One plus one will always equal two. Today, there’s another calculation that’s just as certain: email plus social equals engagement. That’s the new formula for modern email marketing, according to a recent report from Silverpop.
Analysts often weigh in on which channel delivers the most bang for marketing bucks. In particular, there’s an ongoing—and fervent—debate about email marketing versus social media. The question: Which one produces the most return? But this recent report suggests that the relationship between the two channels isn’t a battle, but rather a partnership. Over the past five years marketers have found ways to use email and social together.
Here are four ways to merge the two channels for one impactful marketing plan.
It’s all about content
People share stories on social media when they find the content interesting, shocking, or inspiring. One of the best steps that a marketer can take is to create email content that prompts readers to share on social media. “Connecting directly with your customers and fans through social media shows you what content engages them,” the report says. “Capitalize on that information by creating fun emails your readers would likely share as forwards or on their own social channels.”
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
This isn’t just good advice for the eco-friendly. It’s also a great mantra for marketers who want to connect their email and social efforts. In fact, marketers may be surprised how much of their social content has a second life. One way to build on that is to re-post popular social content in email. The engagement that a brand’s posts receive on social can be a great indicator of how well that same content will be received in its email messaging. “Find the Pinterest pins or Facebook posts that your fans share and comment on the most. Instagram photos or tweets from a hashtag contest provide consumer-generated buzz that provides social proof,” the report reads. “Re-post them in stand-alone emails, in your scheduled email newsletters, or in your onboarding series.”
Each channel has its own audience, even if some consumers are on both platforms. This presents an opportunity for marketers to use each platform to promote the other. Email messages can be an effective way to promote a new hashtag campaign that a brand is pushing on social media. Social can be an efficient conduit for promoting marketing deals found in only a brand’s email messages. “Include a standalone email that invites [consumers] to connect with you in all of your social channels. Take advantage of this extra space to explain the value proposition associated with each channel,” the report says.
Social is the email marketing of the future
Ultimately, the right strategy will be customer-focused and omnichannel. Create a strategy that meets shoppers wherever they are. Technology is already encouraging this fusion with social feeds inside of emails and the blending of email and mobile. When marketers work to bring all of the unique benefits of each channel together, that’s when they’ll begin to see the most return.