When it comes to digital advertising, there’s a major shift in the way brands are communicating with their customers. Today, it’s more important for a customer to be a follower—not a subscriber. It’s more important that fans seek news about their brands versus just receiving this news. In short, many brands are seeing a major shift in the importance of their social media strategy over their email marketing strategy.
With various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest), there are plenty of options for reaching customers in unique and creative ways. Further, on social, advertisers can find new customers in smarter ways with platforms’ ad targeting structures. Advertisers can efficiently target users based on their psychological and demographic profiles, and also easily re-target users who visit their websites, use their mobile apps or subscribe to their emails.
But this doesn’t mean email marketing is obsolete. Email continues to be a very personal one-to-one connection that, in some ways, even social can’t quite match. There is more retail space in email, which can be customized to whatever extent a brand wants and responsive design gives email more aesthetic appeal in a mobile-dominated world. Reaching out to frequent users is also simpler and more cost-effective, and you can more easily develop a long-term relationship with your customer base.
Finding the Social and Email Synergies
The key to an effective brand strategy relies on how you can use both tools. Here are three pro tips on how to mix and match the two strategies:
Run a lead-generation campaign through social: On Facebook and Twitter, it’s easier than ever to reach out to new customers efficiently. Your best bet for finding relevant users is to apply Facebook’s Website Custom Audience Pixel or Twitter’s Tailored Audience Website Pixel to your website; this will report traffic running through your site and match up against users on various social media channels. Then, target these users and ask them to sign up for your email marketing list. These are the users who are already navigating your site and are likely to return the most. Be sure to exclude your current e-mail subscribers from your targeting so you don’t waste valuable impressions when you’re trying to garner new users.
Run a frequency test on email delivery: Once you’ve acquired users from social (or anywhere, for that matter), it’s important to make an immediate impact. There’s a large window for retention with email marketing, but the best time to capitalize is when a user first subscribes. Target with a customized welcome message series that thanks them for joining your list. In this series, run an A/B frequency test to see how many welcome messages lead to purchases or subscribers. Analyzing your frequency in relation to CTR and conversions is crucial at this point. Further, you should run a frequency test for your entire email marketing strategy. Do you see a higher rate of conversions when targeting users twice a week, or five? Should you limit this frequency when running an abandoned cart or category browse program? These are crucial questions to answer to make your email campaigns work for you as performance initiatives.
Once you’ve figured out your optimal email frequency, run an always-on campaign on social: In running a multi-channel marketing strategy, you should know when to engage users on each channel. Suppose you find out that e-mailing your customers four times a week is the best course of action. Run an always-on campaign on your other social channels to contact this targeting group in a new way on your “off-day”. Test against running engagement campaigns on these campaigns to boost your profile and brand awareness, or against running DR/eCommerce-focused campaigns to drive traffic and conversions to your site. Or run a combination of both. Either way, ensure that these users are receiving your brand’s content on a consistent basis without being intrusive.
In the foreseeable future, social is key. However, don’t discount the importance of a well thought-out email marketing strategy. Using both effectively is key to driving an impactful marketing strategy.