Leverage email marketing to get started in social media

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Mike Pugh, VP, marketing, j2 Global Communications
Mike Pugh, VP, marketing, j2 Global Communications

When preparing a marketing plan, a lively debate often ensues over how to build social media into the mix. Rather than starting from scratch, you can use your existing email marketing program to get a running start. Email marketing has proven time and time again that it is an exceptional method to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty.

A recent survey conducted by Campaigner found 61% responded that plans were underway to increase the use of email in their marketing programs. That's because it is inexpensive and doesn't require much time to put into practice.

It's also measurable. Measuring allows you to understand what works and what doesn't so you can improve each and every email. The more data you have the better. Your email campaign reports will show which campaigns are the most successful in driving overall traffic and sales.

They also help you determine the types of elements to use in future email campaigns. Identify your most valuable subject lines, hyperlinks, copy, offers and creative designs in terms of open and click rates. The findings will inspire the direction and content of future email campaigns. They will also be the building blocks of your campaigns in other channels such as social media, drastically reducing your risk and time to market.

Based on your email learnings, repurpose successful concepts and content on your Facebook fan page, Twitter updates and blog. Reuse hyperlinks and graphics that had good click-through rates. Close the loop by including a sign-up form on Facebook that allows people to become part of your email marketing subscriber list.

Filter the contacts that registered through a social site after a certain date and reuse a successful email campaign only to that list. You can also use the data you collect in your social campaigns to further segment your email list. Keep the engagement level high by sending personalized emails that may be more social in nature or have ties to relevant conversation on your fan page.

Meshing private email marketing with public social marketing is an efficient way to incorporate multiple channels into your marketing plan without adding much to your budget or timeline. The analytics from your email marketing service will provide a sturdy foundation for delivering the right messages with social media and getting off to a fast start. Your social media campaigns will help to keep your list fresh and growing.

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