Social Media Marketers’ Favorite Non-Social Media Tool [Research]

Social Media Marketers' Favorite Non-Social Media ToolWhere do social media marketers turn to support and enhance their social media efforts? The answer may surprise you.

Based on Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 87% of respondents’ top choice outside of social media was email. One could consider email an earlier form of social media communication. It will be interesting to see how email evolves with the future of social media.

Email is top form of non-social media marketing used by social media marketers

5 Reasons email is marketers’ favorite non-social media tool

Email’s biggest challenge is that it’s no longer sexy. Despite this, email is still marketers’ most effective workhorse. In fact, social media runs on email.

  1. Email is a conduit for delivering content. Email is a dominant communications channel, especially for businesses to talk to consumers as well as other businesses.
  2. Email supplies an owned media platform. As an internal media format, email gives marketers control over when and how to communicate. Therefore email can be used for special offers, last minute communications and emergencies.
  3. Email helps build relationships with prospects, customers and the public. Email is an entry point for marketers looking to engage their customer base and to build a relationship by sending wanted and expected information. Unlike social media, email can contain promotions and this is often the reason customers sign up to receive them.
  4. Email provides for measurement tracking through to purchase. Marketers can track a wide variety of email measurements that enable them to improve the communications’ effectiveness.
  5. Email costs less relative to other marketing options. Since the housefile is owned and the cost per email is very low, email is a cost-effective marketing communication. It’s a double-edged sword since emails can generate revenue every time they’re sent as well as lose names to unsubscribes.

10 Ways to improve email to support social media

Focused on social media, marketers often allow their email programs to run on auto-pilot. Therefore, their email marketing isn’t as productive as it could be. Here are ten areas to examine to ensure your email marketing yields maximum results. (This article has insights and research on social media and email.)

  1. Static housefile. Are you continually adding new names to your email list to keep it fresh? Do you routinely check that you’re collecting new email addresses across your owned media, both online and offline? Do you leverage social media to attract new subscribers?
  2. Lack of targeted segments. Is your house email file segmented across a variety of attributes related to your product offering, location and customer buying behavior? Have you created targeted email offerings related to your products? These targeted lists, while smaller, tend to perform well. Do you segment your social media respondents differently from the rest of your list?
  3. Weak subject lines. Just as headlines pull readers in on social media, subject lines work to get recipients to open and read your email. Therefore it’s critical that the subject line contain your keyword(s) and attract the recipients’ interest.
  4. Stale information. Has your content gotten stale? Do you continually send the same type of information with minor changes? Do you include photographs and graphics in your emailings? Do you target your content for special segments?
  5. Flat presentation. Does your emailing look the way it has since anyone can remember? Have you freshened the design and layout? Do you use different photographs or other graphic elements?
  6. Device limited. Do you take the one size fits all approach? Have you ensured that your email can be read on a smartphone or tablet? 40% of smartphone time is spent on email!
  7. Unsocialized distribution. Do you include social sharing in your emailings? Give your readers a nudge to remind them to share your content.
  8. Missed social media promotion. Are you using email to promote your social media content? Take a page from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Let the appropriate segments of your list know what you’re doing on social media.
  9. No testing. Are you testing different email options? You can use either A/B or multivariate analysis to test a wide range of attributes. (Want to find out more? Check out Anne Holland’s Which Test Won? )
  10. Resource constrained. Do you have sufficient resources to support improved content and graphics in your emailings or have you shifted them to your social media efforts? Consider mixing up your staff to get some new ideas into the mix.

As social media continues to mature, it will depend on email to a greater extent. Email is the conduit that notifies participants of what’s happening while they’re off doing other things. Further, social media and email can work together to cross promote each other, cost effectively to expand your reach.

Are there any other ways you can recommend that email can support social media?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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