Making the most of social media via email marketing.
How much time do you spend on your social media strategy, as opposed to email? Twice as much? Three times? The social platforms are content monsters with instant feedback and feel-good connections. Email, by comparison, is the quiet workhorse that only demands content when you push it out. However, the click-through rates on email are twice that of social1, making it the best place for your sales. Its time to align your content to your results and lavish your social posts, tweets and videos on your email subscribers, without irritating them.
The first thing to bear in mind is just how noisy everyday life is. You get scared of promoting our content because you are constantly thinking about it. However, your average client or customer – even if they are a raving fan of your business – might only think about it for a minute or two each day. If you are lucky. On top of that (especially for fast-moving platforms like TikTok and Twitter), your content will only be shown for a fraction of time on their homepage before it gets bumped down the list by fresh entries.
For that reason, you need to repeat your message. Even if they have heard it before. Even if they have the T-shirt, the tattoo and their cat named after you (did Game of Thrones skip their adverts for the final season?). Keep it upbeat, proud and positive. Your repetition is a service to them.
How do I do it?
Don’t make it a secret.
‘Hey, Grace! We’ve been talking on Instagram about xxx this week and we wanted to share it with you. Here’s what the tribe’s been saying <insert quotes>.
Of course we think <add your thoughts>. Make up your own mind: visit xxxx.
You get added bonus points for lighthearted sarcasm, entertainment or an old-school meme.
Sometimes you end up creating content on the spur of the moment. For example, one of your clients asks a question that gains interest in your Facebook or Slack Group. Or your write an article for LinkedIn that goes viral. Now, you can ‘just’ replicate that content for email, or you can encompass the whole discussion to create extra value for your subscribers. Remember, many of them will not have seen the thread or post, or even if they have – life gets in the way. Finally; if it’s something extremely valuable (strategy, ‘how-tos’ and links resources are the best), your subscribers will save that email for future reference. In the same way you get ‘long-tail’ content from blogging, you can also gain it from inbox searches on email.
How do I do it?
In a word: curation. Depending on the discussion, you can create a short video, compile a list of links or put together the main points in a short graphic. The aim here is not to replicate the post, but to make the information fast and accessible for your subscribers to consume. It’s a bit like the difference between reading all the newspaper articles on a battle or picking up one report that summarizes the outcome.
This one is great for competitions, giveaways, quizzes and anything else with the prospect of a prize. The best bit is that it works both ways.
Social competitions are part of the standard content mix these days. You ask your audience to like, share or refer and they gain an entry to a prize draw (or similar). If you use social competition software, you can ‘reward’ your users with extra entries for every action they take. This can include subscriptions to your newsletter or (conversely), email subscribers following you on social.
So, you’ve set up your competition, scheduled all the social posts and dropped the link into your newsletter. You can breathe a sigh of relief that another task is done for the week, right?
Well, not quite. Even if it’s a pinned post or part of your homepage, the competition will be missed. You need reminders: and a way to reward people for paying attention.
Enter the humble email.
Your subscribers will always be your most ardent audience as they trusted you enough to share their email address. As such, they also have a higher tolerance for repetition, especially if it’s entertaining. Use the buzz from the competition. Use your own reaction to it. Mention how excited you are about the giveaway and include your own anecdotes about using the reward.
In the same way nobody objects to a Facebook messenger group about party planning, you can inject the same enthusiasm into your reminder emails. Even if they have entered the competition, you are giving them more reasons to feel good about doing so.
How do I do it?
Hopefully, your giveaway is sufficiently exciting to get attention. However, even if it’s just a Friday-night swag bag with a pizza and film tickets, you can still weave a story around it. Start with announcing the competition, then follow up with reminders, telling your subscribers why you chose that promotion, what it means to you and what it will do for them. Above all: be excited. Make them part of your own private club; the only ones in the know about the significance of that stuffed bear giveaway/the spa day location/ the mentorship offer.
Don’t forget to follow up, announcing the winner (with their permission). It confirms that your competition is a legitimate one in their eyes, rather than a power trip to harvest their attention.
So, there you have it. Three ways to enhance your emails and boost your social engagement without sacrificing attention or enjoyment. It can also act as the catalyst for yet more content and shows your audience that you care about them on a human, rather than corporate level.