Four Steps to Aligning Email Marketing and Social Media

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Email Marketing

Align email and social marketing

When we talk about cross-channel marketing, we’re talking about aligning branding, messaging, offers, and timing across multiple channels. The two most important channels to align are email and social media. Social is increasingly important as a driver of cross-channel, full-lifecycle engagement – and email still delivers the most revenue and best ROI. Here are four ways to reap the synergy of aligning these two critical channels:

1. If you have silos between social media stakeholders and email marketing staff – break them down.

Alignment is an internal practice. The people running social media need to involve the email staff in campaigns, and vice versa. Make sure your email campaigns carry links to your social networks. Certain campaigns – say, an email subscriber sign-up campaigns – are perfect for social strategies, using the promise of increased information as the bait.

2. Test methods and campaigns to measure effectiveness.

  • Test multiple variables of social and email campaigns to find the sweet spot for your efforts. When a subject line really delivers, try it as a social headline – and vice versa.
  • Test different “voices” and tones; something more casual may or not be appropriate for email.
  • Do some data mining to see what portion of the email subscriber base is also participating with you on Facebook or Twitter. Test how different messages resonate in each channel to those subscribers.
  • While testing is critical to long-term success in any marketing efforts, make sure both audiences (email and social) are “getting some love” from your efforts. The fastest way to alienate a constituency is to ignore them for no apparent reason.

3. Know your audience to determine what tools they prefer.

Email and social media can be used to point to each other and invite further engagement. It’s vital to use multiple platforms and tools, as different segments of your market are likely to prefer different tools. You may discover one demographic responds best to an email/Facebook strategy, while another prefers email/Twitter. Make it easy for people who stick socially to join your email list.

4. Don’t imitate another company’s best practices; find your own instead.

Following another company’s practices in the social arena can really stifle the voice of your company, and lower the quality of content being distributed. Again, it’s critical to know your audience and how they prefer to receive your messages. Using any aspect of another company’s cadency, time of send, type of messaging, or CTAs can cause a great disconnect between your company and your prospects.

As an example, consider two ski resorts in the same area. They have the same basic amenities (restaurant, bar, pool) and distance from local attractions. Both offer ski-in/ ski-out service. One is luxury, with a four-star restaurant; the other caters to students, with bargain rates and a beer pub. Their email and social approaches should be entirely different. They share the same NAICS and zip codes– but they won’t share the same marketing strategy.

Do you have social/email alignment tips to share? Please join the conversation.