Boost your email ROI through social media outreach

By OctaneGo, May 25, 2011 | Tips & Resources

We all know the power of the Internet by now, and that of Web 2.0 in particular. It can topple a dictator, case in point Wael Ghonim, the Google exec who led the revolution in Egypt. What we are looking at achieving here is something not that radical. For all I care, I just want to increase my email ROI.

The Internet and the social networks have made the world a much smaller place. Most of us would like to believe that email is now playing second fiddle to social media in terms of advertising and marketing. On the contrary, research proves otherwise. The recently published 2011 version of the Email Marketing Census conducted by United Kingdom online research firms Adesta and Econsultancy reveals some remarkable statistics about the power and reach of email marketing for businesses even in the midst of the social media age. Now one can only imagine what integrating social media with an effective e-mail campaign can do for your brand.

Let’s look at the ways in which you can do exactly that

Integration of social media tags to email marketing newsletters
One of the features that is gaining prominence not just on billboards or outdoor ads but also in e-mail newsletters. No prizes for guessing here, it is that tiny blue button which says “Find us on Facebook”, or even LinkedIn or Twitter. What this button does is that it will directly take your customer to your social media page. That is the ideal target location because you are not coming across as nosy by forcing the customer to buy your product, but rather you are connecting him to your online presence where there are numerous other customers just like him/her. Considering that an average user has in excess of 300 friends, that one like on your Facebook page will then appear on 300 other news feeds leading to a ripple effect. It may not lead to 300 ‘likes’ instantly, but hey even if out of those 300 people, 100 people view your page, you’ve made your presence in cyberspace felt, and some conversions will obviously occur along the way.

Promote email newsletter through social media i.e. option to subscribe to newsletters on the Facebook/twitter fan page
You could stick to status updates from the Facebook page of your company or your twitter account. But the problem is it is most likely to be forgotten sooner given the speed at which updates occur. If the customer is more than just interested in your brand, and looks forward to new products, updates or anything of that sort it makes sense to add an option for the customer to sign up for your newsletter. At least that way you directly hit his inbox, seek more of his time and communicate your message in a more effective manner as compared to a 140 character tweet or a status update.

Motivate the social media activity, may be a special discount for people liking Facebook 
page etc.
As Google analytics or Facebook Insights will tell you, it is all about page views and the graph that shows activity on your social media page. Every thought about entering your personal details into a random form which stores all your personal information and stores it some place only god knows where. One thinks twice before entering authentic information, especially while subscribing to newsletters and I’m pretty sure you have too. The best way to make genuine customers subscribe to your newsletters and not end up in their spam is to offer them some kind of an incentive. This would ideally mean a discount on your products or services. You may also think about providing a coupon code as most e-tailers do only to their customers who have previously subscribed to their newsletters. Create that sense of wanting to subscribe to a newsletter rather than forcing the customer to subscribe and that will make all the difference. Also, use this method for converting page views into likes on your social media page and let the power of web 2.0 unleash itself. You will be surprised to see where all the page might receive hits from.

Choose an ESP which provides social media integration
Coming to the important bit, you NEED an email service provider that has the know-how about how to link your ordinary newsletter and convert it into an interesting two-way conversation between customers and the company by directing them to any of the following:
Facebook page
Twitter account
LinkedIn account
Company Website

Integrate. Integrate. Integrate. Make sure all your marketing channels are working together to promote a single brand identity and message or get a capable ESP to do that for you.

Octane provides a feature where you can easily integrate social media, in your email campaign, using single custom tag. What’s more you have the flexibility to share individual products in your email campaign. All this is not one way, you also get reporting on the social media activity so that you can measure the social media impact.

Create excitement by updating status on social media sites about the upcoming email campaign
It costs nothing to put out a status on these social networking sites. Provided you have a large enough fan following or followers for that matter, make them excited about an upcoming email campaign and as previously mentioned provide an incentive for them to sign on to it. Even if your fan base isn’t large enough, the discount/incentive scheme will tempt casual browsers to latch on to your company’s online presence and commit them into opting in for newsletters or email campaigns.

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