Did you know that 91% of all US consumers check their email on a daily basis, and almost 70% of all mobile purchasing decisions are directly influenced by email?
Despite the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, the importance of email marketing has not diminished. In the last year alone, more than 66% of US consumers below 15 years of age made at least one purchase because of a promotional email. (source)
While social media has grabbed a significant portion of ecommerce, the presence of competitors and regular algorithm changes make it slightly more difficult to capture the attention of your target audience. In email marketing, however, you gain exclusive access to your customer’s email inbox and enjoy uncontested attention.
That is why intelligent marketers use social media in combination with email marketing. Instead of using social media as a completely separate sales channel, they use it as a part of their broader lead nurturing cycle.
This approach has several advantages
- Instead of waiting for email subscribers, you can reach out and engage them proactively.
- You can target exactly the kind of email subscribers you need.
- You can build a thriving email list in very little time.
- By converting your social media followers into email subscribers, you gain complete control on their contact information and turn them into your business assets.
Here is how you can convert your social media followers into loyal email list subscribers.
How to Power Your Social Media Management with Effective Email Marketing
1.Create Accurate Buyer Personas
When you develop any online asset, like an email list or a Facebook page, there’s a certain objective that you plan to achieve through it. For example, if you sell digital products, your objective for email list building is to convert your subscribers into buyers.
To identify the right subscribers for your list, you first need to create the right buyer personas. It lists the likes and dislikes, interests, purchasing power, age group and other demographic details of your ideal buyer.
All your marketing and promotional strategies should be developed in line with your buyer persona. An accurate buyer persona will help you achieve the highest return on investment (ROI) on your marketing budgets.
So it’s important that you spend considerable creating the right buyer persona and determining your ideal subscriber profile. You can find more about creating the right buyer personas in this post.
2. Qualify Leads from Your Existing Social Media Followers
If you have an existing social media following, you really need to determine its engagement level and how many quality leads you can extract from it. Your follower count on Twitter and Facebook can be deceiving, and is increasingly becoming irrelevant (thanks to the algorithm changes to both these platforms).
Facebook Insights provides you some useful stats, but I personally recommend using a dedicated social media management tool. We created a comprehensive social media management tools list from which you can pick the best one that fits your needs. This list covers why you should choose a specific tool, why some are better than others. Some tools might be more affordable, some might be more expensive. Some might be better for individuals, other might be better for agencies. For example, Oktopost is primarily a B2B social media management tool for large scale content distribution across different social media profiles, groups and pages. But it can also give you some great insights and statistics about your social media followers.
Study them closely and look for trends. Identify the content that performs the best for you and determine the demographic segments of your followers who’re most interested in your social updates.
This data will come in handy in the next few steps of our strategy.
3. Create a High Value Email List Incentive
Every internet user is bombarded with emails, social media posts and promotional offers every day. As a result users have increasingly become hesitant in giving out their email addresses to unknown websites.
So to get people on your list, you need to offer something really valuable. Something that resolves a core issue of your audience. Something that gives them immediate value.
You already have a buyer persona and detailed stats about the likes and dislikes of your social media followers. Use this data and forums like Quora to identify one problem (yes, only one!) which
- Generates the highest interest in your audience
- Is in line with your paid services.
- Nobody is answering
Create a freebie that goes deep into resolving this one problem. Build a resource that you can proudly add to your portfolio. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a 10,000 word eBook. It can be anything that comprehensively answers that one burning issue of your audience. This post discusses content types in real detail. It focuses on blog content, but you can apply it to your freebie as well.
4. Build a Platform To Collect Emails
If you create the right freebie, and promote it aggressively (more on that shortly) you’ll attract the right kind of traffic. But you need a purpose-built and conversion optimized platform to convert this traffic into subscribers.
For this you’ll need a landing page where your freebie is prominently placed for maximum conversions. You can do this on your existing website (if you have one), or get a new domain name for your freebie for stronger branding. You can use this free name generator tool to find domain names matching your freebie/business name.
Here’s a good example of a landing page that is optimized for conversions with minimum distractions.
I also recommend creating an auto-responder series in addition to your freebie giveaway. This would help you create the wow effect on your subscribers. Your auto-responder series can be a 4 to 5 email niche specific course that adds further value to your freebie. At the end of your auto-responder, you can pitch one of your paid services at a discounted rate. The conversion rates for such auto-responders are significantly higher as compared to direct sales pitches.
I personally recommend using GetResponse for email marketing, landing page creation and auto-responder management. I used it on Neil Patel’s recommendation, and found it to be a one-window solution for all email marketing related activities.
5. Use Social Targeted Social Media Advertisements
Now that you have all the fundamentals in place, you can use the power and exposure of social media platforms to reach your target audience much more effectively. For this, refer to point number 2 where I mentioned gathering data with Oktopost. Use this data to target the right Facebook users.
Facebook ads, in my experience, offer the highest click through rate among all paid advertising channels. The success rate of your Facebook ad will depend on how frequently you test different ad blocks and find out the best combination that works for your product.
But in principle, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Use at least 5 to 6 different high quality pictures with your ads
- Start with a small budget, run ads and measure performance.
- Link directly to your freebie landing page (not your Facebook page)
- Keeping your buyer persona in mind, use the right filters to target relevant users.
- Initially target your existing Facebook fans.
Also use social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts in the highest engagement hours. While using Twitter for promoting your freebie, keep these points in mind for maximum engagement and conversion.
Social media platforms have millions of combined users. But even if you have thousands of social media followers, you should still make a conscious effort to get them on your mailing list, because that way they become your business assets, and cannot be taken away from you.
The strategy that I’ve outlined in this post, has worked very well for me, and many others who’ve used it. But if you have found success with a different strategy, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.