Email Marketing, Meet Social Media

Social Media

Email marketers are scrambling to cope with Web 2.0.

Over 70% consider “competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention” an important challenge for 2010, according to Marketing Sherpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

So how can you deal with this challenge?

Try Email 2.0. Instead of competing, implement these ideas to put social media to work for your email marketing campaign.

Draw Up a Plan

First, it is important to pin down your strategy. What are your specific goals?

You could, for example:

  • Find out what’s being said about your company
  • Reach a wider audience (your contacts’ contacts)
  • Have informal conversations with your customers
  • Get feedback on new ideas

For more tips on building a social strategy, check out Groundswell authors Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li’s 4-step approach.

Put It Into Action

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, try these moves to meet those goals and point your social network back to your emails.

  • Tweet your newsletterOccasionally, you may want to broadcast a brilliant newsletter beyond your list. Follow these steps to tweet your newsletter and show the Twitterverse the value of your emails. Put a sign-up form in the newsletter for new converts.
  • Add signup form to FacebookPost a sign-up form on your Facebook fan page. Your fans’ contacts will see any posts they make about you, and potential fans can also find your fan page via search. If they click over to your page, a sign-up form instantly invites them to join your list.
  • Make web form visiblePeople who start following you via social media need a reason to subscribe by email, too. Make your web form is clearly visible, and try offering an extra incentive for signing up.
  • Provide share buttonsYou aren’t the only one who can hype your campaign: your readers can, too. Buttons to share your emails on social networks offer opportunities to promote your message – and give you a chance to go viral.
  • Search social networksTrack the chitchat. Run a search on these sites to find out where people are talking about you (and what they’re saying!). Respond where appropriate, and link to helpful pages on your site or relevant blog posts.

    Twitter Search | Facebook Search (choose “Posts by Everyone”) | Digg Search | Delicious Search

    Bonus: Not only do these searches reveal which sites to focus on, they might also be full of ideas for fresh newsletter content!

  • Facebook applicationsFacebook has long offered the ability to host a custom application for your fan page. Now, you can have your application either request or require users to sign up for your emails. These opt-ins can then be imported to your email list.
  • Pay attention to your subscribersFor a closer relationship, show as much interest in your subscribers as you ask them to show in you. Invite them to share their username for the network of their choice. Then pay attention to what they say.

Remember, the more readers see you, the more you’ll stay on their minds. And instead of an email automaton, they’ll see you as a person.

Your 2.0 Tactics

Which of these methods have you tried with your campaign? Have you seen a change in your relationships with subscribers?

In your experience, is the extra time and effort worth the results?