Email & Social: The best of friends Published April 1, 2015 Email and social media were once often billed as rivals. In fact, when social media first came on the scene, there were suggestions it would eventually make email redundant. Of course, it never turned out that way. Email is being used more than ever – and the rise of social media is likely to have played a significant part in that. Here’s why… Integration Rather than banking on one of these mediums eventually trumping the other, intelligent marketers found efficient methods of integrating email and social media. They used email marketing content to drive sign-ups to their social channels and vice-versa, ultimately giving them the opportunity to deliver a more consistent message to a bigger overall audience. This practice soon caught on. In fact, a 2012 study suggested that 68 per cent of businesses were using methods to integrate their email marketing and social media marketing content. How to integrate email and social media Here are plenty of ways to encourage email subscribers to become social media followers and vice-versa. The most basic technique is to include social sharing buttons within marketing emails. These could be programmed to sign email users up to a company’s Facebook, Twitter or Google+ feeds or to share the email’s content with the recipient’s own social followers. Either option should help to spread a company’s message further. Of course, most digital marketers are aware that it usually takes more than a link to a certain page for users to click-through, so consider adding a compelling call to action explaining why it would be beneficial to receive updates via social media as well as email. It could even be worth dedicating an entire email campaign to boosting social media sign-ups, perhaps by offering incentives to those who do so. Marketers could also significantly boost their email subscriber list by showing their social media followers a snippet of what their email subscribers have to look forward to. The odd self-promotional social media post doesn’t do too much harm, especially when advertising exclusive content and offers to an audience that might not have otherwise known about it. It’s even possible to include email sign-up forms within your social media pages, by utilising the tab function on Facebook or the auto-DM option for new followers on Twitter for example. What results can you expect? Neither email nor social media are marketing platforms that you can simply create, sit back and wait for the customers to come rolling in. It’s important to ‘market your marketing’ and the email/social media combination would appear to be the perfect cocktail for this task. Businesses that successfully integrate their email and social media marketing platforms using the simple techniques described above should expect not only an increase in their subscribers, but an improvement in the overall effectiveness of their messaging. Email and social media are both powerful marketing tools in their own right, but combined they can be far more effective. After all, a consistent message delivered across a series of platforms is a lot stronger than a lone voice.