Login Enterprise
Speak to an Email Marketing Expert
877-789-ELITE (3548)
 

Some things are just destined to be together. If you’re in the business of connecting with customers via email marketing, you know that this practice, when paired with social media, is right up there with mustard and ketchup, Abbott and Costello, and all the other great tandems found throughout history. To make this bond even stronger, here are some creative and effective ways to build a better relationship between your marketed messages and the social outreach that compliments these offerings.

Don’t Forget the Social Buttons

One of the easiest ways to fortify this connection is by giving your readers a chance to share the great deals found within your emails. As DJ Waldow of Social Media Examiner notes in his piece on the subject, simply dropping in a button for Twitter, Facebook, or any other relevant network into your messages is a powerful strategy that provides new reach to your deals and promos. With each share, like, favorite, and retweet, your email ends up in front of an entirely new audience. Incentivizing this social promotion with additional discounts and offers gives your audience even more reason to let their friends and family members in on your latest message.

Generate Social Opt-ins

Waldow goes on to point out that your social media accounts hold an untapped reservoir of new contact list members. Unfortunately, these ready and willing consumers simply don’t have an easy way to get in touch with your brand’s email marketing campaign. To put an end to this unfortunate circumstance, use Facebook’s built-in sign-up feature to generate an opt-in page. This way, as word spreads about your campaign and all the great savings that end up directly in shoppers’ inboxes, these social networkers will have easy access to your next round of emails and you’ll have a whole new set of members to add to your brand contact list.

Run a Social Tie-in Contest

Regardless of the medium, there’s one universal truth in the marketing world; customers love giveaways. For this very reason, social media expert Jeff Bulas suggests on his personal blog that brands looking to build better harmony between email and social marketing should operate a sweepstakes via these networks. The benefits of running this type of outreach program are numerous.

First, you’ll generate a major boost in your social network activity, which is never a bad thing. From here, expect to see your opt-in rates go up as word spreads to every corner of the web about the free stuff your brand is handing out. Naturally, you’ll need to offer a prize that’s worth the time and effort put forth by these customers when they sign up, but that’s the easy part. One look at your contact list after the fact will give you all the motivation you need to really knock their socks off with an amazing giveaway.

Put a Social Spin on Your Subject Lines

It’s amazing what a great subject line can do for your email marketing campaign. Obviously, we’ve talked about optimizing these headers at great length, but when it comes to integrating your social strategy, there’s still a few thoughts to cover. Amy Birch of Social Media Today helps get the discussion rolling by covering this very concept in her article detailing great integration examples.

In her piece, Birch notes that fashion retailer New Look pushed customer responsiveness through the roof by using the simple headline, “Are You a Social Butterfly?” With this simple, straightforward, and incredibly powerful headline guiding the way, New Look was able to let contact list members know right away that this brand’s message was all about looking good in person, as well as on social media. Even if you’re not in the fashion business, a smart headline oriented toward social media can really help your brand strut its stuff.

Know Which Platforms Matter Most

The final tip for complimenting your email strategy with powerful social media tactics comes from Pamella Neely of Web Marketing Today. Neely explains that to really build a dedicated following that boosts inbox open rates and shares, you need to know which platforms matter most to your audience. While some brands might say Facebook and Twitter are just fine and go from there, if you really want to make a splash, this path of least resistance simply isn’t good enough. With Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ all pulling plenty of subscribers, harnessing the power of all the options placed before your brand can really set it apart from the competition. If your organization can put this tip with the rest of what you’ve learned in this post, there’s nothing stopping your next email marketing campaign from reaching new heights, all thanks to a little help from the world of social media.

Social_Media

 

By now, you know that email marketing and social media are two peas in a pod when it comes to reaching out to your audience. Whether it’s one of the countless marketing blogs out there telling you how great these two are together or your own personal experience doing a little brand promotion work, it’s not exactly the best kept secret in the industry. However, what plenty of talking heads fail to cover is exactly how you can put this connection to good use and grow your email contact list without a lot of extra effort. Thankfully, all you need to do is take a few minutes and look over these must see tips to get the ball rolling on your next big email marketing push.

Use Facebook’s Built-in Apps to Make an Email Opt-in Form (and Don’t Forget to Promote It!)

One of the absolute best synergies between social media and email marketing comes from the biggest social platform in the world. As part of its extensive app library, Facebook gives your brand the opportunity to setup an email opt-in form right on your page. While this might not seem like much, think back to the last time you were browsing a page and had to click an external link to check out an article or sign-up for something; chances are you probably just kept scrolling down because you didn’t want to leave the Facebook page or app on your phone. Your customers have the same mindset, so make it easy on them with a sign-up sheet that keeps them on Facebook. Once you have it up and running, don’t forget to post about it so that it pops up in their newsfeeds.

Each Social Site Deserves a Little Extra Attention

In a world where everything is automated and lumped together for convenience, it’s easy to be lazy and approach your social media engagement in broad and generic strokes. So many platforms give you the ability to post to all sites at once, so why not do this and save a little time? While this sounds good at first, the reality is that different people prefer different networks, so using the same method to promote your list across all of them isn’t your best bet.

Much like your email templates that have links and icons for each network you post on, instead of just one option, your promotional messages should also mix things up to entice different portions of your audience. While this does mean that you’ll need to test and tweak the different parts of your posts to see what Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. viewers like, the sign-ups you get in return will make you happy you didn’t take the easy way out and just click “post to all.”

