Email marketing – it’s been around since before the birth of the Internet, so it seems like it’s old hat, rambling around, in it’s mid 30’s – not that hot any more. Then there’s social media, just a decade old. People can talk to each other, play games, share stories and videos. It’s the new hotness. That doesn’t mean we should count email out. Social media has to constantly evolve or it dies – MySpace, Vine and countless others are proof of that. Email is the shark of the digital ocean – it doesn’t need to evolve because it’s great at what it does.
The advantages of email
Email marketing still works. People still use their emails, and they still respond to marketing emails. They especially respond to emails that solve their problems or offer entertainment. Those are the two reasons people engage with content – if it entertains them or solves their problem. It’s the same for social media, although it’s easier to find new information. Emails don’t have videos, pictures or links to interesting news stories in their subject line.
Facebook has nearly 2 billion monthly users – but it still doesn’t compare to email, which has nearly 3 billion users. Email traffic also dwarfs the amount of Facebook posts, Tweets, Google Searches and even Internet page views that happen each day. When people want to have a conversation about business, it might start of Facebook Messenger, but so that there is a record of the conversation later – it may move to mail. You would send a receipt or personal information over email, but you wouldn’t send it over Whatsapp.
The advantages of social media
So, why bother with social media? Well, it can do things more effectively than email. It’s great at building brand awareness – and as the ‘social’ part of social media implies, it’s great at forging connections with people and building bonds of trust. It’s also great at building an audience and driving them to your website, your email list and targeting them with content that will make them convert.
There are also a huge number of analytical resources that you can use. Facebook is by far the biggest social media platform. It collects a huge amount of information about its users, and allows that information to be used by marketers. One of the best tools that it has in its toolbox is the ability to create custom audiences. If you are marketing to an audience, then you would usually choose it based on demographic, custom audiences allow you to create an audience from an email list.
Why are custom audiences important? Firstly, they allow for remarketing. People on your email list are people who have already had interaction with your business. If they have interacted – or purchased – from you, then they are more likely to do so again. If they were reached by email the first time, then being reached by Facebook will help make your company seem more credible. Remarketing is more effective than initial top funnel marketing.
What is even better is that a custom audience can be used to create a lookalike audience. Facebook will analyse the custom audience of people who have already become your customers – and then they will find people who share the same interests. Facebook finds a whole new audience of people who are much more likely to convert than people in a demographic. Email has done the hard work, now social media can grow your audience.
At this point, Facebook can even help to grow your email list. A special offer or signing up for a free trial can grow the list for your email marketing efforts. You can even split your email list, so you can create custom audiences for people who are returning customers, those who have made one purchase, and those who have signed up but yet to convert. This means that you can target your message at these people, or even further refine your lookalike audiences.
Social media has another trick up its sleeve. Retargeting. By setting up a Facebook pixel (a piece of code you add to your homepage), Facebook can track how much interaction a customer has had with your site. You can then set up a sequence of ads which will match their level of interaction on the site.
Why social and email work so well together
Social helps to pick up customers that have stopped responding to email marketing techniques. It also helps to convert those who are still opening emails. Facebook can find new and similar audiences to help grow email subscription, and track their sales journey with your company, sending out ad content that matches their customer journey. A Facebook link at the bottom of an email can grow a Facebook following the same way content that asks people to sign up grows an email list.
Email and social work excellently together. Social isn’t as effective without the information that email provides it to create custom audiences, and without social – email can lose customers that would be easier to convert than finding new ones. Social also makes it easier to find new audiences, by creating the lookalike audiences from the original email list. Using both email and social media provides the best of both worlds – and working together they are greater than the sum of their parts.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results. Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency. On the very rare occasion, he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick. This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) with market trends and consumer behaviors.