Today, both email and social media are essential parts of the marketing landscape.
For over ten years now, marketers have found themselves trying to answer a perplexing question: should we focus on email or social media?
In 2022, the answer is both.
This post will teach you how to integrate your email and social media marketing for twice the impact (at half the effort).
The Stories of Social Media and Email
This year, there are over 3.6 billion social media users. When it comes to email, there are 4.9 billion active email addresses. Those accounts were shared by just over 4.037 billion active email users.
Think of it this way: half the planet uses either social media, email, or both. 51% of the world’s population have at least one social media account, with the majority having multiple.
Of course, when we look at these marketing numbers, it’s essential to understand the platforms they are coming from.
As of 2021, Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with 2.89 billion monthly active users. The other big platforms include:
- Instagram (1.3 billion monthly active users)
- YouTube (2.29 billion monthly active users)
- TikTok (1 billion monthly active users)
Fundamentally, email and social media marketing campaigns reach slightly different groups of customers. Organic social media posts on Facebook are seen by an average of 6% of your followers, while engagement rates on marketing email messages are higher, with 20 — 30% of them being opened.
Both platforms are desirable because of the human response they incite — the release of dopamine. When we receive positive engagement from email and social media, our brains release dopamine — the happy chemical.
For marketers, this is a win. Dopamine primes customers to engage with both email and social media frequently. Both spaces are great for brands. They are cheap, fun, and profitable.
Use social media and email correctly, and you’ll find yourself with an award-winning marketing plan that drives sales.
The Case for Email Marketing
Email marketing is a form of marketing that relies on attracting prospects into the sales funnel by sending marketing materials directly to their email inbox.
The first-ever marketing email was sent in 1978 by the “Father of Spam,” Gary Thuerk. Thuerk was a marketer at Digital Equipment Corp, which sold DEC machines. One day, he decided to do something radical. He sent a single marketing email to 400 users via Arpanet — the ‘pre-internet.’ That email resulted in $13 million worth of sales. Thuerk’s experiment laid the groundwork for the email marketing we know today.
In 2022, the benefits of email marketing are clear. It allows marketers to:
- Reach a global audience
- Share content and discounts
- Increase revenue cheaply
- Engage only with repeat customers
Here’s a modern-day example of email marketing.
Of course, we can’t talk about email marketing without talking about two monumental shifts in its history.
The first occurred in 1998 and 2003 when the Data Protection Act and Can-Spam Laws were introduced in the US. This laid out guidelines for marketers and introduced the ‘unsubscribe’ button. It was soon adopted worldwide.
In 2004, email marketing experienced its second shift as platforms like Hotmail, AOL, and Yahoo introduced metrics and feedback for marketers. This resulted in email marketing becoming the new “hottest thing” and laid the groundwork for metric-based marketing.
Today, “best practices” for email marketing tell us that:
- The best email marketing is content-heavy and sales light
- The best email marketing is customer-focused
- The best marketing is personalized
- The best marketing adheres to the same advertising laws and professional expectations as non-email marketing
The Case for Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the act of promoting your brand through social media channels, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Social media marketing comes in two forms: earned and bought.
Earned social media marketing is marketing you conduct using your brand’s accounts without paying for promotion. When done over time, earned social media marketing is incredibly successful. Here’s an example.
Bought social media marketing is marketing that you pay to promote. These sponsored posts can be through the platform you use (i.e., Facebook advertising) or through sponsoring other accounts to advertise for you (i.e., influencer marketing).
Both earned and bought media use four types of social media content:
- Video content
- Written content
- Visual content
- Audio content
Today, the benefits of using social media marketing are clear. Social media can:
- Create brand recognition
- Help you engage directly with your customers.
- Develop a reciprocal relationship with customers
- Allow you to humanize your brand
- Conduct cheap, data-based marketing
- Educate your customers on your value proposition
- Be used to drive customers to your website
It’s safe to say that both email marketing and social media marketing are essential for marketing success. So let’s talk about combining them.
How to Integrate Email Marketing and Social Media for Success
Email and social media campaigns are stronger together. Over 306.4 billion emails are sent every day, with the average internet user spending 2 — 4 hours on social media daily.
Integrating both platforms has very powerful benefits for your brand, but it’s tricky. Launching an ill-advised campaign can turn your customers away.
To help you navigate this complex landscape, we’ve compiled six strategies to integrate your email and social media marketing.
