Let the Silos Fall Down!

  |  May 17, 2012   |  Comments

Part two in a two-part interview with Jay Baer.

In Part 1 of my conversation with Convince & Convert President Jay Baer, we talked about why email and social media play the Madonna and Lady Gaga roles convincingly as well as their strengths and weaknesses. In the final installment of our discussion we jump into why social media professionals trip on email and what they should do immediately, as well as a few brands that integrate the two nicely.

Simms Jenkins: We know that email drives social media and often is the No. 1 reason people are visiting fan pages and returning to social networks. However, social doesn't seem to be leveraged to assist marketers' email programs, which usually have a higher ROI - why is that?

Jay Baer: It's because people who work in social media professionally often have little experience with email, or interest in growing the email channel. The first thing most companies should do (after adding social media icons to email templates) is to set up an email sign-up form on Facebook. Alas, it's pretty rare to see it.

SJ: Great point. Do you agree with the findings that the most active social media users are probably your best email subscribers?

JB: Of course. The people that like your company for real also like your company enough to become a Facebook fan or subscribe to the email newsletter.

SJ: Who are a few brands that are doing some great things in the social and email space from an integrated fashion?

JB: California Tortilla ties the channels together very well at the content level. Lululemon does some interesting integration too. Scotts (the guys behind Miracle-Gro) do a great job too.

SJ: What about the email purists that deride social's value as just noise and fluffy engagement? Is there validity to that statement or are they just threatened?

JB: Email professionals that willfully ignore the 847 million members on Facebook, and the 500 million Twitter accounts are fooling themselves. Put it this way: the average Facebook user spends between six and seven hours per month on it, and with pleasure. People check their email a few times a day, but begrudgingly. Social networks change and/or improve their features and user experience every single month. When was the last time email got better in any meaningful way? That's the problem email faces in the future...it never got any better.

SJ: What is your advice to a digital marketing professional that is confused by the tug of war game often played by email and social media?

JB: The goal isn't to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at business because of social media, and integrating with email is a great step in bridging that gap.

Thanks Jay. It's always a pleasure speaking with you but I appreciate your clarity on this important and often divisive topic. I hope each and every digital marketing practitioner can learn from this and figure how to better seamlessly tie all of their digital programs together, not even just email and social. Let the silos fall down! I hope my readers can add an opinion or two on their efforts in this crucial realm of the digital space.


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Simms Jenkins

Simms Jenkins is CEO of BrightWave Marketing, North America's leading email marketing-focused digital agency. The award-winning firm specializes in elevating email marketing and digital messaging programs that drive revenue, cut costs, and build relationships. Jenkins has led BrightWave Marketing in establishing a world-class client list including Affiliated Computer Service (A Xerox Company), Chick-fil-A, Cox Business, Phillips66, Porsche, and Southern Company. The agency was recently ranked among the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine.

Jenkins was awarded the prestigious AMY 2010 Marketer of the Year from the American Marketing Association for being the top agency marketer and the Email Marketer of the Year at the Tech Marketing Awards held by the Technology Association of Georgia. Jenkins is regarded as one of the leading experts in the email marketing industry and is regularly cited by the media as such and called upon by the financial community to provide market insight and consulting.

Jenkins is the author of two definitive and highly regarded books on email marketing; The New Inbox (published in April 2013 by ClickZ/Incisive Media) and The Truth About Email Marketing (published by Pearson's Financial Times Press in 2008). Jenkins is currently the Email Marketing Best Practices Columnist for ClickZ, the largest resource of interactive marketing news and commentary in the world, online or off. His industry articles have been called one of the top 21 information sources for email marketers.

He has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, Bloomberg TV, Wired Magazine, and scores of other leading publications and media outlets. Jenkins is a regular speaker at major digital industry and general business conferences.

Additionally, Jenkins is the creator of EmailStatCenter.com and SocialStatCenter.com, the leading authorities on email and social media metrics. Prior to founding BrightWave Marketing, Jenkins headed the CRM group at Cox Interactive Media.

Jenkins serves on the eMarketing Association's Board of Advisors among other civic and professional boards. He is also a mentor at Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech-based startup accelerator program. Jenkins is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio and resides in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood with his wife and three children.

Follow and connect with Simms on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, The BrightWave Blog, and his book websites at NewInboxBook.com and SimmsJenkins.com.

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