Free Stuff Is a Great Motivator

If after all this you’re still having trouble with sagging contact list numbers, don’t be afraid to do start handing out some freebies. While you might not want to make this your go to plan, it doesn’t hurt to have some giveaway ideas in store for the times when you need to inject some new life into your audience’s enthusiasm. After all, nothing gets the online crowd buzzing more than a post offering goodies or discounts to those who take a minute to sign-up. If you really want to go deep on this strategy, adding in a small bonus for those who like or retweet your offer will have it popping up on potential new customer newsfeeds in no time.

Give Your Users a Chance to Sound off

With the rest of the tips on this list focusing on how you can make the sign-up experience enticing for customers, this one shifts the balance of power in the other direction a little bit. Customers love giving feedback, so why not give them a chance to speak their minds and let your brand know exactly what they like and dislike about your email campaigns. It doesn’t have to be an open Facebook post or Google+ community discussion, but linking back to feedback forms and customer support email accounts on your social media pages offers a direct line to the people you’re trying to connect in the first place.

Don’t Forget the Secondary Networks

The final tip that can really grow your email list doesn’t have anything to do with Facebook or Twitter. While these guys are definitely the top dogs when it comes to social media, that doesn’t mean they are the only players in the game. Working with Pinterest, LinkedIn, and the other up and coming platforms can help you tap into a user base that might not connect very often on the bigger networks. Additionally, getting creative and doing things like saving your email offers as pins on Pinterest can help push your brand image ahead of the competition. When it comes to email marketing and social media, isn’t that where you want to be with your audience?

Social_Media

 

For the regular readers of this blog and pretty much any other site that covers email marketing, you probably see a ton of discussion regarding social media – and for good reason. While emails are still your best bet for generating leads and hammering out sales, there’s a ton of overlap between this marketing approach and getting friendly with your email list and other potential customers, especially on Facebook. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of this synergy and how you can best retool your company’s Facebook account to supercharge your next email marketing campaign.

Everyone Loves Being Liked

The first entry on the list is pretty straightforward, but highly effective. By simply having a “like” button in the bottom of your email messages, you give your list members a fast and easy way to share your content and let it go viral. With so many social groups looking to show off great deals, it only makes sense that you give them the tools to do this with a simple click. From here, others who might never have known about your email list can jump on the bandwagon and get your daily or weekly offers in their inboxes going forward. In short, it’s a simple addition to your message that goes a long way with customers who love being social on the web.

Learning More about Those Already on Your List

Outside of having your email list show off your deals by liking and sharing your latest message, you can dig a little deeper with Facebook and learn more about your target audience. With so much information being made publicly available via this social network, your company can compare its mailing list with what these customers like and which social communities they’re a part of. Even just a few years ago, this type of insight into what your audience likes and wants was pretty much unheard of. However, with this information in hand, you can reshape and rework your email marketing operations to give them what they really want and boost conversions in a big way at the same time.

Timing’s Everything on Any Platform

It’s funny how some things, regardless of the platform, never change. When it comes to email marketing and posting on Facebook – or any other social network – timing is at the top of this list. If you’ve taken the steps to learn as much as possible about your target audience, then you should have a pretty solid idea of how and when they like their messages. If not, that’s OK too. By fiddling with when you schedule posts on Facebook and keeping track of which offerings blow up and which ones fizzle out, you’ll learn a lot about timing and your audience. From here, putting those test results to good use by optimizing your email messaging schedule is a nifty little trick that can help you sneak in a few extra conversions that might have otherwise have gone by the wayside because of bad timing.

Having a Little Fun

Of course, the synergy between email marketing and Facebook that your fans will like the most is letting them have a little fun. At first glance, you might be wondering how this is even possible. However, simply opening up a browser window with your own Facebook page and looking at your newsfeed will answer this pretty quickly. If you’re page is like most of the rest of ours, you’ll notice that everyone’s filling out quizzes and surveys for pretty much anything. From TV shows to the latest Internet trends, surveys asking “which character are you most like” and a variety of other topics are a major part of the Facebook social experience these days – and there’s no reason your brand shouldn’t get in on the fun.

By having links to your own Facebook surveys, quizzes, and even contests in your emails, you’ll not only engage your audience a little more by letting them have some fun filling these out, but you’ll also learn a lot about what makes them tick. When it comes to maximizing sales and exposure on any part of the web, this kind of insight and interaction should be a top priority for any brand that’s serious about getting the most out of social media and email marketing.

Give Your Viewers a Reason to Share

The final entry on the list is more of a mantra than a specific tip. While all the other synergies we’ve covered have been pretty specific, the biggest thing to remember, regardless of what you decide to do with your company’s Facebook page and email marketing campaign, is to give your audience a reason to share your content. No matter what direction you go, keep this ideal at the forefront of your strategy and you’ll be sure to hit a home run with the social butterflies that make up your audience the next time you roll out a new campaign.

facelogo

 

It’s your brand’s worst nightmare: you drop a hefty chunk of your marketing budget onto a great SMS campaign, only to watch the bottom fall out as some new craze hits your target audience. If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you just might have this sinking feeling in your stomach after finding out that Facebook purchased WhatsApp – a peer-to-peer chat app that is massively popular. However, let’s hold off on a complete meltdown and look over some of the facts surrounding the deal, and what it means for connecting with your audience via text, before we start reading the last rites for SMS marketing.

