Why Social Media Is Critical To Modern E-Mail Marketing
Why Social Media Is Critical To Modern E-Mail Marketing
by

Once upon a time, e-mail marketing was considered intrusive, at best. Sure, there were plenty of people willing to sign up to get coupons and discounts from their favorite business, but if you were an “e-mail marketer” you were just a rung or two above a telemarketer on the scale of professions people didn’t like.

The factor that gradually changed the environment of e-mail marketing in the last 10 years is content. Companies today are focusing more on relevant content aimed at consumers who opt-in to the messaging. It’s no longer an e-mail “blast.” It’s a gift-wrapped package of goodness the receiver wanted in the first place.

Learn Share with your network email marketing features with D.J. Waldow and Jason FallsYou can thank the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 for a lot of that. But I think you can also thank the consumer demand that produced a shift toward a content-centric web, the immediate precursor to what we call social media. Content is king. If you deliver good stuff, people will consume it.

I’ve called myself an e-mail marketer for a mere four months now. Sure, I’ve helped clients with their e-mail efforts, too, but I started my own e-newsletter in October. Thanks to my e-mail partners at Blue Sky Factory, I’ve learned a graduate degree’s worth of information about e-mail in that short time. That, along with my previous experiences, leads me to one firm conclusion: Social media is critical to modern e-mail marketing.

It’s All About The Content

A good e-newsletter is like a series of very useful, short blog posts put together in a fashion that serves the audience good information in bite-size portions, then perhaps directs them to where they can find more. Coupons and discounts still serve a purpose, but if you spit out 300 words or so of just company news that doesn’t resonate with the subscribers, you soon won’t have many. The same content rules apply in blogs and social media outposts. The content has to be good.

Growing Your List Is Now About Sharing

You can’t just buy lists and add them to yours anymore. Legalities aside, your audience won’t appreciate the practice and you’ll be labeled a spammer. Promoting your list is a great jump-start, but the way you’ll grow qualified, interested audience members is when your current readers share your content. Whether it’s the “Forward To A Friend” button or social media sharing on sites like Twitter and Facebook, your readers will grow your list for you so long as you provide them both reason and motivation to do so.

Great content (the hub, if you will, of social media) begets great sharing (one way you build trust in social media) which grows your audience and helps you build a community (often the aspiration of social media marketing). And that community is a collection of people who voluntarily signed up to be in your tribe. They are your influencers, your fans, your ambassadors.

The area I’ve focused most of my studying upon recently is the Share With Your Network (SWYN) effect. In fact, D.J. Waldow and I have prepared a free webinar on the SWYN effect. We’ll present it as one of Blue Sky Factory’s free webinars at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT Wednesday. You can sign up to attend here. And if you’re occupied at that time, Blue Sky will have it available shortly after at their webinar archives.

As a bit of a teaser, here are some interesting items you’ll learn more about in the webinar:

  • Exploring Social Media (my newsletter) saw a reach increase of an astonishing 107 percent from November’s newsletter.
  • With good SWYN metrics, you can tell which singular subscriber spreads your message to more people, helping you identify your biggest brand influencers.
  • Incentivizing sharing produces real results that grow your list to people who want to be on it.

And if you think e-mail is sooooo 2006, we’ll help you understand why it’s not.

In the meantime, tell me how you use e-mail marketing, or how you would if you don’t currently. What challenges and questions do you have about e-mail marketing that either I, or your fellow readers can help with. The comments are yours.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Nowadays, Social media marketing are more been use compare to email marketing.. Definitely the popularity of social media sites make this marketing strategy more powerful.

  • i think Email Marketing. Effective messaging is critical for any organization. Now more than ever, email is playing a central role in modern communication!

  • i think Email Marketing. Effective messaging is critical for any organization. Now more than ever, email is playing a central role in modern communication!

