As Batman Needed Robin, Social Media Needs E-Mail -- Or Is It The Other Way Around?
History is littered with partnerships that transformed their genre. Would Fred Astaire have made such an impact upon the world of dance without Ginger? Would Apple be where it is without the camaraderie of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak? And would Jack Bauer in "24" have been able to pull of what he did sans Chloe O'Brian?
E-mail is a major driver of social media activity; in fact it is the major driver. According to Forrester's 2010 E-mail Marketing Survey, marketers' No. 1 reason for integrating e-mail with social media is to drive recipients to marketers' Facebook, Twitter and social media sites. This is not surprising when one appreciates that 82% of consumers connect with fewer than 10 brands in the social media space. In fact, 71% of business executives claim they use e-mail to promote their social media presence.
While Carrie's and Samantha's great "one-liners" in "Sex and the City" hit the big time, Liz Tuccillo, the mastermind behind many of them, remains in relative obscurity; and while a great social media program may make the headlines, more often than not, behind it lies the powerhouse of e-mail (often a marketer's best kept secret). Needless to say, Sarah Jessica Parker has been wildly successful; however, Tuccillo has done pretty well herself, with a film -- "He's Just Not That Into You" -- and a book -- "How to be Single" -- under her belt.
Before we get out our hankies and sob in sympathy for the hardworking, less celebrated e-mail campaign, we need to appreciate that the relationship works both ways. For instance, 53% of consumer respondents in e-Dialog's "Global Perspectives" survey saw e-mail as being the primary driver of their social marketing activity. And roughly half of these respondents were also willing to act as brand advocates and to share e-mail marketing messages via social media, fueling a major boost to the exposure of the e-mail message. If e-mail provides the vital shot of information to the inbox, then social media is the flow that spreads the message wider.
So the trick is to understand this dynamic and master it. Here's how:
Talking of dynamic partnerships, there are few partnerships as tenacious as that of Batman and Robin. Despite the ever-changing challenges and the ever-expanding range of competitors and characters, the skill, intelligence and teamwork of Batman and Robin pulled them through. While we might not be able to fight off the Penguin just yet, what we know for sure is that social media and e-mail work better when working together. All that remains to be said is stay tuned for next month's e-mail installment... same bat-time, same bat-channel (sorry; couldn't resist!).