How to make your e-mail more social

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E-mail is as vital and important a part in the direct marketing toolkit as ever before. Competition for the scarce attention of consumers remains intense as marketers devise ways to make brand messages stand out amid cluttered inboxes. So, it is particularly vital that marketers take advantage of the consumer's broader media and communications ecosystem as part of the evolving role of e-mail marketing.

Today's average consumer counts email as one of several digital messaging touchpoints encountered in a given day. The social media explosion has produced several widely used messaging and sharing channels like Twitter and Facebook. For marketers wanting to maximize their email campaigns, they should look at   orchestrating other social media channels in harmony with email messaging strategy. The Web as a whole has become significantly more social and participatory, creating a myriad of other channels for two-way communication that can effectively reach both targeted and mass audiences. Given the ubiquity of mobile technology consumers now have immediate and ever-present access to online content. The average consumer already carries a mobile device with email, web, SMS, photo and video capabilities in pocket at all times, in addition to owning a laptop or other personal computing device. The experience that consumers have with online marketing channels is becoming fully integrated, and the boundaries between email and other messaging channels are beginning to blur.

Leveraging Social Media in E-mail Marketing

The most effective e-mail campaigns can no longer be planned in isolation. In order to remain relevant, marketers must take into account the lifecycle of the consumer's relationship with the brand in order to provide targeted messages at the right times. Mobile and social media are now inseparable parts of that ongoing consumer-brand conversation, and email plays its own critical role. Leveraging the benefits of mobile, social and email together yields synergetic results that can be highly effective in expanding and strengthening customer relationships. To maximize the potential of this effect, marketers should consider how their email strategies can leverage and enhance the best attributes of mobile and social marketing strategies.  

Here are a few tips you can apply to coordinate your e-mail with your social and mobile strategies for an integrated marketing experience that truly delivers results.

Keep the message consistent. If your brand is already talking to consumers across several of these channels, make sure the brand's voice, messaging and rules for engagement are consistent across all communications, whether it's e-mail, text or tweet.

Provide value to drive engagement. Permission marketing is well known now as the key to creating meaningful and lasting conversations with consumers based on trust. We now have to apply that thinking beyond email opt-in to generate Facebook fans, Twitter followers or SMS subscribers. Consider these as touchpoints or attributes of the consumer's overall engagement with your brand.

Add detail to your customer personas. Measurement and analytics are a key part of evaluating and optimizing an email campaign's effectiveness. Whereas email analytics provide a reliable basis for measuring engagement, social media monitoring can provide insight into the behaviors and interests of your target audience that email analytics cannot. Gain deeper, more actionable insight by taking a look at a more detailed picture of customer engagement.

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