Social media can offer the antidote to waning consumer engagement with email.
Email marketing managers are looking for ways to increase their reach and enhance their engagement. If done correctly, social media offers an antidote to fix waning engagement. Here are five specific things you should be doing with social media to improve your email marketing.
1. Use it to find the right people. List growth is important, but finding compatible consumers will bring more value to your list. Use your social media sites to feature discussions that will draw consumers back to a preference page. Your articles and discussions on social media should feature information about your brand. In doing so, you tend to attract those who are interested in your brand versus those who have just signed up to receive a free gift.
2. Assurance goes a long way. Your consumer would love to get a testimonial from someone that they know concerning the transaction that they are about to complete. This is the one thing that holds a consumer back from taking the final step. Wouldn't it be more powerful if the consumer comes to a sign-up page and sees that some of their friends or followers are also subscribed to your email marketing program? The same holds true for landing pages - again, show your consumers that their friends have endorsed your products or services.
3. Strip out the rhetoric. Many brands are using social feedback as part of their marketing campaigns. Make feedback more effective by removing brand tag lines and focus on specific feedback from consumers. Many brands tend to build up their feedback by asking consumers to rank their product or service, and then provide a text box for additional comments. You can do a much better job by asking people very specific questions about your product or service, and then guide them to the text box. This is the kind of information that helps consumers make a decision before completing a transaction.
4. Track opens, views, and the dialogue. If you are encouraging your consumers to share or discuss your brand along social media channels, you will also need to track their discussions on social media channels. Think about opening up your social media tracking to your customer service team so they can listen and respond to what is being discussed. I have been able to watch discussions on social media even when the consumer hasn't opened the email that I sent. So when I look at my results, I am measuring "opens" across multiple channels - both email and my social media channels.
5. Leverage your brand ambassadors. The forward-to-a-friend link in emails offers one of the worst returns on investments (ROI) on campaigns. Think about removing this link and trying a different approach instead. Start by segmenting your list into those who have Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn versus those who do not. Now segment this list further by prioritizing those that have shared your content along social media channels. I recommend targeting these brand ambassadors with the content you need to go viral. If they like what I am sending them and they feel that I have treated them with exclusivity, they will share my offer with their network of friends.
SES Toronto is coming up in June and we have set aside a half day session to focus on improving your email marketing. If you are in Toronto and can join us, here is a link to more information.
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Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.
He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.
Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.
Hong Kong, 20-21 January
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