Using Social Media to Boost Your Email Marketing and Grow Your Email List

In celebration of the high caliber speakers coming to the  Email Evolution conference  later this week (January 23-25, 2014), this guest blog post from Karen Talavera of Synchronicity Marketing highlights some of the concepts she will be presenting in a roundtable at the event.

I’m often asked what I believe to be the number one way to connect email and social media marketing.  While there are many ways to connect email and social media, there are definitely a few “low hanging fruit” marketing tactics you don't want to miss in order to capitalize on the combined power of these channels.

Both connecting email to social and using social to strengthen and grow the visibility of your email program and especially your list matter because integrating email and social marketing creates leverage greater than either channel used alone can achieve. So if you have a strong or growing presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or other major social networks, what’s the best way to leverage it for expanding your email program?

The “how-to” depends somewhat on specific social networks, but in a nutshell the answer is invite and entice your social friends/followers/members to sign-up for your email program! Basically, you want to create multiple opportunities on social media to voluntarily capture their email address and other personally identifiable data.

That may seem obvious, yet it’s not what you do but how you do it that matters and determines your success rate. Let’s take a closer look at the how-to of inviting email sign-ups and gathering email addresses from friends and followers on the three biggest social networks:

1) Facebook – the beauty of Facebook is you have considerable screen real estate to work with, so be sure to develop not only a customized Company page for Facebook, but also create specific tabs within it that include opportunities for data capture. Ideas from basic to advanced:

Basic: Every company Facebook profile should have a visually attractive email opt-in, e-newsletter sign-up, or other form of registration that gathers an email address.  Check out this omni-present tab on retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Facebook page which does just that.

Intermediate: Use posts to promote gated content that requires registration for access. Many marketers default to gating content behind the “like” button, but alternatively (through posts on your timeline) you can entice those who have already liked your page to provide personal information or complete a registration form to access additional, exclusive content. See how one social media consultant practices what she preaches on her Facebook business page here.

Advanced:  Run a Facebook promotion or sweepstakes requiring form completion and data gathering for entry. See how Chase Freedom Credit Card does it here.

The bottom line? Invite Facebook fans into your email channel by offering valuable content accessible only when they sign-up, or by just explaining the exclusive notices and treatment your email subscribers routinely receive. The point is, don’t just go for the “like” (remember, you don’t “own” your Facebook page – Facebook does!); gather a digital point of contact that is your gateway into longer, more personal messaging.

2) Twitter – Twitter is a little different. You have some real estate to post links or opt-in invitations on your Twitter profile, but obviously nowhere near as much room or depth as on Facebook. So on Twitter, use your tweets themselves to invite, entice and explain the benefits of opting-in to your email. People need to be gently reminded there are multiple ways to get the best deals, exclusive offers and information from you, but don’t over-hype it.

Rather than tweet an invite to sign-up for your email list, tweet a link to the free report, application, widget, game or services trial sitting behind a gated registration or opt-in page that asks for an email address. Promote the benefit – what’s in it for them – of your content and services, not what’s in it for you. Tweet such enticements at least once a day, but not so much that your promotional tweets vastly outnumber your helpful conversational status updates.

3) LinkedIn –LinkedIn offers some powerful and unique features – like groups, discussions and events — for business people that are also great places to promote your content and embed links to your email sign-up and lead capture pages. Of those three I think the most powerful is events. Keep in mind, an “event” can be a webinar, tele-seminar, tele-summit, or other virtual point-in-time gathering that requires minimal investment but is a fantastic list-builder.

Almost anyone registering for a paid or free webinar, tele-class or other virtual gathering knows they must provide their email address as a condition for receiving access information. So, start routinely planning free or low-cost events and promoting them on LinkedIn (as well as Facebook and Twitter) and watch your email list grow throughout the year.

It’s not too late to join us at  Email Evolution conference later this week! For a free Digital Marketing Breakthrough Session revealing how to generate more visibility, revenue and results from your e-marketing click here. You can also follow Karen on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) or Facebook for daily tips and links to emerging email and social media marketing trends, facts and research.

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