Despite the rise of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, where customer interaction becomes immediate and can build trust among companies and brands, e-mail marketing remains a powerful method of selling products and services. As your business grows and accepts opt-in e-mail addresses for notification of updates, you hold a captive audience. A potential customer or client who hands you an address sends a message of interest, one that mustn’t be ignored.
This begs the question: how much should one devote to e-mail marketing when there are so many other options of communicating your business online? Nobody wants to feel left out as new innovations in Web promotion take hold, and where social media and e-mail are concerned one might wonder if it’s better to be “retweeted” or forwarded in an e-mail to a friend or two. There is no reason, however, for social networking strategies and e-mail blasts to work separately. By marrying the two, you can create new goals within your marketing campaign to ensure the highest visibility of your message. Not all of your Twitter followers receive your e-mail, and not all of your e-mail subscribers follow your Twitter. Integrate your marketing, and help create a balance between both audiences.
Make Your Social Media Viral - Used to be the most important line in your e-mail signature was your URL. Look at messages now, and you’ll find people have added their Twitter and Facebook URLs, or perhaps Ning if they rely on their community-style of interaction. Evaluate your e-mail signature, the way you introduce yourself as you send information, and decide where you want readers to follow you.
Cross-Promote Your Efforts – Composing a spiffy monthly newsletter? Let your FB and Twitter friends know. Post the URL to opt-in into mails. Add graphic icons to your newsletter to point readers to your social profiles. Word of mouth is a huge promotional tool, but it won’t work unless you open your mouth first.
Preview What Non-Subscribers Are Missing – Use the Notes function on Facebook to share samples of your newsletter to friends, along with a special invitation to opt-in to e-mail. Offer a promotion (a discount or freebie) to anybody who signs in via Facebook.
Vice-Versa with Social Media – While it’s difficult to precisely track when people sign to follow your networks, you can receive notifications of Twitter followers. Hold a promotion to offer to people who follow your Twitter network on a specific day.
The more you work e-mail and social media in tandem, the more you build your brand and in turn your following. Experiment using both together and see what works for your company.