At a recent event the question was raised how does social networking fit in with your email marketing strategy?
There were some obvious things – many pointed to putting links to their Facebook or Twitter page in their email newsletters. On the whole most people still don’t understand how to use the social networks and are finding their way. Indeed it reminds me of 6 years ago when everyone knew they “should be doing email marketing” but had no idea why, they just heard it was the thing to do and there was lots of money in it!
If I had £10 for every time I heard someone say that back then, I could be having a very early and luxurious retirement.
Nowadays all it takes is an MD to hear something about Twitter being “really big” and then they want a piece of it, whatever that piece is.
Anyway here are some interesting points people raised about using email and social networking together:
Consistent personality across channels
Social networking has encouraged brands to find a personality to communicate with their customers. Each brand usually has a particular tone and style that they use on these sites. Yet how many emails do we still see where they are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org?
I like using the example of toptable who have developed a cult and mysterious character out of “Alex” the person who sends their newsletter. Alex is the most well known person at toptable and is most sought after at any events. Staff who travel the world for their holidays will get asked by people they meet, who is this Alex character? This is clearly a sign that recipients have engaged with this character, and while many brands are doing this through their social channels they should also be doing this in email as well.
Use social pages to drive email subscribers
Most email newsletters will link to the brands social page – many brands may link to the email from their Twitter page. But why link to the whole thing? Why not simply add a teaser and link to a sign-up page? So your tweet could be “25% off in this weeks email newsletter” and once they had signed up the email is sent to them straight away.
One thing that was universally agreed upon was social networking is not the new email marketing – email is not dead. After all what do all these social networking sites have in common? Thats right, you need an email address to join.