Social Media and Email Integration Beyond Sharing Tools

Sharing tools are just a tiny detail in the convergence of social and email. Some thoughts on taking your social email marketing some steps further as I posted them recently on my blog.

Many email marketers have discovered that social media and email marketing can be a perfect fit. The list of ESPs that provide sharing tools and functions in their email marketing solutions keeps growing. Cool. Now email marketers can look at conversion in new ways, increase the reach of their campaigns and so on. Everybody happy: the link between our email campaigns and social media is a fact since we offer sharing tools, right?

Wrong! Integrating sharing tools into email marketing is just a small part of cross-fertilizing both channels. On top of that, those sharing tools should be used wisely.

What I call social email marketing is about much more than just adding some buttons to share content via Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and the likes.

Combining social media and email: how far does your imagination stretch?

We are just starting to see great examples about what really matters and where marketers truly think across both forms of media to innovate and come with original and relevant approaches.

Using Twitter as a landing page for instance, including the text of the tweet. Or linking to product reviews of your products instead of to the products themselves. Or monitoring trends to act swiftly via a topical e-mail. Or using a subject line that gets shared on Twitter with a strong message and even including the @ Twitter handle of the sender. Or identifying influencers by tracking the people that retweet or bookmark email messages your recipients have retweeted or bookmarked.

The possibilities are endless. Your imagination the limit. So, go beyond the obvious. There are many tips I could share, too many for one post. However, let me share some tips and considerations about the sharing tools I started this post with.

Social media sharing tools don’t equal sharing

You already know that, in order to be shared, content has to be…share-worthy, you also know that wisely including sharing options in email can lead to great results as several case studies have shown. But the truth is that you should not expect miracles from simply focussing on social sharing tools and share-worthy content alone. In fact, you might get no results, whatsoever if you just do that.

People need to be motivated and teased to share and you have to come up with innovating ideas to get the sharing going. On top of that you need to choose the sharing tools wisely and place them in the proper place inside your email templates.

Using the right sharing tools in the right place and beyond your emails

How do you choose the right sharing tools for your mails? Simple: look at the social networks your subscribers are using, test and be sure that you use those that are…relevant for your subscribers, their connections and obviously your business. A simple example regarding the latter: if the primary goal of your emails is to generate traffic towards your website – like it’s the case for many publishers – then focus on the sharing tools that enable this first.

Finally this: don’t limit the use of sharing tools to your emails alone! Email marketing is a process and the most important things happen after the click. So add sharing tools to other elements of that process as well, for instance on the landing page.

Now that we start integrating email and social media we better try doing it even better, right?

Originally posted here.