B2B Emails, Meet Twitter

Most direct-to-consumer marketers haven't quite figured out what to do with Twitter yet. Is it just a customer service channel? Or is it a place to dump offers? Are customers even listening?

Score one for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. The channel fits in well with the kind of news distribution and networking that businesses already do. It's a smart way for you to share articles and information, because it shows off just how knowledgeable you are about your industry. And of course, it's a great way to add content to your marketing emails.

First, here's a quick glossary for anyone not familiar with Twitter: 

·      A post on Twitter is called a tweet.

·      Someone who reads your Twitter feed regularly is a follower.



·      You can make it easy to group tweets from different authors and accounts on Twitter by using a hashtag in each tweet on the same topic. (For example, "Who else is going to the Email Insider Summit in Dec? #MPEIS" will make sure people who search for MediaPost's Email Insider Summit information on Twitter find my tweet).

Now that we all speak the same language, here are the top four places to add value to B2B emails using Twitter:

1.     Newsletters (and lead-nurture programs). Include a sample of your most recent tweets in a column of your newsletter. For your clients and prospects who don't follow you on Twitter, the content feels fresh and new.  And for your Twitter followers, it's a good reminder of tweets they might have missed, or might want to reference again.  

2.     Remarketing emails. It makes sense to include recent news in a follow-up campaign to prospects who have indicated an interest. You might find that it's easier to quickly pull the latest tweets than it is to summarize an article. It's helpful to have content ready-made on short notice -- which is essentially what you're creating with Twitter.

3.     Event campaigns. Even a webinar can have a large enough audience to justify a Twitter feed. Remember to ask your audience to add a hashtag to their tweets, and make sure you use that same hashtag when you tweet yourself. Plan ahead, and you can generate some great quotes from the resulting Twitter feed -- which you can then use to promote your next event.

4.     Reengagement campaigns. If you have former clients or prospects whom you haven't heard from recently, adding a few recent tweets to a re-engagement email could help give an "evergreen" email a "fresh" feel. It's not a bad thing to remind people that you do know your stuff.

If you're not using Twitter yet, your email channel is not a good reason to start. Twitter should be approached with the care and thought that you'd give to any client-facing channel. And Twitter alone should not be the only content - or even the most important content - in any email you send. But if you are using (or about to start using) Twitter, then it's worth considering an extension of your tweet feed to your email channel.

And of course, don't forget the obvious: make sure you tweet your email newsletters. The channels don't just work one-way. Your newsletters can help you find new customers and intrigue prospects you didn't realize were following you when you leverage them in Twitter.

Do you already use Twitter in your emails? Share how you've integrated Twitter into your email marketing materials via comments. I'd like to hear your examples.

5 comments about "B2B Emails, Meet Twitter".
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  1. Andrew Kordek from Trendline Interactive, August 24, 2010 at 10:36 a.m.

    I have tried in a previous B2B role to snapshot into the creative the latest twitter stream and then drive the user to a dedicated page on the site where they can view the live twitter stream. I believe that B2B can leverage twitter for educational and relationship building across the landscape.

    Great article Gretchen.


  2. Gretchen Scheiman from Liveclicker, August 24, 2010 at 11:26 a.m.

    Thanks Andrew! Great example of how to extend the value of your content.

  3. Melinda Krueger from Salesforce, August 24, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.

    Great topic and advice! You can always count on Gretchen to be at the leading edge of marketing.

  4. Arthur Einstein from Loyalty Builders, August 24, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.

    We've been trying to figure out the right way to use Twitter and you've been a big help Gretchen. Thanks.

  5. Gretchen Scheiman from Liveclicker, August 26, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.

    @Melinda, thanks Diva!
    @ Arthur, so great to hear that this has been helpful. Good luck to you as you move forward with social media and integrating the new channels with the old.

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