By Kestrel Lemen, Marketing Strategist, Bronto Software Europe

Many businesses use both social media and email marketing, but it is imperative to use them in harmony for maximum impact.

Just because someone likes you on Facebook, don’t assume that they are already on your email list or that they’re even aware that you have an email programme. Use social networks to grow your list by creating sign-up web forms for these sites, posting calls-to-action to sign up for your emails and running contests.

It’s important to offer different content in your emails and on your social media sites to keep things fresh and give people a reason to want to connect with you on all your different channels. Growing your email list from Facebook is a great way to convert your brand’s fans to subscribers. Multi-channel communication, in which you send messages in different channels and with different offers, is a key to keeping your fans and subscribers engaged.

Create an email opt-in form to use on Facebook. The information you ask for on this web form can mirror the email sign-up web form that you have on your website. Limit the number of fields required to sign up because social site visitors may abandon forms if they are too long.

Create a list for the contacts that sign up through this web form. You can have these contacts go onto your master list as well, but you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the Facebook sign-ups list created, in order to track the sign up performance through the social networking site.

One of our clients found that their opt-in list from Facebook had much higher engagement rates than their web sign-up opt-in list. Those subscribers from Facebook had a 125% higher open rate, 25% higher click rate and 26% higher conversion rate over the website sign-up opt-ins. These higher engagement rates prove that gaining sign-ups from Facebook is valuable.

Similarly, try tweeting a preview or teaser with a link to your opt-in page before your email newsletter or special promotion goes out the door. This tactic not only helps build your email list, but also alerts existing subscribers to look for your upcoming message, hopefully boosting anticipation and therefore open rates.

Tactics to gain new fans and followers

Email marketing and social media marketing can go hand in hand. When an email subscriber becomes a fan on Facebook, follows your brand on Twitter or your pins on Pinterest, the relationship becomes stickier, and they’re more likely to buy. They see your brand, your products and your deals more often, in different formats, and have more opportunities to purchase. That’s why it’s key for commerce marketers to embrace social media as a channel. So, let’s explore a few ways to grow your social follower base.

Link to your social media pages in your email

Your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, as well as your YouTube library, should all be considered. Don’t just throw a Facebook or Twitter icon into your design. Include a call-to-action and explain why they should join: “Become a fan on Facebook for exclusive discounts”, or “Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and specials”, or “Check out user videos at our YouTube channel.” Also, don’t link to your sites if you don’t have quality content on them. If your YouTube library consists of a couple of PR pieces and a CEO interview from several years ago, maybe you should wait to promote this until you’ve had a chance to beef up the content. Better still, start a competition and call for subscribers to submit videos!

Dedicated Campaigns

By expanding beyond your “Like Us on Facebook” button, you can dedicate an email to communicating the value of becoming a fan. Remind subscribers that they will have access to exclusive content, sneak peeks and the ability to speak with other customers or an expert from your brand.

By using social media and email marketing in unison, businesses can provide consistent messaging across platforms and channels. This ensures that each touchpoint a customer engages with provides the kind of information that will turn them into loyal advocates over time.