When Twitter and Facebook first appeared, some thought that email campaigns might just go by the wayside. The imminent death of email newsletters has been predicted many times over the years, and those prognostications have always been flat wrong.
Email is still one of the most powerful ways to reach an audience online, and contrary to the email hand-wringing and “concern trolling” of yesteryear, social media doesn’t have to kill email; it can actually work in tandem with it. When you combine email and social media in the following ways, you’ll have a powerful force that can encourage brand loyalty in your customers for years to come.
1. Cross-Promote Between Newsletters and Social Channels
This may seem obvious, but many businesses neglect the basics. Your email newsletter should promote your social media channels and vice versa. Periodically, encourage social media followers to sign up for your email newsletter. And every email newsletter should provide easy options for sharing and following your social media profiles.
A great way to achieve cross promotions between email and social channels is to incentivize email recipients to engage on social channels. This is important because some people, while they receive every one of your emails, may be much more engaged on their social media accounts than they are in their inbox. By encouraging them to get the same content in your brand’s social channels you can ensure your message is reaching a larger audience.
Get your email subscribers to engage on your social channels by including social buttons in your welcome email, and let them know what they will get when they follow you. This could include special offers or exclusive content to social followers that you can’t get anywhere else.
2. Create a Cohesive Narrative
The best brands have a story to tell. If the words “polar bears” and “Christmas” come up, you might think of Coca Cola’s iconic Christmas polar bears commercials. Now, most small businesses will not have the advertising budget for a massive commercial advertising campaign. However, social media and email can be combined to promote a cohesive narrative about the business.
For example, a local family restaurant might use email newsletters to send out personalized newsletters to subscribers, while its Twitter feed provides current status updates about goings-on with the family. It goes without saying that your voice should be consistent across your online communications. If you want to be informal and friendly in your newsletters, then make sure your website content and social media posts reflect that same voice. Consistency across all online media will make your brand more recognizable and distinguish it from the competition. If you want a good example of brands using a cohesive voice, take a look at Oreo’s social accounts.
3. Engage Users in a Conversation
Before the Internet, advertising was primarily a one-way street. Advertisers bought advertising in publications and on television and radio. Customers simply consumed the messaging without any public way of responding. Now, customers can be a part of the conversation. If your brand concept is strong, and your customer service is top-notch, this can only help you.
Leverage your social media followers to drive new email sign-ups where you can continue the conversation. Once social media followers convert to your email list, use email marketing tools like Campaign Monitor to automate email messages to engage with them. Ask for their suggestions and ideas. And then use your email messages to respond to some of the best contributions, feature followers, and offer social proof of your brand’s commitment to customer service. People like to be acknowledged, and by showing that you are truly listening to your customers, you will have no problem increasing brand loyalty.
Long Live Email!
The reports of email’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. By creating a cohesive strategy to leverage both email and social media, your brand is sure to grow. Don’t neglect one form of online outreach in favor of the other. Use both email campaigns combined with social media tie-ins to best solidify your position in the marketplace.