At this point, we all know that social media is a powerful tool for business and, if leveraged correctly, can be an essential part of your marketing plan. Does this mean that social media should replace email? We say no and here’s why…
1. Road to Conversion
Email marketing is the perfect bedfellow to social media; together they form a holistic approach to project your message to a broad audience. For example, social media campaigns or newsletter opt-in promotions can be used to gain email addresses from fans and bring them into your contact list. Email marketing allows a brand to be more directly sales orientated than may be acceptable on a social media site.
2. Perfect Partner
Chances are, your email-marketing list is more robust than your fan or follower counts. Email can also be used to promote your social presence, drive awareness that you exist on social media, and provide more opportunities for you to connect with your customers. Users can be encouraged to follow you on social channels for daily updates and social sharing can be enabled to help grow your audience and drive traffic to your website. Judging by Twitter’s recent decision to start sending personalized weekly updates to their users, they also must agree that email is a useful ally.
3. Freedom Of Choice
Some of your customers may still be reluctant to let brands into their social space and most still expect to be able to subscribe to email updates. An email address can be procured at the point of sale, and this puts you in the driving seat to start a relationship. Customers who are already interested in your brand or have already bought from you are your most valuable contacts and email is a great way to get advertising copy to those people.
Email is not as time sensitive as the transient social media update which lives in an ever-moving News Feed. It can be opened by the recipient at their leisure and can be referenced time and again. Whilst it is true that a subscriber can still choose not to open an email, they will at least have the choice. Email messages also allow you the freedom to get your full message across rather than the more fun and engaging but truncated messages via social media.
5. Personal Touch
Emails can be customised using details from your database to add a personal touch to your communications. A users name can be added, a product review of a recent purchase can be requested, or you can send directly relevant content to them based on their interest preferences. This customisation allows your messages to be personal and targeted, meaning users are less likely to unsubscribe – allowing you to build longer-term relationships and encourage repeat business.
Social media and email should be complementary channels that promote your business and each other. Maximise the potential of both by ensuring that they are fully integrated with each other in your marketing plan.