The Skinny on Facebook’s Monster Purchase

The best place to start is with a good look at what went down. Facebook recently broke the news that it was purchasing WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. That little tidbit in and of itself is enough to make waves in any industry. However, with reactions ranging from “jaw-dropping” to breaking down the value of each WhatsApp employee ($345.5 million a pop, in case you were wondering), the story has spread like wildfire and taken on a life of its own. While getting caught up in this craze is definitely exciting, pumping the brakes a little bit and thinking things out will help you see that this deal is definitely big news in the mobile and social media sectors, but SMS marketing is still king in many ways.

What Does This Mean for SMS Marketing?

Because Facebook monetizes pretty much everything it touches, the concern surrounding this deal was that the social media giant would go over the top of the SMS marketing industry and leverage ad space on the app. However, the linked article from Venture Beat we just shared does a great job breaking down exactly why that kind of thinking is closer to mass hysteria than it is to common sense.

First, and perhaps the biggest reason why WhatsApp gaining traction with Facebook doesn’t mean much to you, is the fact that this app makes its money from yearly subscriptions. The entire platform is based on a mantra which includes “no ads,” so customers couldn’t even sneak a peek at your offers while chatting with friends even if you wanted them to. After digesting this, the next little snippet from the article explains that WhatsApp isn’t even a big deal in the states. Ask yourself a quick question – before this story caught fire, did you even know what WhatsApp was? Don’t worry, neither did most people.

What is important for SMS marketing as a whole is that Facebook has reaffirmed that having your brand be a part of messaging is a smart play in the long haul. As a population, we can’t get enough texting – to the point that some people don’t even bother making phone calls at all anymore. While your company might not spend $19 billion to stay in touch with consumers like Facebook did, using messaging to build brand awareness puts you in some pretty good company.

What Facebook Hopes to Gain

As far as Facebook itself is concerned, the marketing industry is still a little unsure of what to make of the whole deal. Across the pond, some experts believe that WhatsApp’s popularity is here to stay, but question if Facebook is really going to get its money’s worth out of this blockbuster deal. While there’s no doubt that WhatsApp has a big time following, is there really more room for growth? Some of the best minds in the business aren’t so sure.

Bringing things back a little closer to familiar territory is Forbes magazine’s interesting take on the value debate. Basically, author Thomas Goodwin isn’t even sure if WhatsApp was Facebook’s first choice. After failing to hammer out a deal with Snapchat, which is definitely a bigger deal in the U.S. than WhatsApp, some industry insiders view this purchase as a bit of a consolation prize. While we’ll never really know the truth – until some disgruntled ex-employee leaks the juicy details about the boardroom debates that most definitely preceded this deal – it is pretty interesting to soak up some of the speculation and wonder just how much of an impact Facebook is really expecting from this whole thing.

Thinking Long-term

If you just want to trim this whole discussion down into a single sentence, this one should do the trick: SMS marketing isn’t going anywhere, and Facebook spending the big bucks on a messaging service just reaffirms the fact that contacting people, like your target audience, this way is definitely a strong channel for building your brand. Now that you’ve had a moment to breathe and understand what’s really going on with WhatsApp, think long-term with where you want your mobile marketing campaign to go and keep your eyes on that target – it’s the best strategy you’ve got in a world where everyone’s ready to overreact at the latest breaking news.

facelogo

 

Now that you’ve read the first blog detailing the faux pas of Facebook in regards to how the company mishandled private consumer messages, it is a great time to look at how you can avoid similar mistakes when initiating an email or mobile marketing campaign of your own. The importance of brushing up on compliance concerns as you start to reach out to consumers goes without saying – especially if you don’t have the massive legal backing that companies like Facebook enjoy when dealing with lawsuits and other damaging occurrences.

Avoid the Obvious

The first place to start this discussion is right where it left off in the previous blog post regarding Facebook’s violations of consumer privacy. The easiest lesson to learn, and the best way to stay in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other regulatory governance, is to avoid illicitly obtaining consumer information, as well as working with agencies that partake in such practices when it comes to setting up an email marketing campaign. If you need more reasons to say no to this type of conduct when engaging in marketing of any type, just know that Facebook isn’t the only organization that has gone a step, or more like a mile, over the line. In 2013, Google also found itself on the wrong side of privacy laws and regulations, leading to backlash and penalties as well.

Ask for Permission

According to the Mobile Marketer, a key part of the SMS or email interaction is to ask for permission. By having a written agreement on record, you can ensure that you avoid penalization under the CAN-SPAM Act, the TCPA, and CASL laws in Canada. In fact, failing to incorporate this step into the marketing process can net fines of up to $1,500 from the government. While $1,500 might not like seem like much of a cost for the ability to spam countless consumers with your message, keep in mind that the little detail that this penalty is per message. That paints the price in an entirely different light.

Give the Consumer a Little Notice Before You Start

Taking it a step further to help expound upon the rules and regulations is this post from Experian. As the title would suggest, what you don’t know when it comes to compliance can definitely hurt you. With that in mind, the next primary regulation centers on offering the consumer a little notice about what the email program entails. This means a clearly defined explanation that entering into such a program comes with messages sent directly to the user via a short-code application. Often, explaining this detail when asking for permission from the user is an effective way to mark off both concerns from your compliance checklist.

