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Deliver a One-Two Punch: Tap the Synergy Between Email and Social Media

by Ross Kramer  |  
June 2, 2009
  |  7,551 views

The titanic growth of social-media marketing has inevitably brought with it dire predictions for the future of more-established marketing channels. Some commentators keen to predict the next silver bullet for marketers have announced the end of email, and even the death of blogging. Each successive social-media tool or channel is jumped on as the new best way to reach and influence your audience.

The truth, of course, is far different. Clearly, social media is no fad, but nor has it replaced email or any other more-traditional marketing channels such as direct mail.

Experienced marketers understand that success in targeting and developing profitable relationships with various audiences comes from developing a 360-degree approach with the consumer at the center. Likewise, understanding which marketing channel to use for which purpose is key to successful marketing.

In the rush to adopt anything "social," a lot of people are grabbing the closest tool at hand rather than stopping to think about the right tool for the job. As online marketing consultant Paul Gillin said in a recent webinar on Secrets of Social Media Marketing, "Start with the goal, not the tool."

Distinct Channels, Each With a Role


There are many similarities between social-media marketing and email; but they are two distinct marketing channels, and they should be used separately to enhance or magnify, not just promote, each other.

Again, according to Gillin, "Social media is for awareness; email is for retention."

In short, you need to consider and use the right combination of tools—in this case, email and one or more of a range of social-media tools available. Marketers need to understand that social-media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr, and YouTube—to name but a few—are, essentially, personal channels. In other words, they are not where your audience expects or wants to be sold to or receive offers.


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Ross Kramer is CEO of Listrak (www.listrak.com), an email-service provider that educates email and direct marketers on best-practices. Reach him at rkramer@listrak.com.

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Comments

  • by Tia Dobi Tue Jun 2, 2009 via web

    As a hybrid copy/news writer, reading an article has to be fun and lively-more so if the content is about my favourite topic: marketing.

    Also, Tweeting coupons and similar messaging is a fantastic affordable way to get, maintain and increase business. (The hair stylist would get more, not less, customersby proxy in a few ways. Some folks actually search Twitter for content.)

    The word viral sounds like virus; therefore I only use word-of-mouth.

    http://www.twitter.com/tiadobi



  • by BGCM Tue Jun 2, 2009 via web

    I have spend the last hour or so researching SWYN, but have not found any providers save for BlueSky. I would love to add this feature to my organization's (non-profit) email marketing. Any tips on where to look?

  • by Jonathan Moody - Socialware Wed Jun 3, 2009 via web

    Great call to arms: "Observe where your audience is online, which social networks your audience belongs to, and what is being discussed. Follow your competitors, customers, and industry leaders on Twitter and network with them on LinkedIn. Subscribe and listen to their podcasts, and follow their blogs." Consider your entire social media space - all the aforementioned plus thematic forums (for better targetting), message boards, forums linked to print and audiovisual media. Accept that you might not be able to see the wood for the trees (e.g if you have 500 post in diverse media in a week) and that you need to know the impact and influence of myriad media (traffic, link analysis, frequency of update, originaility of content) In these cases, professional anaylsis and insight might be a necessary step before wading into engagement.

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