Is Email the Cool New Social Media?

Is Email the Cool New Social Media?

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Social media is the cool new kid on the 2000’s block, and email, the standby from the 90’s. As companies continue to search for ways to measure value from social, they are finding that social and email channel integration is where notable benefits are found.

Like social media, email is increasingly becoming a ‘cooler’ resource for the latest, up-to-date and relevant information. Both social and email have been used to engage the customer and build relationships, and as time goes on, both channels continue to become more integrated due to these core similarities. For example, social campaigns can now be launched from most ESP platforms along with their email campaign counterpart. However, while social is leading the way for increased engagement and response, email continues to be the highest performing direct marketing channel in terms of ROI. How can you use innovative social techniques to elicit increased response and interaction in email, and to further increase email ROI?

1. Email now.

Email marketers are aptly responding to the demand for more up-to-date information typically provided by social media. They are prepping ‘just-in-case emails’ to wait in the wings for the perfect launch opportunity (based on anything from sudden weather events to political campaign event outcomes). They are also using behavioral data to real-time relevant emails. For example, marketers can immediately send cart abandoners a follow up email with relevant product suggestions. The ability to plan and send ‘up to the minute’ email campaigns allows for the opportunity to create a relevant conversation, now.

2. Get personal.

Email is a form of immediate communication that can be segmented to an audience of millions, or of just one (and everything else in between). Email messages are successful when relevant, and to be relevant they need to be personal. Social media does a great job of incorporating personalization from approaching the consumer as an individual by personally responding to posts and promoting individual conversations (with a re-tweet for example). How can email be more personal?

Personalization tips:

  • Personalize the subject line with a dynamically rendering first name, (last name can appear impersonal). Also, company name is great for B2B. What to avoid? Over-personalization. Yes it’s a thing. Target has become so adept at creating relevancy in their marketing campaigns that they even make a point to add in irrelevant content. This helps to avoid the consumer that uneasy feeling that they are being digitally tracked.
  • Personalize the ‘from name’. The trend is leaning towards using a more informal, (real) from name over the company name for that personal touch, particularly in B2B.
  • Simply keeping a friendly tone is another way to personalize copy, along with adding in dynamic copy calling out to product relevant to the subscriber within the email.

3. Social and Email Unite:

One of the cool new ways social and email are becoming friendlier with one another is by becoming even more integrated. Companies like Bonobos are dynamically pulling in customer posts from Facebook and Twitter into their emails (and trusting that these randomly generating posts will reflect positively on their brand!) Read more about this here. As this integration continues, email and social will benefit further from cohesive campaign planning and execution.

Still Apple’s to Apple-Orange Juice:

Email’s advantages over social media are the ability to plan long term. Email marketers are planning holiday email campaigns 6 months in advance, for example. However, social media tools like

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Hootsuite do address this to a point by allowing advance planning of social media posts. The biggest difference? Email is transactional. The objective of email is build a connection, but it primary used to elicit a response, typically a purchase or download. While social is moving this way, through email promotion integration, email is still the primary revenue generator.

Do you agree? Let us know your comments below.

 

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