On and Off Toggles Are Also Important

Additionally, the other key point from the Experian discussion covers what kind of choices you must give to those who enter into your program. Essentially, having a way for members to opt-in and out of the messaging service must stand as a central part of your operation. For email services specifically, having an unsubscribe link in the footer is a great example of a required opt-out tool. Users must also have access to these toggles at any point in the process, regardless of how you are connecting with them. Otherwise, you can expect penalties and fines from falling out of compliance with the various regulations in the email and SMS marketing world.

Understanding the Legality of a Message

For compliance issues that transcend this type of marketing strategy, like the accusations that stand before Facebook, Performance Marketing Insider suggests simply learning about the legality of messages in general. According to this post, which centers on an interview with Internet legal experts Michael Becker and Richard Newman, there are two key points to take away from this concept. First, text messages share the same legal standing as a phone call, so the same rules apply to both. The second part builds on this and explains that consumers have a personal bubble. Invading this space can occur via unwanted emails, messages and messaging, either by call or text, which occurs far too frequently.

Know the Penalties

All of this information is a lot to process, even for those who are familiar with digital marketing of many forms. To keep everything straight, don’t be afraid to go straight to the source. By reviewing the CAN-SPAM Act, CASL laws, and TCPA rules whenever you have a question, you can ensure the compliance of your marketing plan and avoid the issues other companies, like Google and Facebook, dealt with in the past.

Staying in compliance, especially in the face of the lessons learned from the lawsuit standing against Facebook, is more important now than ever before. To ensure you stick to the rules as you reach out to consumers, remember a couple key regulations that apply to an email campaign. Asking for permission, having the ability to opt-in or out, and giving consumers fair notice over what to expect all start the process. From here, understanding the legality of a message of any kind, as well as knowing the penalties from the source, keeps your campaign safeguarded from serious repercussions.

facelogo

 

Social media giant Facebook finds itself in some hot water with privacy rights groups and activists after reports emerged detailing a potentially major breach of user privacy and practices. While your organization’s messaging operations and marketing initiatives might not operate on the same scale as Facebook, you can be sure that there are plenty of lessons you can learn from how the social network got itself into this predicament. To start, take a moment to review the particulars of the lawsuit and what exactly Facebook did with user messages to draw the ire of plaintiffs Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley.

Allegations of Snooping and Privacy Intrusions

According to an article on the subject from PC World, Facebook faces allegations of sifting through private messages exchanged between users to search out links and other information related to consumer habits and trends. The benefits of such a move are clear to anyone who understands how difficult it is to target and connect with customers via message marketing, or any sort of marketing in general.

By having this window of insight into the lives of the masses, Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit who claim to speak on behalf of the millions of Facebook faithful, propose that the leading social network then turned your information, as well as the information of the countless others, into a valuable commodity. Such a resource would then help optimize on-site ads and other marketing initiatives for advertising partners in a highly unethical, but potentially effective, manner.

A Fundamental Mistake

Unfortunately for Facebook, if these claims turn out to be true, the company faces some serious backlash from users and privacy rights organizations alike. While every marketing firm or agency wants to have a pulse on its targeted audience, stepping over the boundary and invading personal space is a prime offense that many see as unforgivable. Such a move not only violates the agreement of a company to respect the rights of its users, it also tramples over information privacy laws in the United States and other countries around the world.

The Facebook Rebuttal

While the evidence presented doesn’t paint a pretty picture, Facebook isn’t backing down from the fight. In an effort to defend itself, Facebook representatives released a statement, covered in a report from the Brock Press, that the allegations against the social network have no merit and that the company plans to defend itself vigorously. While this legal response is simply par for the course, it at least shows that Facebook has some sort of plan to push back against the privacy invasion claims. Should legal proceedings come underway, you can bet that the substantial legal team surrounding the interests of the company will need to unveil considerable evidence to the contrary to dismantle such damning claims.

Additionally, the article quotes Internet security expert Graham Cluley, who defends Facebook on this particular issue. Essentially, Mr. Cluley claims that having Facebook scan private messages helps protect the millions of users from spam, illicit links, and destructive malware. However, this doesn’t address the real problem of Facebook taking this content and potentially selling off the information gleaned from these messages to the highest bidder.

Prior Legal Issues and Controversies

Of course, a great legal defense doesn’t cover up the fact that Facebook has been in this position before. Reading an article from the Huffington Post highlights this point in great detail. Over the course of the past several years, the social network has had to defend itself constantly regarding legal concerns. 2011 saw Facebook lose a suit covering the issue of taking and using user information without explicit permission from members of the social network. Additionally, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, settled a case for $65 million that centered on the claim that he stole the idea for this network from his Harvard classmates.

Looking to the Future

While such a move could create major backlash and a potential deterioration of the user base for most organizations, the Brock Press report on the subject closes with a very real statement regarding Facebook’s continued viability. After weathering similar storms and continuing to grow, Facebook just may be one of the few companies that can withstand this issue should it be found guilty of this type of invasion of privacy. However, the potential monetary damages, as well as the damage done to the brand image of the company, should be strong enough to dissuade other organizations from engaging in similarly illicit activities.

facelogo

 

Email Marketing Fuels Social Media Campaigns

Email marketing and social media are keys to online business success. This is true for both small and large businesses alike; the problem most have is effectively integrating the two.

