Question: How can marketers successfully integrate e-mail with other online marketing efforts in 2011?
Answer: Marketers are often challenged by having to manage disparate marketing solutions. To move beyond this, they need to connect and integrate their e-mail marketing with other online efforts. In 2011, there are a few effective ways in which marketers can do this, better tying e-mail to social, mobile and marketing/Web analytics.
1) E-mail and social media. Connecting e-mail and social media yields greater engage-ment, enabling more two-way customer conversations and an always-on opportunity to engage and maintain those conversations. So how should this occur? Here are a few ways:
?? Build in components: Use an e-mail service provider's software to add “share” and “connect” links for subscribers to easily share content.
?? Find the right outlets: Identify the social media outlets that most appeal to target audiences and refine your e-mail and social media messages for that channel.
?? Develop your own social media presence: Develop a blog or social media profile on the channel that is most appropriate to continue conversations and share your messages beyond e-mail opt-in lists.
?? Include e-mail opt-in calls to action where appropriate: Don't overlook opportunities to have a newsletter sign-up box available on your Facebook, LinkedIn page or blog.
2) E-mail and mobile SMS. Some reports speculate that virtually all Americans will have mobile devices by 2013, making the marketing opportunity clear. For marketers to get started, they'll need to obtain a short code and get carrier
?? Craft promotion plans to list-build: Mobile marketing is strictly opt-in, so promotion of mobile activities is crucial.
?? Develop your message: Create a meaningful message for high-target opt-ins.
?? Expand your e-mail marketing platform: Use e-mail marketing software to develop and deliver messaging to wireless subscribers. Also, use its preview and design optimization features to ensure e-mail messages (not SMS) render well on smartphones.
3) E-mail and marketing analytics. To date, marketers have worked with Web analytics data examining visitors' actions on websites. But is the e-mail marketing program integrated into this behavioral data? By understanding a visitor's particular site views, marketers can create relevant, targeted e-mail content and offers to appeal to a customer's demonstrated interests. This ultimately improves customer targeting and e-mail marketing results.
Tina Stewart is senior VP-marketing at Lyris Inc. (www.lyris.com), a provider of integrated online marketing solutions.