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How can I combine email with social?

Email continues to be the workhorse of digital marketing, and savvy marketers are integrating social media and email to improve the overall performance of their campaigns. Here are some easy strategies that marketers can implement to grow email subscriber lists, improve email campaign relevancy and build new audiences: • Grow your email subscriber list. Create a new Facebook tab where users can sign up to receive your email campaigns. You won't see a hockey-stick growth curve on day one, but this is a super easy, cost-effective way to increase email subscriptions and improve results in the email campaigns you're already managing. A more effective approach with your new Facebook tab is to sweeten the deal by offering a coupon code, free shipping or another low-cost incentive to reward subscribers for giving you their email addresses. Even better is to offer a sweepstakes. "Enter to win" campaigns are the source of major successes for our customers. When managed in the right way, you can drive your leads to your Facebook tab, give them an incentive to sign up for your promotion, collect data directly into your email account and trigger a confirmation email in real time. • Use social media for targeting, relevancy. Social data can provide a wealth of information to help you target influencers and improve the overall relevancy and performance of campaigns. For example, Clayton Homes, a national home builder, attracted more than 30,000 prospective home buyers in six weeks with a giveaway campaign using both Facebook and email. The company introduced a custom Facebook tab inviting fans to enter a weekly giveaway and offered the opportunity to subscribe to personalized emails featuring custom tips and professional advice based on the prospect's stage in the buying process. Clayton Homes' cross-channel lead-nurturing campaign sent daily emails to engaged prospects featuring white papers, videos and advice on the purchase process. By integrating social, email and marketing automation, Clayton Homes is transforming the home buying process into a personalized, cross-channel digital experience. • Use custom audiences on Facebook. Using email addresses from your customer database, you can find customer segments on Facebook to grow your email subscriber list or simply increase your fan base. According to Facebook, it's free and simple. Here's how:
  1. Identify the segments of customers you'd like to talk to within your contact management system. They could be customers, prospects, loyalty club members or users with product preferences—anyone you want to reach with targeted messages.
  2. Find these people on Facebook and input an email or phone list representing your segments. The list will be hashed before being sent to Facebook. The system will match the hashes against Facebook's active users and build a custom audience in your account with everyone that matches your list.
  3. Reach your targeted audience with Facebook ads. You can also overlay classic targeting to refine your audience and reach an even more precise group. In addition to finding the types of people you want to reach on Facebook, you can finely target segments of specific people based on what you already know about them. Tap into all that social media has to offer to build loyalty, nurture leads and find new potential customers.
Susan Marshall is senior director-social media products at email and cross-channel marketing company ExactTarget Inc. (www.exacttarget.com). She can be reached at smarshall@exacttarget.com.
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