Many use social media to drive traffic to landing pages and signup forms in order to build their email lists. From there, they start their email marketing campaigns. This is effective, but email can also be used to help fuel a social media campaign.

Here are five tactics to make email a driving force for successful social media campaigns.

Include Social Components In Email Newsletters

Elite Email allow social profiles to be included in each email template. When setting up a newsletter, including social profiles does two things:

  1. It allows the recipients of an email to share it with their friends on their preferred social networks.
  2. It also gives recipients an opportunity to connect with a brand on social media by following that brand’s account or page, opening an additional channel for communication and engagement.

As the online space becomes more crowded, competition for attention is fierce and brands need to take every opportunity available to them to get in front of their target customers. When someone who has already opted in to receive emails chooses to follow and engage with a brand on social media, it increases the chances that they will help to spread that brand’s messages to their social contacts.

This is the online equivalent to word-of-mouth advertising. People still trust the recommendations of their friends more than any other form of marketing.

The other way to make emails social is to include hash tags. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all make use of the hash tag feature to keep up with a particular topic. If a brand is launching a new campaign with a heavy emphasis on social media, they should have a topic picked out that they will create a hash tag for.

It could be the topic itself, or a related word or term that fits that topic. Whatever it is, it should be included along with graphics and videos in emails to encourage sharing, the use of hash tags and further engagement.

Give An Idea Of What People Can Expect On Each Social Site

When sending an email with the intention of boosting a social media campaign, users may want to know what will be different from the normal email and website content they are used to.

Creative emails may include videos, images or gifs that show users what they can expect to find on social media. It may be a contest, special deals and offers only shared with followers on social media, or even non-promotional content meant to build a brand.

It doesn’t really matter what the campaign entails. The only thing that matters is that people know what they are about to see, and that it is interesting enough for them to engage with it.

For most people, choosing to engage with a brand on social media is a step lower in terms of commitment than giving their email address. They are most likely already getting a steady stream of emails on a daily basis and can get overwhelmed.

Taking the opportunity to lighten things up and provide some sort of incentive to engage socially is a great idea. Not only does it change the dynamic of the brand-customer relationship, it also gives brands an opportunity to get more personal feedback on what is working and what isn’t.

Tell People What You Want Them To Do

A strong call-to-action is often the missing element in getting a conversion of any type. People don’t always know it, but they need to be told what to do.

If a brand includes social sharing with their email newsletters, they should tell users exactly what to do. Including a call-to-action in the email with directions to like a brand on Facebook, tweet an email newsletter to their friends, use a hash tag for discussions or follow on Instagram is a surefire way to increase social activity between target customers and brands.

Don’t just include icons or use a short line like “This email can be shared” at the end of a paragraph or at the bottom of a newsletter. Use clear instructions like “This email can be shared with your friends, click the Twitter icon to tweet it now.”

While it would seem that most people online would know what to do, many don’t. And those that do will often look past the sharing icon and eventually close the email. Tell them what to do and they are more likely to do it.

Make Your Landing Pages Social

Since most email is sent with the intention of getting the recipient to click a link to take them to a landing page, those pages need to be social media friendly as well.

Instead of including the sharing icons at the top of each post or in a scrolling bar to the side, begin each page with a social call-to-action. There may be an incentive, such as unlocking content on a blog post or getting access to a discount code. Likewise, there may be no incentive and simply the direction to share with friends. By building your Facebook and social media profiles (there are many companies that help with this), and by optimizing your landing page call to actions, you will improve your conversion rate significantly.

Each campaign is different, but if the purpose of a particular email or sequence of emails is to fuel a social media campaign, then each action a user takes should reflect that.

Use Email To Test Headlines

Headlines are vital to attracting visitors, getting email opens and earning social shares. The best usually evoke some form of emotion or pique curiosity.

If a business already has a large email subscriber list in place, they may want to test a sequence of emails on a topic related to their social campaign with different types of headlines.

From here, they can track open and click-throughs to determine what works best for their audience. People in different markets will respond differently to each type of headline. Some will open and click-through for headlines that appear urgent. Others will respond best to headlines posing a question. Some may even respond favorably to controversial topics included in headlines.

The key is to set up a sequence of emails leading up to a campaign and to track which headline received the most action. Once that data has been gathered, more effective headlines can be written for a social media campaign.

Bonus Tip

Use email to hint at something new on the horizon. It is not important to tell people that a new social campaign is starting, but to hint at something new and fun to watch out for.

This curiosity builds suspense and interest. These help to keep a brand in the minds of their audience, helping to ensure that whatever it is they do, people will take action o it once that new thing that has been hinted at actually happens.

Integrate All Channels To Maximize Success

Instead of focusing on one area as the main marketing focus, brands need to know how to use each one to fuel the other. Effective email marketing can drive social, just as effective social marketing can help fuel email.

 

Social media has changed the world we live in….

If you jump back in time and told someone to “tweet something”, they’d think you have lost your mind. If you told someone to pin something to your board, they’d grab a thumbtack and look for your cork board (what’s a pinterest?).  A face book was a printed directory that you’d find at most universities with photos and names in it (remember when things were done on paper?). And if you mentioned “Instagram” people might have thought you misspoke and meant telegram… which is a message sent by telegraph and delivered in printed form.

