Basil Hyman, managing partner of XCOM Media Melbourne looks at some key initiatives companies can consider when integrating their social media and email strategies to drive business...
Email marketing has been an effective communications channel for businesses for many years, driving return on investment and consumer engagement. Yet many organisations continue to be challenged by such issues as subscriber churn, deliverability and how best to utilise technology to get the most out of their email marketing programs.
With the increasing influence of social media and the desire of many businesses to participate in conversations with their customers, there is now a big opportunity for businesses to achieve greater marketing effectiveness by bringing these two areas together.
It is important to note that the social networking channel will not replace email. In fact, nearly every social networking tool requires an active email address for a consumer to participate in it. As such, many successful marketers such as Tourism Queensland and Wine Selectors are beginning to connect their email and social marketing programs, and are leveraging social data through the many application program interfaces (APIs) available.
We have identified some key initiatives for organisations to consider to ensure these channels work together to drive effectiveness.
1. Measure the social influence of your email subscribers
There are now many tools available, such as klout.com which allow marketers to analyse the social influence of their subscribers. Marketers can then measure and leverage data to ensure their campaigns are targeted, and reduce acquisition costs by utilising brand advocates.
2. Targeting email subscribers based on their social influence
Many email tools now allow marketers to actually segment their database and target email subscribers based on their social influence, thereby expanding their reach exponentially through best practice.
3. Targeted social email programs
Adding share links to an email template is not social media integration. Marketers need to be able to use their email platform to seamlessly launch targeted social email programs to acquire new customers, increase customer loyalty and boost retention.
4. Integrated reporting and analytics
Ensuring a single customer view through integrating social media and email in a single platform will allow marketers to easily view cross-channel performance and conversion metrics allowing for effective optimisation based on key metrics.
Leading email applications have developed over the last couple of years to allow marketers to better integrate email and social media and with the continuous growth in social media activity it's important to ensure that you stay ahead of the game by developing an integrated email and social strategy.
Basil Hyman is managing partner of XCOM Media Melbourne, which provides best practice online marketing, technology, consulting and communications services. Please send any comments or questions you have in relation to this article to: firstname.lastname@example.org