A Guide to Integrating Social Media and Email Marketing

Through the years, the ‘email vs. social media’ debate has been very clear. Digital marketers always ask which channel works best to reach their sales and marketing goals. Is it email or social media? Non-surprisingly, choosing any of them alone would be a mistake and whoever is a strong believer in only one of the methods, has lots to learn.
Email and social media may be two different channels, but there shouldn’t be a competition between the two. You don’t have to choose. You integrate.
While social media enables you to be where your customers are, the level of engagement may be hard to sustain, given the amount of noise and distractions present in the channel. On the other hand, email can give you a wide reach only when your list is huge. On a positive note, email messages can be highly personalized which can lead to higher engagement.
In a nutshell, one is never better than the other, but you can combine the two to compliment each other. In the age of omnichannel marketing, integrating these two powerful channels can take your digital marketing a notch higher, which could lead to impressive results.
Despite this, statistics show that only 56% of marketers are integrating social media and email marketing. This is sad to know given the benefits that integration can bring to businesses.
Here are some advantages of integrating social media and email marketing:

  • Through social sharing buttons, social media can widen the reach of your email marketing.
  • Your ROI can increase when email recipients share your offers with their social media friends and network.
  • You can grow your email list by inviting your social media followers to subscribe to your newsletters. Likewise, you can ask your email subscribers to follow your social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
  • Making your business presence in both channels enables you to build your reputation online and maximize the potential to create brand awareness.

As a business owner or a digital marketer, you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this strategy. Besides, it doesn’t take much time and energy to combine social media and email with the advanced features of your email marketing automation software, especially when you already have them.  
To help you, here are the different strategies you can implement to integrate social media and email:
Implement cross-channel promotions
It’s simple and basic, but it’s a good start. In reality, not all of your email subscribers are your social media followers, and vice versa.  
Here, you include social media buttons in the email signature of your email campaigns. If you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, there should be six buttons present in your email. You can also include a short copy like “Follow us!” or “Stay connected!” to encourage subscribers to extend the relationship on social media.
Likewise, you can put a link to sign up for your emails on your social media pages. Facebook has this feature available on business pages. In the sample below, you can see a “Sign Up” blue button at the bottom right corner, underneath the cover photo.

For Twitter and Instagram, you can post the link in your bio. The same thing goes with others.
By doing these, you can grow your email list by inviting your social media followers to subscribe to your email newsletters.
Ask email subscribers to share your email offers on social media
Of course, you want to maximize your opportunity, and asking them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms can never be enough.
So aside from putting the social media buttons, include social sharing buttons for subscribers to share your email offers with their social media friends and network. This strategy has a low chance of failing because social media users in nature would enjoy sharing great offers with others if it interests them.
When you do this in your email marketing automation software, be clear with your labels. Do not confuse email subscribers with social media buttons for “Connect with us” and “Share.”
Use your email list to show targeted ads
Here’s the good news, the power of your email list is not limited to your email marketing campaigns only. By uploading your email list to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you can hunt them on these platforms to reach different objectives.
On Twitter, you can upload your email list so that the platform can check their user database and show you the Twitter profiles of your subscribers. Follow them on Twitter so they would know that you are active on the platform. If these subscribers are indeed interested in your business, they will follow back.  
Once you have done this on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and even Instagram, you can execute the following strategies:

  • You can show customers the email messages they missed in their inbox.
  • You also hunt email subscribers who have turned cold so that you can re-engage them with your social media ads.
  • Targeted ads are also a great way to encourage repeat purchases to existing customers as you show them offers related to their transaction history.
  • You can create targeted ads to specific audience groups to appeal to them with personalized messages.

Set up a remarketing campaign to those who engaged in your email
Digital marketing technologies today are so smart. Through a remarketing campaign, it’s easier to reach email subscribers on social media with targeted ads, especially when they are showing interest to make a purchase or are already on the verge of converting to paying customers.
Here’s how you can do this:

  • First, install a tracking code on your website landing page. This code will allow you to identify customers who engaged on the page.
  • Create an email campaign featuring the service or product that you offer on your landing page.
  • Place a link in your email that will drive recipients to the landing page. This can be a link in your call-to-action button or text.
  • Send the email campaign on your list and wait for them to engage.
  • Show targeted ads to subscribers who clicked on the link and engaged on your landing page.

Through a remarketing campaign, it’s easy not to lose those email subscribers who already show interest in your offer. They may be interested, but the timing may not be right for them. With tailored ads, you are not missing on the opportunity to convince them or remind them about the offer. You also have the option to incentivize the purchase with a discount or a freebie.
If you want to know more about how you can set up remarketing ads on Twitter and Facebook, you can read this Twitter post or the Facebook guide.
Incentivize subscriptions with a promo or a contest
Social media users love winning in promos and contests, and they wouldn’t mind sharing their email addresses to win cool prizes. You can take advantage of this especially if you have a budget and a creative mind.
You can launch a contest or a promo on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. Any contest will do. Just be sure to ask your social media followers to enter their email as part of your mechanics.
Another way to do this is to promote your email promos and deals on social media. For example, you can post a photo of a product in the promote and include a caption that says, “We are giving away this amazing gadget to 5 lucky email subscribers! Don’t miss this rare chance to win. Subscribe to our email update via this link: <insert link>”
Automate email outreach to gain social shares
If you blog about your business, service or product, you can contact the influencers in your niche about sharing your content with their social media followers. This strategy may require you to collect a pool of email addresses to be able to reach influencers, but it will be worth it.
For instance, you published a blog post titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Online Shopping on a Budget.” You can reach out via email to personal finance, shopping and lifestyle bloggers and influencers to share your content. These people have a wide following on social media, and their followers could be your target market. If they find your content interesting and valuable to their audience, they wouldn’t have second thoughts about posting it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
With this strategy, you are expanding your reach and driving new visitors to your website, which could mean potential subscribers customers.
To summarize, There’s a tough competition in the arena of digital marketing. As a marketer, it’s not enough that you know how to use each channel to meet your different sales and marketing goals. It’s important that you also master how to integrate these channels, maximize their potential and strengthen your strategies.
With the help of your email marketing automation software, integrating social media and email is a walk in the park. These two can supplement each other to boost their respective performance.
Follow what you have learned here, experiment and test your strategies, and From there, you will realize why integration is a gift to your business.
See also: Power Your Social Media Management with Effective Email Marketing