Now these words that didn’t exist up until recently have had such a profound impact on the way society operates.

With the dramatic effect that social media has, it is no wonder that businesses, brands and celebrities have now incorporated “social media” as a cornerstone of their marketing mix. It is simply too powerful to be ignored… and far too lucrative!

That being said, many small businesses still lack the tools to effectively use social media. They know it’s important, they know they want to do it, but they don’t know where to start. There are a variety of enterprise platforms that can do powerful things, but that simply isn’t affordable for the average small business. That is why in the very near future, Elite Email will be launching a brand new Facebook Page Builder that will empower small and medium sized businesses to create engaging and dynamic content on Facebook beyond their “wall” and “photo sharing”. This new tool will be easy to use with point & click wizards so that organizations of all sizes can capitalize on the full potential of social media.

Before launching this exciting new tool, we wanted to take a look at how celebrities are using social media to discover just how well they are able to build “virtual hype” in a digital world. Can they send fans flocking to an event in just 140 characters? Can they boost movie ticket sales with one post on Facebook? Can one picture on Instagram make headlines in all the entertainment magazines?

There were a bunch of rankings online that showed the popularity on individual social networks, but none that looked at a celebrities social influence across several of the most popular social networks to truly measure the impact they can have.

With that in mind, today we released the Celebrity Social Media Power Rankings 2013.

I hope you have as much fun checking out the rankings as we did putting them together!

Celebrity Social Media Power Rankings 2013

 

Remember when this symbol, #, was just a pound sign on your phone or a quick way to write the word “number”? Now it is so much more to the point where many people see this symbol and it is so obviously a hashtag that “pound symbol” or “number” doesn’t even cross their mind!

Now this magical symbol represents a way to follow conversations related to a specific subject on popular social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

But, it’s time to add one more social network giant to the list of hashtag players, as Facebook recently announced their support of hashtags.

For a long time now you’ve probably seen hashtags on Facebook as people post their photos on Instagram (which Facebook owns) or when people post their status update on both Twitter & Facebook at the same time. However, these hashtags did nothing on the most popular social network beyond cluttering up everyone’s status updates.

The rumors started swirling around in March that Facebook was going to jump on the hashtag bandwagon and now all of these hashtags will become clickable adding a new layer onto the Facebook ecosystem.

In Facebook’s own words…

…hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.

Here are the top three changes that Facebook hashtags empower users to do:

  • Perform searches for a specific hashtag from the search bar at the top of the screen. So, you can now search for #nfl, #gameofthrones, #bieber
  • Click on hashtags that appear in your friend’s status updates, even if it originated from another service such as Instagram
  • Compose new posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results

This is actually a big step forward (or step backwards for those that hate hashtags) for Facebook because it opens up the conversation to people that you are not already connected with. For instance, after the Game of Thrones “The Red Wedding”  my Facebook news feed exploded with my friends reacting to what happened on that episode, but I only saw what my friends were saying. Meanwhile, when I hopped over to Twitter, I essentially saw what the world was saying as I searched for the appropriate hashtag. Going forward, I could get a pulse on the overall global conversation by using the same hashtag search on Facebook and seeing what people are saying even if they are not one of my friends.

Of course, we may also notice an #excessive #amount #of #ridiculous #hashtagging now showing up on Facebook, but that is just the nature of the beast.

The question is, how can brands and marketers use this new Facebook feature?

I think there are really two sides to that coin: (1) Research & (2) Reach

Facebook Hashtags for Marketing Research

Facebook boasts the largest socially connected group on the entire planet and being able to “listen in” on that conversation can give marketers key insight. Whether it’s attitudes, opinions, or reactions, monitoring the global conversation can give marketers a true pulse on what the world is thinking and saying. And, that often can lead to actionable tactics for social savvy brands.

This has always been an avenue to explore on Twitter, but the important thing to note is that the Facebook audience makes up a different demographic…. and this means insight into new & different minds. According to recent studies, a little more than 30% of Facebook users are younger than 34, while 45% are older than 45. If we compare that to Twitter, we see a much younger demographic where nearly 50% of users are under 34 and only 30% are older than 45.

My point here is not to abandon Twitter as a source of market research, but to add Facebook into the mix to get a larger perspective from a different demographic. Doing an analysis on both networks can produce a deeper understanding of the conversations that are happening.

Even if you’re a small business without a dedicated social agency to conduct monitoring for you, you can do a quick hashtag search on both Facebook and Twitter for terms related to your products, industry or services to see what people are saying. Just a quick skim of the results page will give you a sense of what, if anything, is being discussed. And, depending on what you find, it may give you a good opportunity to jump into the conversation, which is a lovely segway to my next point…

Reach a Wider Audience By Engaging With Hashtags

Marketers and brands want to spread their message on social networks and get as much engagement and impressions as possible. While the vehicle has changed, the general idea of impressions and reach for marketers is the same terminology & goal that has been used for TV, radio and out-of-home advertising for years and years. The introduction of Facebook hashtags is a way for marketers to really extend that reach a lot further by injecting themselves in a conversation being tracked by hashtags.