  • Nancy

    Using email to reach current and prospective customers is both a convenient marketing strategy and also a powerfully effective one. But successful email campaigns are often found wherever the best and most relevant email lists are also found. And, for many, obtaining or compiling a great email list is far more tedious than orchestrating the email campaign itself. Social media itself reveals the secrets to a successful email marketing campaign. All things considered, social media is rooted in large networks of like-minded people and thrives on regular, meaningful interactions. http://www.businessmantra.net

  • Agreed. Thanks for the comments, Anne.

  • anne jaa

    Good article!Networking is an exercise you have to conduct almost everyday if you’re in a business of selling -whether you work for an organization or for yourself. Networking as a concept has existed since time immemorial but it has been taken to an entirely new level by social networking websites.Marketers who are able to align their messaging with the distinct mindset of consumers engaging in social networks are posting positive results and building a quality following in these environments.

    investor business daily

  • zero

    How to use it?

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  • In my country, emailing is mostly perceived as intrusive. So, in order to manage and grow our email lists we developed layouts to give our readers something to linger on. We designed a layout to suit our customers' profile and generally wrote texts that sounded like a personal letter (neutral or rarely, informal style). In many cases we tailored the message to the individuals (if knowing about items that were of specific interest to them). When possible we ring our clients to “ask for permission” to send them a mail, and always after a while for feedback. It's tedious work, but pays off; you often establish strong contacts. At present we are scrutinizing the new opportunities offered by the social networking.

  • In my country, emailing is mostly perceived as intrusive. So, in order to manage and grow our email lists we developed layouts to give our readers something to linger on. We designed a layout to suit our customers' profile and generally wrote texts that sounded like a personal letter (neutral or rarely, informal style). In many cases we tailored the message to the individuals (if knowing about items that were of specific interest to them). When possible we ring our clients to “ask for permission” to send them a mail, and always after a while for feedback. It's tedious work, but pays off; you often establish strong contacts. At present we are scrutinizing the new opportunities offered by the social networking.

    • Well done. Personalization is certainly a much more effective approach.
      Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Very good info! Thanks!

  • LC

    Great post! I completely agree…with the basically whole world being on Facebook and/or Twitter, marketing is now more community-driven. They make online marketing easier and gets the word out quicker. LC, Lur'em Marketing

  • ShaneRQR

    Some great points about mail-marketing!
    I agree, the sink or swim factor is in delivering valuable content that the reader wants in the first place. Blasting sales-pitches doesn't cut it anymore.

    I'm on tons of mailing lists due to the reviews I write and it's incredible to me how many marketers only write when they have something to pitch. The few that manage to offer great content together with great offers/bonuses/specials are the ones that rise above the noise that is 90% of my inbox.
    (That's an inbox dedicated to mailing-lists btw.)

    • Sounds like you're a good person to ask about effective email marketing,
      Shane. Thanks for the input here. I agree that sales only mailings are less
      attractive. Good to know someone else agrees.

  • Hi,

    So what are some of the incentives one could use to encourage sharing via Facebook Pages?

    • Anything that motivates people. Free books, coupons, prizes. It depends on
      your business and what you have to offer as incentives. What might be smart
      is to have a series of reasons people should be a fan of yours on Facebook,
      then use those to motivate people to share with Facebook more than other
      networks. You'd be surprised at the response you get when you just say,
      “Hey. Share this on Facebook. The person who gets the most people to check
      out our newsletter there wins a $25 Amazon gift card.”

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  • Maybe Jason will touch upon this during tomorrow's webinar. Jason? I kinda like the idea.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  • Maybe Jason will touch upon this during tomorrow's webinar. Jason? I kinda like the idea.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  • Thanks Jason,

    I about to start an eNewsletter this month. I am so glad that you addressed this topic. Is there anything you would have done different when you started in October?

  • Thanks Jason,

    I about to start an eNewsletter this month. I am so glad that you addressed this topic. Is there anything you would have done different when you started in October?

    • Maybe Jason will touch upon this during tomorrow's webinar. Jason? I kinda like the idea.

