email marketingAs much as I believe social media is fantastic marketing tool for small business, I still think that there is a valuable place in the world for the trusty email marketing.

Email marketing is a proven marketing tool and put simply, it works! For many businesses it has shown to be more effective at delivering a measurable ROI and increased sales than social media. The powerful email analytics coupled with my favourite, Google Analytics, shows you who’s reading, who is sharing your emails with others, how many email subscribers have visited your website and which pages. It allows you to target and refine your email marketing activity further, identify those most interested in your business, and recognise what people find most interesting about your service or product.

Equally, social media allows people to connect and interact with you in a different way, so it’s important to look at using both and offer your audience choice on how they interact with your business. And it’s much easier to share social media based content with other people, so it’s hugely valuable in terms of getting more exposure and engaging in a deeper and personal way with your ideal customers.

So here are my top tips for integrating the two marketing methods and making it work really hard for you:

1. Promote your social networks in your email
If you’re using social media then you need to let people know. Make sure you add the relevant icons in you emails – and make them stand out!

2. Don’t be shy!
Including social icons is one thing, but telling people to do something with them is far better – if you want people to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, ask them. A call to action is a powerful marketing tool and can be highly effective.

3. Convert your social followers into email subscribers
Don’t forget that it can work both ways. If you have followers on Facebook who don’t subscribe to your email, it’s not that much of a challenge to alert them to your email sign-up page. The same goes for every single social media platform you use. If you send out an email newsletter to subscribers, add a post or tweet about the latest issue, make sure your followers know they’re missing out and how they can ensure they receive future editions straight to their Inbox.

4. Give them an incentive
We know we can all be lazy, even putting off a simple click of the mouse for another time – which then gets easily forgotten in our busy day. So give people a reason to click on the icons immediately. For instance, if you run a restaurant or café you could offer a half-price meal as a reward, selecting a random new subscriber every day for a week or if people ‘Like’ a photo of your latest food or drink offering on your Facebook page. There are strict rules about running promotions on Facebook so make sure you know about these!

5. Get them tweeting
Want to draw attention to something specific in your email campaign? Add a link that allows your readers to tweet and retweet about it, so ensuring that particular message travels further and to a new and wider audience.

6. If you have a blog, use it!
Your blog is your space, so use it to your advantage. Make sure you add regular reminders to encourage people to subscribe to your email. If they’re enjoy reading your blog already, it shouldn’t take much to convince them.

7. Add an email opt-in form on your Facebook page
Did you know about this function? It’s simple to do through Facebook Apps or you might be able to do it through your email marketing software provider. I use (and love!) Mail Chimp and they have a Facebook App to do just that. Simples! 🙂

Have you found an effective way of joining up your social media with your email marketing campaigns? Do tell me what has worked for your small business!