By ELIZABETH JACOBI | Special to the Palisadian-Post
Having worked in the digital marketing space since 2000 and in email marketing since 2003, I remember a time before social media existed for marketers.
Today, email marketing and social media are two of the best marketing channels, especially for small businesses where budgets tend to be smaller. One of the questions I’m frequently asked is, “Do I need to be doing both?”
This question always surprises me because every business should have an email program, a social media presence and, of course, a website. Missing any of these three elements limits your ability to connect with a potential customer.
The second question I get is, “Which channel is better?” The reality is that one channel isn’t better than the other, and they both are essential. Small businesses need to understand how these channels work cohesively and support each other vs. competing with each other.
Social media is one of the best ways to reach potential customers, so think of this as an acquisition tool. Social media helps with brand awareness. It provides a way for someone to check out your business without making any commitment.
Keep in mind someone can like and unlike your brand without you even knowing it. You might notice that you lost a follower, but you don’t know who that follower was or when you lost them. Following a brand on social media is far less of a commitment than providing an email address.
Email marketing remains the most effective channel for customer retention. Email subscribers are generally more committed to a brand.
You know the minute someone subscribed, if they opened or clicked, what and when they purchased, when they stop interacting with your emails, and when they unsubscribe.
Your email program shows you the entire customer lifecycle of a subscriber. All this information allows for very targeted emails. Did you know you can use this knowledge for targeted social campaigns as well?
Marketing is all about reach. With the complexity of digital, that reach can often be seen as complicated, and in some ways, it is. However, you need both of these channels for your business.
It is often said that a consumer needs to see a message seven times before making a purchase decision. This is why it is essential for your social media and email marketing to work together.
A recent statistic indicated that those people you reach on social media and email are 22% more likely to buy from your brand.
So, what are some ways that we can build strategies so that these channels work cohesively?
Know your target: You know a lot about your email subscribers. Did you know that with a small budget, you can find people whose demographics are similar to your current email subscribers and reach them on social media? If you could increase your brand awareness with those similar to your current best customers, think of what that would do for your business.
Utilize your email marketing as a way to get higher organic social media engagement. Many brands struggle with social media engagement since visibility is based on algorithms. By encouraging your email subscribers to follow you and engage on social media, you can increase your social media engagement, and therefore, you will have better organic reach.
Utilize social media as a way to win back lost subscribers. Every email list has lost subscribers. People could have abandoned the email address or changed jobs, and now they are no longer receiving your emails. You can target this segment on social media as a way to win them back to your email list, and it works.
Social media and email marketing are crucial to business success. If you develop a strategy where these two channels work cohesively, you will see better results. Remember, it isn’t that one channel is better or more effective than the other. It is all about the strategy.
Elizabeth Jacobi grew up in Pacific Palisades and is the owner of MochaBear Marketing. Elizabeth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 424-272-6712.
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