In recent years, e-newsletter marketing has lost some luster due to energetic spam filtering, which has lowered delivery rates to 25% or less. At the same time, social media marketing—which began with great sound and fury—has suffered a similar hit, leaving many businesses wondering whether the ROI they’re getting really justifies all the daily effort.
These two channels not only complement each other, but they can be deployed in concert to amplify your marketing results.
E-mail is terrible for outreach, due to spam laws and new spam filters. Social media, on the other hand, has loads of outreach, but isn’t great for individual follow-up or reputation-building.
Together, they can create a harmonious communications loop. Social media acts like a broad outreach mechanism, while e-mail serves as a push reminder mechanism and a ballast for ideas too weighty for the social whirl.
ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS MORE THAN TWO
Let’s say your goal is to create more traffic going to your Web site.
It’s well-organized and beautiful. Lately you’ve added some great, new content about equipment you’ve bought, and you’ve upgraded your Gallery to include results garnered with that equipment, as well as your latest and most impressive before-and-after photos.
To show all of this off you could “go social,” seeding information about your Web site to your social networks, linking to it, and trying to stir up some conversation. This is effective and worthwhile. However, it tends to be labor-intensive.
You could also go the e-mail-only route, sending out e-newsletters about the new equipment and the new Gallery with links to your Web site. That would definitely bring some eyeballs to the site, but it lacks outreach because you’re preaching to the crowd you already have. (And most months, you only reach a percentage of them!)
But what happens when you put the two together? You get more than the sum of the parts.
- You hit your list with an e-newsletter that draws attention to your new web content.
- You contact your existing social networks, sharing your content.
- You add social buttons to your e-newsletters and suggest your patients join the conversation. This encourages discovery by new people not currently on your list.
- You maintain and grow your social content, actively participating in the discussion.
- The active conversation gets attention, traction, and sharing among your networks and the networks of your networks.
- In turn, some percentage of folks, old and new, will come to your Web site, either to see your new content or to initiate business.
- Your networks and mailing lists reinforce one another. New people will discover your list and sign up, while people on your list who are social will connect with you.
FIVE STEPS TO AMPLIFY YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
To get these results, you must proactively coordinate the two channels.
- Include Share Buttons in Your E-NewslettersThese buttons allow your subscribers to follow you socially and share your content on their social networks. Make it easy for readers to access their accounts by placing the buttons strategically inside the newsletter.
Rather than include every single button to every single social site, look at your Google Analytics referring sites. See which networks are performing for you. Include only the networks with the most active users.
- Ask for Likes in Your E-mail CampaignsAt every reasonable opportunity, ask your subscribers to join your social networks. Every now and again, create a dedicated e-newsletter just for this purpose. Talk about what you’re doing on your social sites, and invite your subscribers to participate.
- Incentivize SharingGive people incentives to share your content whether monetary or product-related, such as special giveaways.
- Re-Post Your E-Newsletters on Your Social Sites Again and AgainShare your newsletters at least weekly on the social media outlets you’re most active on. Social channels offer a new outlet and wider coverage. This is especially important if you’ve encountered deliverability issues (low Open rates). People are far more likely to ?sh a message out of their junk folder/spam folder if they find out on Facebook or Twitter that you’ve just sent a new message—and possibly some member-only discounts as well, just to sweeten the pot.
- Use Social Advertising to Build Your E-mail ListOne of the least-known ways to generate e-mail list subscriptions is via social advertising. While harvesting contacts for mailing lists is prohibited on actual social Web sites, the ads that appear on these pages have no such rules. Ads can run for just a few dollars a day.
Sure, each channel takes work and forethought, but strategically coordinating their activity can net huge results. It’s literally a win-win.
Joyce Sunila is the president of Practice Helpers, providing e-newsletters, blogs, and social media services to aesthetic practices. She can be contacted via [email protected].