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First-off, let's discuss traditions and basics. As we all know, Email Marketing
has more traditions and its history is older and deeper, rather than Social Media's. What we have now is a rebirth of Email Marketing and uprising of Social Media. E-marketing's old-school vs. new-school. Many names, one happening.
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History tells us that we are always going to get positive effect by mixing oldies and traditions with something fresh and new. And I'm not talking about Email Marketing, or just marketing, at all - just check Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as great example of such combination.
I would like to announce 20 Steps you should go through before mixing Email Marketing
with Social Media. Some of them are easy, some not. Anyway, our math is Email Marketing + Social Media = YES!
1. If we add "share this" links to an email, pointing at sites like Twitter
, do we have the kind of email content people will actually want to share?
Such links give people a way to share, but not a reason to do so. That's the bigger issue.
2. If the content is not particularly shareworthy, does asking people to "Digg" our new telephone number make us look lame?
3. If the content is indeed shareworthy, do we get some benefit out of that?
4. How can we measure that benefit?
5. In fact, what kind of content/offers should we develop to give value to the recipient, encourage sharing, and give value to us through this sharing?
6. What sharing tools and links best maximize this value and spreadability?
7. Do these sharing tools and links take up email real estate that has better uses? Or draw attention away from other important calls to action?
8. If we add these "share this" links to social networks, are we raising expectations that we ourselves have an adequate presence on the destination sites? (See this thoughtful post by Dylan Boyd.)
9. If we use email to get people to follow us on Twitter, get our blog feed or become Facebook fans, are we simply switching people from one channel to another or are we creating extra contact points?
10. If people are switching from email to Twitter, Facebook, RSS etc., does that change their value to us? Is a Twitter follower more or less valuable than a Facebook fan...than an email subscriber...than a blog subscriber?
11. Does that matter? Is perhaps giving people more communication choices the only way to ensure their long-term attention and loyalty?
12. If people are switching, how can we deliver as much (or more) value through these new social channels as we do via email, so we don't disappoint people?
13. If people are adding channels and following us at various places (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and via email), should the content delivered at each place be the same or different?
14. If the same, are we usefully reinforcing the message or simply contributing to fatigue and information overload?
15. If different, how different? Do we know how expectations and response behavior differ between email and social channels? Can we find out?
16. If different, have we thought through how the content and messages interact across these channels?
17. How do we design our social and email presence and content so that it works for those getting all of it AND those subscribing to only one of those channels?
18. Might we segment email subscribers by social channel? So that those who see us at Facebook and on Twitter could get different content and offers to those who don't?
19. Who is in charge of all this integration?
20. How much is it costing and is this cost justified?
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