New social media metrics for e-mail marketing

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The year of social media marketing accountability
The year of social media marketing accountability

Analyst firm Altimeter and social platform provider Wetpaint collaborated on the EngagementDB July 2009 report, which found that companies investing heavily in social media — those engaged in seven or more social channels — significantly surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and performance.

For marketers, the challenge is proving how social media can drive revenue, and that requires establishing metrics and implementing ways to capture them.

The good news is that integrating social media into e-mail marketing allows you to establish metrics that tie the sharing activity back to an e-mail database record. As a result, activity can be tracked back to the consumer that posted, e-mailed or tweeted about your brand. Following key performance indicators will help you determine the value and contribution of influencers within your e-mail database.

Contacts. When the social content in your e-mail messages prompts recipients to share, social media sharing tools won't provide you with the e-mail addresses, but some will tell you how many they have. Knowing the size of their network can help you establish their influencer potential.

Invitations shared. New solutions that motivate sharing within a campaign offer the ability to track social engagement via invitations in a scalable way. Track the number of invitations sent by your e-mail recipients and target potential brand advocates.

Invitations accepted. Track activity across multiple generations. Recipients within your e-mail database may have large personal networks and send a significant amount of invitations on your brand's behalf. Identifying contacts that drive actual participation allows you to focus incentives on your powerful influencers.

Conversions. Whether defined as a sale or a subscription, tracking conversions driven by each member of your database from their networks is essential. This helps develop an influencer segment and determine their contribution at the recipient level.

In the end, it's social media's ability to create close relationships with the customer that makes the world's most valuable brands successful. With the right strategy, socialized e-mail can help your brand develop similar relationships with your customers and their networks.

Ryan Deutsch is VP of strategic services and market development at StrongMail. Reach him at rdeutsch@strongmail.com.

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