I Now Pronounce You, Email And Social

Long gone are the days of concern that social media would be the ultimate demise of email. I’d even go as far to argue that email was the first social media platform where people could forward, reply, and share content online. Not only has the emergence of newer social media platforms given people more ways to communicate, but it has also enhanced the power of email, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, in many companies, the email and social teams work separately, thus neglecting the key ways the two channels can benefit each other. Here are five ways you can create a happy marriage between these two channels that were always destined to make the other better.

Social feed in email. Live content capabilities that update a message at the time of open have made it possible to bring the latest from your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds right into your email.  Say goodbye to boring emails that say “Like us on Facebook,” “Follow us on Twitter,” etc.  Instead, show your customers what they are missing by bringing a snapshot of the conversation to email. Plus, the content on social is a free way to fill your email real estate without a lot of effort from the email team.



Email sign-up on Facebook. I’m astounded at the number of brands that don’t leverage their huge Facebook audience to encourage email sign-up on their social pages. It doesn’t require a lot of resources from a cost and time standpoint, but can drive a lot of sign-ups over time, especially when promoted through contests that encourage sharing.

Social sign-on/social authentication. Social sign-on is a great way to allow your customers to set up profiles and sign up for email updates without having to fill out forms full of friction.  As an added benefit of such integration, you can pull valuable information like demographics, birthday, location, interest, and competitive likes directly into your ESP. While the number of customers using social sign-on may not be high, those that do will provide you a gold mine of personal information that you can use for segmentation.

Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences on Facebook allows you to load email addresses of your customers and, when there is a match with the email addresses that Facebook has on file for those customers, you can send a targeted ad.  This functionality is especially compelling to use on customers that have gone email-inactive and haven’t responded to any attempts at reengagement via email.  

Direct messaging. Direct messages are a great way to reach customers on Facebook and Twitter. No, this is not technically email, but as the email marketer at your organization, you have the ability to leverage social media direct messaging capabilities to send personalized messages directly to your customers similarly to email. I recently received an order and shipping confirmation from a retailer that uses social sign-on. I was delighted to see the brand using Facebook’s direct messaging features to send me valuable communications.

What are some ways that you have been able to marry email and social media within your organization?  Let me know in the comments. If you are missing out on creating cohesion in the two channels, I’d say you should take your social media colleague to lunch.  Isn’t it time we broke down the silos?

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