For example, all eyes are turned on the upcoming game 7 in the NBA finals between the Heat & Spurs. If you’re an online retailer ready to sell “(Insert Team Name Here) NBA Champions 2013″, previously you could have posted your “now on sale” announcement on Facebook as soon as the game ended and all the people who have liked your page would see it. This gave you good reach, which is why marketers love Facebook. Now, however, that can be put on turbo. Going forward when you post that status update you can hashtag it with #nbafinals #nbachampionship #heat #spurs , etc. Now all of a sudden you not only reach the same audience who has liked your page, but also anyone who searches for these sure-to-be-trending hashtags. This means a lot more impressions and a far greater reach.

It is important that marketers give some though to how they want to use hashtags to become involved in the larger conversation. Remember, just like with SEO where you need to pick your keywords, in the social hashtag world (which now includes Facebook), you need to pick your hashtags wisely. This is not to say you can make a really bad choice, but hashtags work based on what people search for. So, if everyone is searching for #nbachampions, but you’ve opted to hashtag #nbawinners, you’ll get a lot less reach & impressions.

 

Of course, the days, weeks and months ahead will really show us how marketers and brands are capitalizing on this change. Many are speculating this will be a game-changer for Facebook, but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

Keep in mind, for those sharing their email newsletters using Elite Email’s social sharing features, you can include hashtags to get extra eyes on your most recent email blast.

Facebook Hashtag

 

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

We all know it’s easy to get distracted by the millions of things that go on in our daily professional and personal lives that we forget to plan our email marketing & social media strategy. Don’t let that happen this year!

January is the perfect time of year to spend a little bit of time mapping out your strategy for the upcoming calendar year. The act of creating a “content calendar” can make things a lot easier for you in the future and avoid those fun “oh my god, what are we going to do this month” moments.

Your content calendar can cover your email marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, and even offline promotional activities. The nice thing about mapping it out now is that you’ll have one concise strategy for all your marketing activities.

To help with your planning, we have put together a list of the Top US and Canadian holidays for 2013. Holidays are a great way to make your email and social campaigns timely and relevant. It also goes a long way towards making promotions that much more clever.

Saturday, February 2: Groundhog Day
Will spring come early or are we all in for a lot more winter? This somewhat fun tradition still captures media attention and is therefore on people’s minds so it’s a good tie-in for your marketing campaigns.

When To Market: Week of
Email Marketing Idea: Create two offers in your email that hinge on whether the groundhog goes back into it’s burrow or stays out to welcome spring. Whatever happens with the groundhog determines what offer is live.

Thursday, February 14: Valentine’s Day
It’s the holiday of love, cupid and chocolates. It’s also a holiday loved by marketers since this theme is everywhere!

When to Market: Early February through to the day itself
Email Marketing Idea: Brand your emails in red and play on the idea of giving gifts to your loved ones by offering special prices on great gift ideas. Even if your product/services is not usually positioned as something you’d “gift”, now is the time to break out of that mindset for your marketing this month.

Monday, February 18: Presidents Day
A national holiday to celebrate the birthday of George Washington. Whether people celebrate Mr. Washington or not, the key thing to remember is that they are home from work so they have extra time to engage with your emails and social media postings.

When to Market: Week of & Day Of
Email Marketing Idea: Since people are off work for just the day (and ready to buy something!) it’s a good idea to create “today only” special offers. You can even build hype for those special offers the week before to get people excited and ready to act on your deals. If your products are made in America, it’s also a good idea to tout that.

 Sunday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
Green beer… need I say more? This day that celebrates the Irish in America may have a religious background, but now it’s celebrated by almost everyone. This holiday also brings about some great imagery that can be used in your marketing materials.

When to Market: Early March
Email Marketing Idea: Brand your emails in green. Create a contest playing on the “Luck of the Irish” where you award prizes or special offers to people who take a certain action such as liking your Facebook page, forwarding your email, purchasing a specific product, etc.

Sunday, March 31: Easter
Although this is a religious holiday, most organizations focus on the lighter side with images of the Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs, and chocolate.

When to Market: Mid-March
Email Marketing Idea: Create a digital Easter egg hunt on your website. Hide an Easter Bunny on one or more pages and then push people to your website from your email and social media channels. If people reply to your email, tweet at you, etc. and find the bunny they can be entered into a contest to win a prize or qualify for special discounts. Sure, these posts may be public which makes the hunt less challenging, but the key is that you’ll have people engaging with you!

Monday, April 1: April Fool’s Day
Let me share a story with you… a couple years ago I showed up to work on April 1 and walked into my office. Instead of my office chair being at my desk, it was replaced with a toilet! I think that summarizes this day of pranks and jokes.

When To Market: Day Of
Email Marketing Idea: This is a day where you can have a lot of fun and go to extremes. There are no rules! You can really go for some shock value with your emails and social posts on this day.

Monday, April 22: Earth Day
We love our planet and today’s the day we really focus on going green to preserve our previous resources.

When to Market: Week Before & Day Of
Email Marketing Ideas: You’re already using email instead of printed flyers, so you’re going green in a big way (without much effort!). Remind people that you did this to help reduce paper waste so they feel like they are supporting a company that does good things. You can also offer to plant a tree for every X number of sales of a certain promotional item. This way you get sales, and mother earth gets more trees!

Sunday, May 12: Mother’s Day
As my mother would say, “mother’s should be celebrated every day”… but this day in particular!

