As advanced as technology has become, email marketing has remained surprisingly relevant. Even with the explosion of social media marketing to boost engagement and create massive networks, email marketing still produces higher conversion rates on mobile than any other medium. In other words, people aren’t just using their phones to check Facebook, they’re checking their email, too. The mobile connection is an important one- just consider the amount of time people spend on their devices. When a notification pops up, they see it immediately. And while some people mute their social media notifications during the day, many leave email on to stay connected to work-related messages.
Email Marketing: Connect in Real Time and Build Your Brand
According to a study by Litmus, 54% of emails were opened on a mobile device. Therefore, emails are still a great way to connect with contacts in real time- while they’re on the go. Social media interactions can and do happen on the fly, but the more involved ones tend to take place when people have more time. Email marketing also allows for more personalization than social media marketing. (Make no mistake- you need to be doing both in a competitive, transitioning industry). But email marketing can generate sales through programs in which birthdays, sales, and loyalty are rewarded with perks.
Membership and loyalty programs can also be effectively marketed through email. Special sales and limited time offers, such as holiday offers, are less likely to be overlooked as spam when they’re part of a marketing campaign that prioritizes personalization. Relationship-building is key in an experiential market; customers want to feel personally valued and catered to. And they want visual proof that your brand can meet their needs in better, unique ways than other brands can. One way to build this kind of trust is to keep your customer base up to date and exclusively privy to what’s going on with your brand- including sales.
Email marketing is still a powerful tool for brand awareness, too. Remember, when a customer shows up on your email list, it means that they’ve interacted with your brand in some capacity. So some level of interest is probably already there- now you just need to build on it by building a relationship. Now, don’t get us wrong- no one can build positive customer relationships by blowing up their emails with daily generic, impersonal emails. In fact, that’s probably the fastest way to alienate a customer we can think of. Instead, use consumer data to create meaningful promotions that your audience actually benefits from.
The long and short of it? Email marketing still generates sales. 4.24 percent of individuals who click on a website from a link in an email are likely to purchase something. But only 2.49 percent of people who click on a link via a social media site are likely to buy.
Putting It Together:Integrate Your Email Marketing and Social Media Strategy
For the best results, you should be integrating your email marketing campaigns with a strong social media strategy. Not sure what your customer base (or target audience) wants or needs? If you’re new at this, don’t sweat it- this information is gleaned over time, as with any kind of relationship. You can find out more about who your customers are by interacting with them over time. Here’s where social media comes in as a counterpart to email marketing. (These days, they go hand in hand; it’s hard to be successful by doing one without the other).
While emails are meant to be brief interactions, social media gives brands a platform to get to know their customers/clientele on a more personal basis. Here is where you find out who they are, what’s important to them, and what they need and desire from a brand like yours. If you’re not already implementing a detailed social media strategy, now is the time to start; doing so exponentially increases engagement with your brand and events. It also gives you a window into your customers’ thoughts and feelings. Armed with this information, you can design products and promotions that cater to their personalized needs.
We don’t mean to make it sound like some diabolical corporate scheme, either- if you’re truly listening and motivated to enhance your clients’ lives in some way with your services, that’s half the battle. Genuine connections are something people can feel. And combined with personalization, they build solid brand loyalty over time.
To effectively integrate your social media and email marketing, make sure your goals are aligned. What social media goals can potentially be reached with email marketing? What kind of content is more digestible via email versus on social media? Let’s say your brand cells natural skin care products. A lengthy, multi-faced discussion on why organic is better for the environment and one’s overall health is much better suited for Instagram than email. But sharing a link to your website on social media can help users learn more.
And never underestimate the influence of, well, an influencer. Linking a free trial or promotion entices social media users to interact with your product. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to connect with influencers in your industry. Even if you’re just starting out and/or not ready to pursue sponsorship, ask an influencer to try your product and promote it on page- including a link to your email list under their post. This not only potentially grows your audience by the thousands, but adds more users to your email list.
Too many businesses overlook the need to make their email marketing and social media campaigns cohesive. By failing to do so, their marketing is less targeted. They may be reaching a growing audience on social media, but those potential customers get lost because they’re not being effectively linked to email promotions. If you take away just one thing from this article, let it be that a strong majority prefers to receive promotions via email versus on social media.
Just as you would link email promotions to social media posts, you should be sharing links to social media profiles in your emails. This way, email recipients may be tempted to learn more about your brand by checking you out on social media. Enough new follows and likes, and you’ve significantly grown your brand. The formula is that simple, but it only works if you follow it consistently.
Also, make sure your social media and email calendars are in sync. This may sound like an obvious detail, but for busy event creators, it’s easily overlooked. An understandable mistake, but one that could cost you leads. You especially need to be cognizant of syncing calendars if your social media marketing is run by a different team than your email marketing. Posting a promotion on social media, but failing to follow it up with email until days later, can result in a loss of interest. Similarly, posting on social media about a sale after it has ended will frustrate customers, who may walk away after having their discount hopes dashed. So be cohesive, and make sure everyone on your staff is on the same page- literally.
Email Makes it Easier to Send Targeted Messages
It’s a fact: Targeted messages generate leads. Truly understanding who your customers are means more than gathering demographic information. You also need to know their habits, such as where they buy, what they read, their buyer behaviors. And what influences these buyer behaviors? Naturally, your customers are unique and will differ in these areas. So how can you personalize your content to reach different customers?
In short, generate the data and use it to inform your promotional material. Conducting digital surveys via email and using live polling at events yields plenty of valuable information. Some marketers find it helps to organize their customers into buyer personas. Essentially, a buyer persona is a research-based profile that represents a target customer. This profile is based on psychographic information, such as:
What are your target customer’s daily challenges?
What influences their buyer behaviors?
What factors influence their decision-making?
Going back to the importance of integrating social media with email marketing, social media interactions can also provide detailed psychographic information over time. Again, we’re making it sound really technical, when it’s actually a mix of strategy and empathy. In an experiential market, one doesn’t usually work without the other for very long.
We’ll talk more about buyer personas in our next post. But for now, the main thing to remember is that you will need to target different buyer personas. This means creating targeted messages for different groups.
You can also segment your audience by targeting your content toward their interests. For example, if you know you have a group of customers who share a common interest, target your content accordingly. That’s personalization, and it can’t be done to the maximum without email marketing.
Keep It Short and Sweet!
Last but certainly not least, keep your emails short and concise! The goal is to pack a powerful punch in a few short sentences. Make sure the key information is emboldened and digestible, and that any links you want customers to click on are noticeable.
And speak to your target audience in their language. For example, using heavily intellectualized language and going into unnecessary detail about a software program will lose readers’ attention. In this instance, you would be better served to briefly tell them what the software will help them achieve- and why your software can get them the best results.
No one wants to sift through a long, indigestible email while going about their busy day. Information overload is a real daily struggle for most people, so keep in this in mind. Use graphics to give them visual content that stands out. By the same token, too much visual noise distracts from your message, so keep things cohesive. Use complementary colors and easy-to-read lettering in your graphics.
If you don’t have the means or inclination to hire a copywriter (you probably don’t need to), hone your own skills! We’ll be discussing copy more in depth very shortly. But for now, click here for some easy, solid tips to writing excellent copy for your promotions. Now, get to business.