If your building marketers can't get social media out of their minds, they're not alone. As it continues to increase in popularity, it's tough not to think about Tweets and Facebook fan pages every day. Many companies dive into these ideas headfirst without much strategy and leave e-mail behind. While social media isn't killing e-mail the way many people think, it is causing it to be ignored.
E-mailing marketing is holding all of the social media services together. E-mail is the only thing that all social media sites have in common. You must have an e-mail address to sign up for any social media site and to utilize their e-mail component (i.e. friend requests via e-mail). However, many building marketers are not using e-mail marketing as an important component of new media and online marketing.
While there is some strong research out there about the success of e-mailing marketing, you may still not be completely convinced. Why exactly does e-mail marketing provide both a positive response and a high ROI from subscribers?
It's permission based...or should be anyway. If your subscribers have given you permission to communicate with them via e-mail and you're growing your list organically, your audience is asking for building information from you. (Is the term inbound marketing coming to mind?) If your subscribers have requested to receive e-mails, they are more likely to open and click-through and then share the e-mails.
It's driven by the subscribers. Subscribers tell you what information they want, how often they want information, and what form they would like their information (i.e. product promotions, newsletters, etc.). You can collect this data at subscription opt-in, with a periodic e-mail survey, or through subscriber preferences. If subscribers are able to choose how they receive information, they are much more likely to engage with the content. This engagement provides feedback about opens, conversions, click-throughs, and unsubscribe rates.
It's easy. Make sure that you send targeted, timely, valuable e-mails. You will be able to send them the content they want based on their past building transactions, preferences, activity, etc. Taking the time to divide your database accordingly will drive more subscriber engagement, leading to more customer purchases.
The point of taking these steps with e-mail is not to ignore social media. Instead, focus on using these tools together to cross-promote your channels and repurpose your audience. Using the two strategies together will work better than either strategy will on its own.