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It’s comforting to know that the whole social media vs. email marketing war has simmered down enough for both sides of the fence to ultimately realise that the two mediums complement each other rather nicely and when used together effectively can garner impressive results.
Off the bat, we know that basic integration means we need to include social media links in our email newsletters and encourage our friends and followers to sign up via our posts, tweets and status updates. We also know that it’s worthwhile including social media links in our email signatures, inviting people to follow us, like us or sign up.
That’s all very well, but what about the actual newsletter content?
For a while, marketers simply duplicated content across the different channels, but this soon became stale and they were forced to get more creative and start delivering star content that differed between email and the various social platforms. Today, you’ll find cross channel campaigns that are interactive and multi-faceted and really create a much better user experience.
In this post, we look at fresh content ideas you can take from your social media platforms and use in your email newsletters. What’s good about these points is that they can be updated and used again, depending on the frequency of your emails.
- LinkedIn allows you to do a survey of friends and groups for free, so you can post your questions here and then put the results into a special once-off newsletter
Of course you can also include them in your regular newsletter, it’s up to you. All marketers should make a point of letting new subscribers know that in addition to the newsletters they’ve signed up for, they could also expect once-off newsletters detailing special /need to know info.
These emails definitely need to be capped though; otherwise you’ll just start looking like a spammer.
- Conduct an interview through LinkedIn or Twitter (remember to use a hash tag) and then include the full article in your next newsletter
This way, no matter how your subscribers choose to follow you, they all benefit. Also, even if some of them followed the entire interview through their Twitter stream, they get to read the completed interview later at their own pace.
- Give recognition to your subscribers
This can be based on those who are the most interactive, who have “suggested” your fan page, who re-tweet your tweets, who mention your company’s name in their status updates or tweets, or even just those who you think are really funny and have something interesting to contribute. You get the idea, and the criteria here can change.
It’s a good way to show your subscribers that you are actually listening and following what they have to say and by giving them a bit of recognition and thumbs up, they’ll feel more valued and appreciated.
You can take this one step further and offer up a small monthly prize for the “winner” that you feature. No need to go overboard, a voucher or discount off their next purchase should be enough incentive to get your other readers motivated.
If this proves to be popular and if you have a large enough subscriber list to warrant it, you could look to get prizes from sponsors. This of course benefits you, the subscriber and the sponsor — who gets (almost) free advertising.
- If you’ve signed up to relevant industry chat sites, blogs and forums then see what’s trending and track feedback and opinions to include in your newsletter
Not only will this keep you up to date with what’s happening, but it also shows your subscribers that you are interested in what’s going on and they’ll appreciate it if you keep them informed too.
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember here is that your email subscribers are largely segmented and this becomes even more evident when you look at the general profiles of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn users.
Ideally you’d like to target each of these groups with separate content but of course it takes time to gather the data and you might not have the man-power or money to do this just yet. Not to worry though, as long as you are doing something to integrate social media with your email newsletters, you’re engaging with the online community and bridging a very important gap.