. Thanks to these tips I'm sure I will.

Thanks again to all the social e-mail geniuses who took part in this paper. The next paper will be focused on new e-reading devices you need to know about. Stay tuned!

Join us for a one-day Online Marketing Summit in a city near you from May 5, 2009, to July 1, 2009. Choose from one of 11 one-day events designed to help interactive marketers do their jobs more effectively. All sessions are new this year and cover such topics as social media, e-mail marketing, search, and integrated marketing. Register 30 days in advance and get a $40 discount!


Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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