Strategy #1. Grow Your Email List with Social Media
If you want to grow both your email list and your social media presence, we’ve got good news for you. No one ever said you had to keep your email and social media separate.
Hand down the best way to grow your email list is to include it in your profile. This does two things: directs traffic to your website and establishes your account as your brand ‘official’ account.
According to marketing experts, the best social media bios have:
- a contact email
- a brief brand statement.
- A copy of your logo
- a link tree
A link tree is an amalgamation of your brand’s most important links, including your email list, sales, and website. Link trees are easily recognizable, usable on mobile, and fit snugly into your bio. Here’s a great example from Crowdfireapp’s Instagram to show you what we mean.
Strategy #2. Cross-Post Social Photos And Videos
You work hard on your marketing materials, so stop treating them like they’re disposable. While you may have customers who are subscribed to both your email and your social media, your customers won’t mind a little bit of cross-over.
In fact, you can weave your email and social media marketing together to create a campaign with half the work and double the impact.
The best marketing campaigns engage directly with customers.
Try asking your social media followers to tag your brand in images of their own. Then, include these in your weekly email newsletter (after you ask, of course). This gives your customers recognition while establishing extra credibility with your mailing list.
Strategy #3. Embed Social Icons and Messages in Your Email
Speaking of cross-promotion, do your current marketing emails include a link to your social media? If not, you’re missing out.
A stylized signature at the end of every email is the perfect way to embed your social media icons into your email marketing. This simple trick doesn’t say ‘follow us’ but shows it instead. This does three things:
- Establishes which social media accounts are your ‘official’ ones
- Gives your readers a no-pressure invite to your social media marketing
- Provides an extra call to action that doesn’t take focus away from your primary call to action
Check out this excellent example from Chimp Rewriter below. They’ve embedded their founder’s social media links in their welcome email, which is delivered with a free eBook designed for new customers. It’s simple, subtle, and effective.
If you’re going to embed your social media links into your email marketing, it’s essential that you also embed a link to your mailing list in your social media profiles. Consider it cross-promotion.
Strategy #4. Invite Your Email Subscribers to Follow You on Social Media
While subtlety is a strength in any marketing campaign, there’s nothing wrong with simply asking your email subscribers to follow you on social media. However, if you want this tactic to be effective, you’ll need to give your audience a reason to follow you.
An event or a virtual summit is one such reason. You can announce your summit via email marketing, then ask people to follow you on social media for updates. Additionally, create a community around the summit. Try starting a Facebook group or a chat for attendees. Anything to get people engaged.
Of course, you’ll need to measure the success of any marketing technique to ensure that it’s effective. Use your invites sparingly and use data processing tools to make your linking decisions. You can’t go wrong with data-based marketing.
Strategy #5. Align Both Campaigns Together
Cross-promoting your email and social media marketing campaigns is one thing, but what about running a complementary campaign? Complimentary campaigns advertise the same products with slightly different techniques.
For example, offer free shipping for your email subscribers and a 10% off code on your Instagram. This will reward customers for following you, with an extra special reward for super-loyal customers who follow you on both.
You can use the ‘seed and sow’ method. With this, you use your social media to drop hints of a sale, planting a ‘seed’ of interest in your customers’ minds. After you’ve built the promotion up for several hours, send out a strong sales pitch that leads can’t ignore because you sent it on both platforms.
Of course, aligning your social media and marketing is as simple as integrating both mediums into your website. A great example of this can be seen on the contentfiesta blog.
This blog post is full of useful information for customers, with more content offered through email at the end. In case you’d like to share, the share buttons for social media are located at the bottom.
Strategy #6. Build Your Email Database Through Social Contests and Giveaways
Finally, experts recommend building your email database through giveaways. Giveaways are a great way to engage with customers who like your brand but aren’t loyal. A well run giveaway will:
- Build a sense of community
- Increase subscriber numbers
- Incentivize people to follow your email and social media accounts
- Increase short term sales
Effective contests offer a specialized prize outside the typical buying experience of customers. Well-planned contents are also carefully measured. To analyze the effectiveness of your contests, use link trackers to see where your email subscribers are coming from.
And, of course, space out your giveaways carefully and support them with complementary content, so they fit neatly into your content distribution plan.
Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing: A Match For Success
Ultimately, the best email marketing and social media marketing campaigns do three things:
- Engage with customers
- Increase brand loyalty
- Increase revenue
Combining your email and social media marketing is the best way to double the effectiveness of your marketing while halving the amount of work required. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.