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How do I wrap social elements into my email marketing program?

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Social media is a tremendous tool in a marketer's arsenal that, when used strategically, can serve as fuel to lift all other marketing channels. This is particularly true of email. One way to integrate social into an email marketing program is to include a personal URL (PURL) within the email that your customers can then use to spread the word about a brand and simultaneously earn a reward for sharing. While this link can be shared via email, it is often most effective when shared across social channels. By incorporating PURLs into referral campaigns, you are enabling your customers to instantly share them on Facebook, vastly increasing the exposure as compared to one-to-one email. While direct clicks from social channels tend to be lower than those coming from emails, customer satisfaction measurement firm ForeSee found that “while only 1% of site visitors come from a social media URL, 18% of site visitors report being influenced by social media to visit a website.” Social platforms can also serve as catalysts for marketers to increase their email database. A great example is YouBeauty, which leveraged the power of social to build its email assets. YouBeauty worked with Extole to design a Facebook sweepstakes that asked entrants to provide email addresses and opt in to receive itsr email newsletter. At the end of six weeks, YouBeauty's Facebook campaign landed it 13,000 new email addresses, 10,000 of which opted to receive its newsletter. That's 10,000 new qualified leads. Social surveys are another effective way to build your email database. For example, a leading cosmetics company developed a Facebook survey on skin health, and all consumers who completing the survey received a sample. Within 48 hours, Extole provided the retailer with 10,000 new qualified email addresses. The original goal had been to reach this target in three months (not two days). Integrating social amplifies the impact of any email marketing campaign; and those marketers taking a creative and engaging approach to social—with an intent to build on their powerful email marketing assets—will be the ones who pull ahead of the social pack. Greg Brown is chief revenue officer of Extole (http://extole.com), a provider of social engagement applications.
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