Doing It Right: Integrating Social Media with Email Marketing

When talking about online marketing,  these two will always come up in people’s minds: email marketing and social media marketing. This is for good reason.

First of all, email marketing has been around for nearly three decades since it was first used in the 90s as a cost-effective, direct response method to generate massive leads. It still does today.

2002 saw the birth of social networking sites like MySpace and LinkedIn. As more and more people started using them,  social media marketing came along. It was an instant success, and for a time many companies began using it to promote their brands.

But now things have changed. The online space has become extremely competitive, and we don’t see them being used by online marketers the way they used to. They knew their previous tactics won’t work anymore and so they started to rethink their strategies just to stay in business.

Why is this so?

Common Issues with Social Media Marketing

The problem with most online marketers today is they took something very powerful and useful, and turned it into a mindless lead generating tool with no creativity, and no real intention of creating meaningful connections or establishing good relationships. They took “the old-school” method of advertisement and simply moved it online.

Most of the bad rap social media marketing got into is the so-called ‘pay-to-play’ tactics used to create a superficial (or even artificial) ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ with little or no interaction whatsoever. This obviously doesn’t work with today’s savvy consumers.

Read: How All the Social Media Experts Got it Wrong

However, some social media marketers use legitimate practices to get results, but it takes a lot of time and effort (try responding to all the comments to your posts or tweets and you’ll get the idea). It also takes talent and creativity just to get people to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your post in social media.

Another issue with social media marketing is that you’re piggybacking on somebody else’s platform. If for whatever reason the social networking site decides to take down your social media account, goes under, or loses popularity, you’ll lose all your connections and you’ll have to start over from scratch. And as they say, ‘Own the racecourse, not the racehorse’ — don’t go all out on something you have no control over.

Why People Still Do Email Marketing Today

When social media marketing took off with just a million users to 1.7 billion worldwide, some believed it’s the end of the road for email marketing. The fact is, email marketing still ranks first as the marketing tool preferred by companies to conduct their businesses online.

Research shows why this is the case.

  • 77% of consumers are more likely to respond to promotional messages in their emails than their social media accounts
  • 66% of consumers purchased their products because of promotional messages and follow-ups from emails
  • 44% of users go their emails to check with a company they know as opposed to 4% in Facebook

But here’s why email marketing still ranks first:

  • 58% of people who go online check their emails FIRST, followed by search portal (20%), Facebook (11%), news site (5%), company website (3%), and others (3%).

Email marketing is still the online marketer’s best friend when it comes to lead conversion. If you’re  into social media marketing, you might consider having an email marketing strategy as well.

Using Two Different Approach

Using social media and email marketing all at once is like having two different kinds of tools.  Although very different, they can work together towards the same goal.  Mostly, however, people have been using them for the wrong reason.

Online marketers need to understand the difference between communicating and  mass sharing. Social media has always been used for sharing good reads, an interesting find, or anything  that would start a conversation. Emails are most effective  when following up with your fans or followers.

Here are 5 simple tips that you can use to integrate social media into your email marketing strategy:

  1. Create a group on social media and invite people to join in. Spend some time on your social media home page’s  look and feel. Run contests,  or give freebies, and discounts for active fans and followers.
  2. Time your posts well. Make them as ‘catchy’, relevant, and timely as possible. Hint: research have shown the average life span of a Facebook post to be around 3 to 5 hours.
  3. For Facebook users,  they can use ‘call-to-action’ (CTA) buttons to lead visitors and fans to their landing page.
  4. For Twitter users, they can use Twitter cards to display their photos, and links to their landing page, app or downloadable content.
  5. Export your friends’ and followers’ email accounts to your mailing list for your email marketing campaigns and follow-ups.

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4 Ways To Become an Email Marketing Ninja

Despite all the other methods of marketing and selling, email is still king of the road. It’s what drives a lot of businesses, both online and offline. And if you’re not using email to communicate and sell to your customers then why the heck not?

It’s probably because you’ve never really considered the power of a consistent, follow-up email sequences. Or maybe you don’t know how. It’s actually a lot easier than you think.

But first let’s take you back a bit. I’m going to take you back to the time you were overjoyed when you got email. There was that ping of anticipation, the little swirly icon, and then you’d click on it, and wait for it to open.

Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Fast forward to present. Answering emails is probably the last thing you want to do.

The average person gets 84 emails a day, not including the Facebook Messages, the LinkedIn Messages, the Tweets, the Snapchats, and whatever else there is. There are probably a million things you prefer to do than wade through email wasteland.

It’s almost impossible to respond to 84 messages a day, let alone read them, so you have to be a ‘marketing ninja’ to stand out. You just need to train to do those back flips and karate chops!

How do you do that? I’m glad you asked. Luckily I’ve come up with a number of things you can do to become a master.


Before you send a single email you need an overall strategy. Like anything else, if you fly by the seat of your pants then you’re not going to be effective. You have to always ask how it would benefit your audience. What message are you trying to send? Take your time to stop and think about your approach and execution.

It may help to first draw out the sequence of emails on a piece of paper, detailing every one you want to send to your customers or potential customer. Then write down the action you want them to take. You should strategize at least three months in advance and know exactly what you want to say. As your business changes, it’s possible to change your strategy. But as they say ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’


Obviously the content of your email is the most important part. Starting with your subject line. If your emails are boring, nobody will read them.
I know, the truth hurts sometimes. But if you train your customers that you’re awesome and your writing is going to be entertaining then you’ll have people salivating over your email content.

Another thing you can do is what in the ‘biz’ is called the open loop. That is kind of like writing an episode of Game of Thrones. And it can be that much fun to both read and write. The point of the open loop email is to keep your reader engaged and to end with a ‘cliffhanger’. Of course you want your readers to come away with a great story but there should also be a business moral that will lead them to buy for you.

The open loop is an extremely effective way of being a email ninja and one that most businesses don’t deploy effectively. Of course it’s just one type of content you can use. There are far too many to cover here.


The more you know about your email list, the better and more ‘valuable’ it is. The more you can customize it to a specific person the better. If you know a particular person likes a certain beer, then you can craft a message around it. The same for coffee, restaurants or sports. Segmented lists and dynamic content really show your audience that you’ve thought about their needs and care about building a personal relationship with them, even if it’s automated. We’ll get into it next.

There are a couple ways of segmenting your email list. You can send your existing list a survey and then record those responses. You can create different landing pages each with a different message. Or you can run different contests to see which people respond to. Be creative!


This is by far my favorite tip. I love automation! Why? Because it makes life so much easier. Why do all the work over and over again when you only have to do it once? Your customers won’t know the difference unless you do it poorly. Remember to personalize it! (Hint we just talked about it!) If you personalize and segment your list correctly, then your customer will feel special and privileged.

There are many ways to do this. Most email marketing companies have a way you can create auto responders that will automatically trigger when you add somebody to a list.


With only 39% of retailers send personalized product information to their customers there is obviously great room for improvement! Just by adding good email strategy and follow up, you can double or triple your sales!