When to Market: Early May
Email Marketing Idea: Encourage people to buy a gift for their mother. If you are shipping the items, give people a cut off date to both create a sense of urgency to make a purchase and to make sure it arrives in time.

Monday, May 20: Victoria Day (Canada)
A holiday in Canada typically called the May 2-4 long weekend that is the unofficial start of the cottage season. Officially it is a holiday in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday.

When to Market: Mid-May
Email Marketing Idea: Since this holiday sort of marks the start of summer, try to pair some special offers with the general summer season. If you sell seasonal products that are really summer-only, now is the time to put those front and center.

Monday, May 27: Memorial Day
A day of remembering the men and women who dies while serving in the US military.

When to Market: Mid-May
Email Marketing Idea: Make sure to thank our troops on this day! You can also offer special discounts to members of the military and their families. This may exclude a large percentage of your customers, but it also sends a nice message about how your organization feels about the people keeping us safe.

Sunday, June 16: Father’s Day
A day to celebrate dad’s everywhere. Since I just became a father last October, I am personally looking forward to my first father’s day.

When to Market: Early June
Email Marketing Idea: If you sell products commonly used by men, this is the holiday for you. Encourage the women/mothers on your mailing list and social media channels to buy gifts for the great men in their lives. Just like mother’s day, give a cut-off day to order by so that you create a sense of urgency and can make sure items arrive in time.

Monday, July 1: Canada Day
OH Canada! Similar to Independence Day in America, this day celebrates Canada’s birthday.

When to Market: End of June
Email Marketing Idea: Theme your email in red & white. Try to find a linkage between your products and celebrations to pair them together for a winning deal.

Thursday, July 4: Independence Day
Today we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Bring on the fireworks!

When to Market: End of June / Beginning of July
Email Marketing Idea: Today is all about being patriotic so brand your emails in some good ol’ red, white and blue. Run special “one day only” discounts and if you’re products are made in America, be sure to emphasize that.

Monday, September 2: Labor Day (USA & Canada)
This federal holiday celebrates the economic and social contribution of workers. More importantly for merchants, it is historically one of largest sale days of the year.

When to Market: Mid-August / Early September
Email Marketing Idea: This is going to be a big spending day for consumers so hold nothing back on your special promotions. Show people that they get the best value when they buy from you!

Monday, October 14: Columbus Day
The anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas. History Pop Quiz… what year did that happen in? If you said 1492 then your history teachers are proud of you!

When to Market: Early October
Email Marketing Idea: If you have a traditional physical location for your store, then you can offer special in-store discounts only for those that take the voyage into your store instead of shopping online.

Thursday, October 31: Halloween
Ghost, goblins, vampires and yummy yummy trick-or-treat candy. A marketing mega holiday that is cherished by people of all ages.

When to Market: October
Email Marketing Idea: This is another holiday that is tied with great imagery to put into your emails. Last year we had a customer send out a “bobbing for apples” email. There were 8 apples in the email and each one led to a page on their website with a different special offer. Of course, people could click all the apples, but that type of engagement is to be celebrated.

Monday, November 11: Veteran’s Day (USA) & Remembrance Day (Canada)
A holiday that honors people who have served in the American & Canadian armed services. [Note: Don't confuse this with Memorial Day which remembers those who died while serving.]

When to Market: Early November
Email Marketing Idea: Similar to Memorial Day, it’s a good time to use your emails and social channels to thank everyone in our armed services. You can also offer special discounts to members of the armed services and their families. To expand your potential market, you can include people who are buying a gift for someone in the armed services.

Wednesday, November 27: Start of Chanukah
It’s time for the festival of lights and 8 days of presents.

When to Market: Mid/Late November
Email Marketing Idea: Since this holiday lasts for 8 days, you can offer a discount on 8 different items. To create a sense of urgency you can have each item only be on sale for one specific day or you can have the same in effect up until a certain day and then it expires.

Thursday, November 28: Thanksgiving
This is one of the major holidays of the year in America, often used for family time (and possibly watching some football!).

When to Market: Mid-November
Email Marketing Idea: This is a good opportunity to push for sales prior to the beginning of the December holiday season. If you’re looking to clear out some inventory space in preparation for Christmas, now is the time to offer deep discounts on those items.

Wednesday, December 25: Christmas
The Christmas season begins well before the 25th as Santa Clause shows up in malls around the country and streets become lined with beautiful lights. Get ready for marketing mayhem!

When to Market: Day after Thanksgiving
Email Marketing Idea: T’is the season for daily deal promotions. Having the “12 Days of Christmas Deals” is a great way to send out an email every day with a special offer for 24 hours only.

Tuesday, December 31: New Years Eve
Wow that year went by fast. Here comes 2014! Before you drink too much champagne be sure to pat yourself on the back for all the great marketing you did this year.

When to Market: After Christmas related emails
Email Marketing Idea: It’s time to celebrate as people get caught up in the excitement of New Year’s. Harness that excitement by offering special end of year discounts on items that might not have sold as well as you wanted during the Christmas season. Don’t forget to take this time to wish everyone a happy new year.

One last suggestion is to make sure you have a mailing list signup button/form on your website right away. This way by the time you get to December, you’ve accumulated all sorts of great new contacts on your mailing list and can really boost your email marketing throughout the year! All Elite Email customers can easily generate these buttons & forms from their account.

Happy Marketing!

2013 Email Marketing Content Calendar

 

 

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin