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Trend: Email and Social Media Marketing - The Dynamic Duo

A recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey that assessed “why consumers engage via email and Facebook” found that though social media has a strong following and excellent ability to increase brand recognition and loyalty, email is the preferred channel. Over 50% of email users polled said that they regularly engage with a brand via email for the purpose of receiving discounts and special offers, whereas 41% of social media users cited the same interaction.

Takeaway: Social media is a great booster, but email still remains king.

The primary difference between these two channels lies in the public aspect of the social media experience. While email subscribers remain virtually anonymous, users who “like” a Facebook page do so with full knowledge that their “friends” and “followers” will see their action. This sort of publicity is unparalleled. Even though it may have been solicited by a special offer or deal, personal recommendation of a brand shows support that email interaction cannot. However, email is and will remain to be the backing force behind any well rounded digital marketing campaign. It continues to be one of the most cost effective methods and according to Marketing Sherpa, B2C email marketers are reporting an average ROI of 256%.

How to: Email plus social media is the winning combination

The best part of the email vs social media challenge is that marketers do not have to choose between the two. In fact, using both email and social media in conjunction with one another can provide a two-fold impression and help boost the overall effectiveness of a campaign. Email is an excellent resource for compiling a database of consumers, while social media outlets like Facebook can help increase a brands overall visibility. Because social media interaction often happens after the initial purchase process, marketers may choose to reward these customers for their patronage and interaction via continued email communication. Marketers should look at the email/social media connection as one constant loop. Make connections between email and social media campaigns i.e. targeted email messages for those who “like” certain pages or products, or specific social media deals announced only via email. Use each channel to increase the effectiveness of the other. Ways to achieve this balance include:

1. Social sharing (AddThis integration for sharing an email message)
2. Autoposting/autotweeting in conjunction with an email campaign
3. Social media contest follow up via email
4. Exclusive offers for social media sharers via email
5. Appreciation for participation in an event/special deal etc. (social media shout out or reward coupon via email)
6. Social media for lead generation and email for lead nurturing

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