Part of being successful in the shifting digital landscape means being agile and able to adapt. If email is the best tool to achieve your goal, then that’s what you should use
There are two reasons that people go online, to be entertained or to have their problems solved. Email is very good at solving problems.
Why do we still use email?
There are two reasons that people go online, to be entertained or to have their problems solved. Email will stick around in one form or another because it’s very good at solving problems. It lets you communicate one on one quickly and securely. It’s searchable, so you can find things quickly. It’s also private. Social media, on the other hand, is a great place to entertain people.
Email is the backbone of digital marketing, if you do it right. Having been around since before the Internet went out to the general public, it has now been around for over 30 years – and email marketing has been around for almost as long. It’s still how we send business correspondence, invoices and receipts and other forms of important communication.
Talk about email marketing, and people will automatically think of spam filters, little blue pills and African princes who need help in shipping gold. Social media marketing has a lot of tools that have obvious benefits. You can find audiences quickly, and tailor content that will find them on the right device and at the right time, in places like Facebook that already have their attention. Just because email is older, doesn’t mean it can’t still be a useful tool in the right hands.
So how can we use email and social media together?
There is still a strong link between email and social media marketing. Although you may be able to find lookalike audiences on Facebook, your initial audience is more likely to be built from an email list. If someone is looking at your website, they can sign up with an email much more effectively than they can make a connection to your business via a social media platform like Twitter or Facebook.
It’s through email that they will receive special offers or money off vouchers. If there is a serious problem, people will contact you through email, because it’s a good way to keep a record of everything that had been said. If you get a new job, you’ll get a copy of your contract via email – it’s not something that people are going to send you via a Facebook message or over WhatsApp.
Growth Loops and Retargeting
A great way to use email with social marketing is to set up a Growth Loop. People who are entertained by something on Facebook, may very well click through to sign up to your mailing list. On your email, you can have a link to the various types of social media you use. Someone who found you on Facebook might find it useful to see what your business profile is like on LinkedIn. Someone on LinkedIn may investigate your company based on the fact that someone they know searched you, and sign up for an email.
Then there is also retargeting. There are various tools you can use to tell if people have opened your emails or haven’t responded. That means you can respond to them automatically, perhaps by sending out a follow up email. Or it could mean that you target them on Facebook or Twitter. Someone who blanks you on email might be more than happy to direct message you. Then again, someone who has stopped interacting on Facebook might be more than happy to receive an email.
Are you not entertained?
The entertainment of social media can be well supported by the problem solving represented by email. You should bring some of that entertainment into your emails. Firstly, make sure that your emails have a visual through line with your online adverts. Basically that means that your emails, ads and website should all look they come from the same company. You can also link your emails to your social media. It can be as simple as a button, or an invitation for your customer to write something about their latest purchase.
If you have shopped at Amazon (and who hasn’t) then it’s likely you will have received a ton of emails from them. Some of them are receipts, some are special offers – but some are requests for reviews of products you have purchased. Testimonials built their brand. Amazon has long understood the importance of having real customer voices on their site, but they don’t go after them via social media – they still use email, because it’s effective.
You got social media in my email! You got email in my social media!
You can use the same process, and even use incentives. You can ask people to write a post on Facebook, or send a Tweet via email. You up your social engagement and also enhance your social proof. You also get the customer to engage with you in a more direct way, but something that is easy to do in email would be much trickier to implement over social media.
The other thing to remember is to take tips from social media and apply them to emails. As bad as it sounds, emails which have emojis in the titles are more likely to be opened – although don’t start putting eggplants on titles to your lawyer, for example. Use an arresting visual image that will grab people’s attention and make sure your email has a clear focus.
Just like you would select your words carefully in an advert on Facebook, front load the email title and first two lines of writing with something that will get the interest of the audience. Look at your email inbox, and look at which emails you clicked on that didn’t come from people you know. Either it looks entertaining, or like it will solve your specific problem. If it doesn’t do that, you skip on to the next one – so will your audience.
Solve Problems and Entertain
Social media and email are both tools we use to communicate with other people. They have different strengths and different weaknesses. Although that they are best suited for certain jobs, using them together effectively overcomes those weaknesses and bolsters the strengths. Part of being successful in the shifting digital landscape means being agile and able to adapt.
If email is the best tool to achieve your goal, then that’s what you should use. People who are high up in a company may not be active on Facebook or Twitter, but they will use email. If that email can show off what they could gain with social media integration, then it has a better chance of accomplishing the business goal. You need to use the tools at your disposal, and don’t overlook email just because there are new and shiny tools on the horizon.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results. Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency.
On the very rare occasion he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick. This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) with market trends and consumer behaviours. Connect with him on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.