      DJ Waldow
      Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
      @djwaldow

  • Good points – I agree with you 100%; just wanna add one point: I've started my blog datenschmutz (in German language) four years ago. When I added a newsletter (as an RSS alternative) 2 months ago, my geek friends would laugh at me and tell me that “e-mail is old school”. But while I got plenty of RSS readers, many user told me they prefer to get their updates in their inbox… so it also works the other way round: social media marketing sometimes also relies on e-mail :-)

  • Good points – I agree with you 100%; just wanna add one point: I've started my blog datenschmutz (in German language) four years ago. When I added a newsletter (as an RSS alternative) 2 months ago, my geek friends would laugh at me and tell me that “e-mail is old school”. But while I got plenty of RSS readers, many user told me they prefer to get their updates in their inbox… so it also works the other way round: social media marketing sometimes also relies on e-mail :-)

    • Great point and thanks for sharing that. RSS is a very passive
      delivery method. Many of my friends browse my headlines but don't read
      my blog. They read my enewsletter though. It's an active delivery
      method. Excellent point to consider.

  • Jason, I'm not going to have the opportunity to listen in today, but I'm particularly interested in this part of your presentation: “With good SWYN metrics, you can tell which singular subscriber spreads your message to more people, helping you identify your biggest brand influencers.” Will the webinar be available after or do you have another post you can point me to that elaborates on this topic? Thanks.

    • Andy –

      Sorry you will miss the live event. Always more fun live, right? Ha ha. We – Blue Sky Factory – usually have the webinar available within a week or so – http://www.blueskyfactory.com/webinars/

      As far as your interest in … “With good SWYN metrics, you can tell which singular subscriber spreads your message to more people, helping you identify your biggest brand influencers.” … that is a report that Blue Sky Factory provides as part of the feature.

      DJ Waldow
      Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
      @djwaldow

    • The webinar is tomorrow, Andy. If you do miss it, though, it will be on Blue
      Sky Factory's website under “Webinars.” They archive all of 'em! Thanks for
      asking.

  • Great post. Although Twitter is great for conveying brief messages or inspiring users to to to relevant infomration, email can be a great way to continue a relationship with more in-depth content and meaning.

    • Agreed, Jason. Thanks for the comment.

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  • Great post. I know email marketing is not completely dead regardless of what you may have read lately, particularly in the SMB sector. The convergance of email and social media makes perfect sense to me and I look forward to learning how to leverage this movement.

    • Thanks Rusty. Hopefully we can all get better at mixing the mediums to
      serve our customers better.

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  • I just signed up and shared with my twitter community. Since I met you both at Social Media Business Forum in Raleigh last year, I know this will be worth my time and then some. Jason, you consistently provide valuable information and I will need it even more when I start my new Social Media Manager job in two weeks.

    • Thanks Angela. Looking forward to it! And I need the job scoop! Fill
      me in!

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  • Email subscribers are the most valuable asset to your online business. They are the one's that truly are fans, so much so they have given you their prized possession, the email… Give them the best content you can, good advice, Jason

    Yet, most companies have email newsletters way down on the list of to-do's

    • Agreed, Matt. I think the “email is spam” mentality still urks some folks.
      When it's done right, however, it's pretty powerful.

  • Jason – I'm getting more and more pumped for this as we get closer. Fun + educational. Does it get any better? Thanks doing this webinar with us.

    Ha ha.
    Heh.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

    • I'm pumped, too. Gonna be fun. I almost want to have a cocktail or two
      before … but I won't. Heh.

  • Chris Long

    Hi Jason. Loved this post and signed up for the webinar. Good stuff! Chris, Kentucky Center

    • Thanks Chris! See you on Wednesday, then!

  • Michel

    As long you have to tell something is important, it is not.

    • Then you'll just tell it to the same audience. Social is how you grow
      your audience which is, in my mind, is critical for success.

    • I guess we should tell the kids to drop out of school, then. If anything they're learning was important, they wouldn't need anyone to explain it to them.

      Clearly.