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how email and social media compliment each other

Kath Pay
Kath Pay

The consumer is channel-agnostic; yet one. So it’s obvious an integrated digital marketing approach often works and that also goes for an integrated approach using email marketing and social. In this guest post, Kath Pay provides data and a case study of how social media and email compliment each other.

Econsultancy recently released its Email Marketing Census 2012 report and it was with no surprise at all that I read that over half (51%) of the companies surveyed manage social and email as two separate channels and only 39% consider them as ‘complimentary’ channels.

The reason why I wasn’t surprised is from my experience with different brands, I am privy to their internal challenges and their siloed systems and communications – both internal and external.

Email helps social and social helps email

Email and social lend themselves to being used together – in fact, I never perform a consultation or do a workshop on email without including social – I simply can’t see how they can be separated. Email helps social and social helps email.

Not only that but a study by The Nielsen Company found that “..social media use appears to make people consume email more, not less, particularly for the heaviest social media users”.

What this means is that if someone is on social media, there’s a good chance they’re also on email – which for a marketer is brilliant news.

Furthermore, email and social were ranked 2nd and 4th for ROI by the Econsultancy Census, with email consistently being either the top or second position in the ranking for the past 4 years. Imagine the results if these two channels were to work together!

Ranking of channels for ROI - source Econsultancy
Ranking of channels for ROI – source Econsultancy

An example of social media and email working together

So here’s one very simple way to start getting the email and social departments talking and the good news is, no huge amount of integration is needed. However, being mindful of the ‘other channel’ when planning your social media content strategy (and vice versa) is necessary.

Of course, a fully integrated email and social strategy is the best solution!

Use social to build your email database. Knuttel Prints, a client of European ESP Newsweaver decided to use social media to build his email database. His focus was two-fold – adding value and engagement to the social channels and then adding additional (and different) value to the email channel in order to convert the interaction and engagement into revenue.

Their approach was simple and effective:

  1. They created an impressive online presence using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
    Graham-Knuttel-Facebook-fan-page
  2. They launched a monthly newsletter and included newsletter-exclusive incentives and discounts to sign up to it, such as announcing the sweepstakes winners only via the newsletter and as seen below offering newsletter only discounts.
    Graham-Knuttel-campaign-sweepstake-winners
  3. Regularly attracting more subscribers by promoting their newsletter throughout their social media presences. Their list is continually growing and 80% of this growth is due to their social media presence.
  4. Their email stats show the engagement of their audience with consistent open rates off between 60-70% and 40% clicks to opens.
  5. Finally, the pièces de ré•sis•tance is that the ROI from their social media efforts can be calculated as each newsletter brings in €10,000 each issue. When you consider that 80% of the list growth is attributable to social media, you can now put some solid numbers against the value of a “Like” or fan/follower.

As Knuttel’s agency said “Email and social media have proven to complement each other very well. Social networks are fantastic for building a fan base; but the money is definitely in our email mailing list”.

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