While email continues to rule the digital communication space, marketers cannot afford to ignore the growing popularity of social channels as an opportunity to further the connection with their audience. Learn how to use other communication channels to increase your email reach and vice-versa.
- Use social channels to inform content creation. Conduct polls and surveys and request audience testimonials. Use the results in your email content. Example: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) does a great job of including audience stories in their email messages, especially surrounding ACA open enrollment.
- Invite email readers to share your email content with their own networks. Ask explicitly and make it easy to do. This expands your reach, your list growth, and your potential conversions. Depending on your email service provider’s options, this allows you to identify your key influencers and brand ambassadors, giving you a new segment opportunity to explore! Example: Again, HHS does this well by clearly asking subscribers to share emails on social networks.
- Take advantage of the power of hashtags, and let your readers spread the word about your campaign/cause for you. Develop branded hashtags and offer them to your audience with sample tweets, posts, email copy, and press releases to make sharing as seamless as possible. Hashtags not only promote virality, they allow you to monitor their progress. Example: HHS heavily promoted the #GetCovered hashtag across all marketing channels and. with monitoring, was able to pull text directly from audience member tweets and posts that used the hashtag to develop a whole email of what people were saying.
- Dedicate part of your email template’s header or footer space to invite your subscribers to connect with you on your other digital properties. Doing this uses very little real estate, but is a prime opportunity to let your readers know where they can find additional valuable content and participate in conversations. Take it a step further, and devote an email entirely to promoting your social channels.
Bonus: Use your email service provider’s tools to identify the specific social channels each individual subscriber uses, and target corresponding social campaign emails accordingly. (Yes, this exciting technology exists!)
- Use your social channels to drive email subscriptions. Just as you should show your email subscribers how to connect with you socially, you should show your social followers how to subscribe to your email base. Consider building an opt-in form directly into the social platforms that will allow it (such as Facebook). Example: HHS includes an email subscription link directly on its YouTube channel homepage.
- If your email service provider offers it, use its text-to-subscribe and/or QR code generation tools and add the information to your print collateral for added subscription convenience.
Are you already using your social channels to intentionally complement your email strategy? If so, share what you’re doing in the comments. If not, share how you plan to do so in Q2 2015.
Amber V Hammond is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.