With the continual changes to social media platforms, it's time to change your thinking and embrace email marketing as a main component of your marketing strategy. And while social media is a fantastic marketing tool for small business (when used correctly), trusty email marketing is still an important ingredient in a marketing strategy.
Email marketing is a proven marketing tool and to put it very basically, it works! For many small businesses, email marketing has proven to be very effective at delivering a measurable ROI and increased sales. What makes email marketing effective is the powerful email analytics which shows you who is reading and sharing your emails with others, how many email subscribers have visited your website and which pages. It allows you to target and refine your email marketing activity further, identify those most interested in your business, and recognise what people find most interesting about your service or product.
Equally, social media allows people to connect and interact with you in a different way, so it’s important to look at using both and offer your audience choice on how they interact with your business. And it’s much easier to share social media based content with other people, so it’s hugely valuable in terms of getting more exposure and engaging in a deeper and personal way with your ideal customers.
So here are our top tips for integrating the two marketing methods and making them work effectively for your business:
- Promote your social networks in your email. If you’re using social media then you need to let people know. Make sure you add the relevant icons in your emails – and make them stand out!
- That was, Promote your social networks in your email ... don't be shy! Including social icons is one thing, but telling people to do something with them is far better – if you want people to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, ask them. A call to action is a powerful marketing tool and can be highly effective.
- Convert your social followers into email subscribers. Don’t forget that it can work both ways. If you have followers on Facebook who don’t subscribe to your email, it’s not that much of a challenge to alert them to your email sign-up page. The same goes for every single social media platform you use. If you send out an email newsletter to subscribers, add a post or tweet about the latest issue, make sure your followers know they’re missing out and how they can ensure they receive future editions straight to their Inbox.
- Everyone loves an incentive. We know we can all be lazy, even putting off a simple click of the mouse for another time – which then gets easily forgotten in our busy day. So give people a reason to click on the icons immediately. For instance, if you run a restaurant or café you could offer a half-price meal as a reward, selecting a random new subscriber every day for a week or if people ‘Like’ a photo of your latest food or drink offering on your Facebook page. There are strict rules about running promotions on Facebook so make sure you know about these!
- Get them #tweeting. Want to draw attention to something specific in your email campaign? Add a link that allows your readers to tweet and retweet about it, so ensuring that particular message travels further and to a new and wider audience.
- If you have a blog, use it! Your blog is your space, so use it to your advantage. Make sure you add regular reminders to encourage people to subscribe to your email. If they’re enjoying reading your blog already, it shouldn’t take much to convince them.
- Add an email opt-in form on your Facebook page. Did you know about this function? It’s simple to do through Facebook Apps or you might be able to do it through your email marketing software provider. We use (and love!) MailChimp and they have a Facebook App to do just that. Simple!
- Embrace Email Automation. Marketing automation is software that helps you find your audience, engage your customers, and build your brand. Unlike manual campaigns, automation can be left running in the background, taking some repetitive tasks off your plate. And not only do automation talk to your customers just like you would, they also help you make more sales. It’s like having a second brain to help you run your business.
Regular Email Marketing can be a game changer for your business and with all the changes in the social media platforms it should be part of your marketing plan, so get writing and watch the leads and the sales come in!