10 Ways to Integrate Social, Mobile, and Email
Dan Forootan, president, StreamSend Email Marketing
When marketers evaluate all the digital
communication channels at their disposal, they're
faced with a rich array of choices, including the
latest in social-media and mobile marketing.
Social-media marketing includes participation on
social-networking websites, such as Facebook,
LinkedIn, and MySpace; video- and photo-sharing
websites, including YouTube and Flickr; blogging;
microblogging (e.g., Twitter); podcasts; forums;
product reviews, such as those on Amazon; and
Like email marketing, those channels help companies
disseminate information to large audiences rapidly
Omniture and The CMO Club conducted a Digital
Marketing Survey in May of 2009, asking 102 CMOs to
rate the relative effectiveness of digital-marketing
Most respondents (78 percent) found email marketing
most effective, while 33 percent had success with
online communities and blogs.
Most online consumers engage with a variety of
online communications and activities, and they have
different preferences and tastes. The Digital
Marketing Survey and others underscore the
importance of including a full range of interactive-
and mobile-marketing vehicles in your
Today's businesses should be using complementary
media—email, social networks, and mobile—to most
effectively connect and communicate with their
current and prospective customers.
Networking With Customers
With companies incorporating interactive and digital
strategies more frequently into their campaign
mixes, Forrester Research has predicted the highest
rate of growth for social media, among those digital
strategies, over the next five years (according to
the company's Interactive Advertising Model
published on July 7, 2009).
Social-networking venues do not necessarily increase
leads, nor do they populate a company's prospect
database. But social networking does give
organizations the opportunity to share information
in a one-to-many format authenticated by consumer
and peer reports, comments, and endorsements; extend
their brand reach; and learn even more about their
audiences—from age and sex to education level,
social patterns, preferences, and tastes.
At the same time, social-networking websites give
customers the ability to research companies more
thoroughly, read peer reviews, and develop a
comprehensive business profile before they ever make
a purchase. For both parties, social networking
offers a means to foster trust and long-term
Blogging and microblogging further nurture that
relationship, providing a vehicle for companies to
tout their expertise, promote new products, share
news, and stay connected without being pushy.
Blog comments offer real-time feedback and encourage
a worthwhile dialogue, helping businesses better
understand their customers' needs. Blogs and
microblogs increase brand visibility, and they
improve search-engine rankings and word-of-mouth
Moreover, companies can use posts to gain visibility
within premium publications at little to no cost,
simply through mentions or links from Web media,
press, or high-profile industry bloggers.
The Power of Email and Mobile Marketing
Mobile phones, particularly smartphones, have become
indispensable assets for both personal and business
productivity, acting as a means for digital
interactions, such as sending text messages,
browsing the Internet, or reviewing email
It is also one of the most personal devices, as most
of us carry our phones with us just about everywhere
we go. As a result, communications and marketing
messages received via mobile phone have the highest
degree of relevance and, ultimately, success for its
Different from their social-media counterparts,
email and mobile marketing are more direct
one-to-one communication vehicles. That means the
degree of relevance and targeted messaging can
return some of the most successful and measurable
As a result, mobile and email marketing have become
important sales and marketing tools; and although
traditionally viewed as the "desktop" communication,
email is becoming increasingly mobile as well,
because of the increasing popularity of smartphones.
Companies may use email and mobile marketing to
reach customers and prospects instantly—wherever
they may be. Email and mobile marketing are
immediate and cost-effective, enabling the push-pull
features and personalized content that consumers
Connecting the Pieces
As various social and interactive communication
channels enter and leave the marketplace, CMOs can
gain the strongest impact by blending all those
channels into one comprehensive
Cross-promotional efforts can help companies spread
the word as new online-marketing platforms are
launched, boosting follower interest and opt-in. The
following are 10 popular strategies that companies
use to maximize their digital-marketing mix:
1. Use email-marketing newsletters to announce new
LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter feeds, directing
readers to social-networking websites for signup.
When businesses share, network, and create a
dialogue with their customers using various
interactive-marketing strategies, they show the
public that they care about the customers'
experience before, during, and after the sale.
2. Use Twitter to link followers to your latest blog
post or email newsletter online to fuel interest and
3. Include an option to join the company's social
networks in the email-newsletter registration
4. Use the sidebar on your email-marketing
newsletter to list all company social-networking
profiles, and use those profiles to gather
5. Invite customers to participate in YouTube
viral-marketing video contests that show real
consumers using and enjoying your products or
6. Read and respond to comments within social
networks, developing newsletter or blog articles
around topics readers discuss the most.
7. Launch a regular Q&A section in your company's
email newsletter that specifically addresses reader
questions across all social-networking platforms.
8. Include a link to your Help forum or YouTube
video tutorial within purchase-confirmation emails.
9. Include a social-bookmark console on product
pages in case readers want to share your website or
products with others.
10. Join relevant LinkedIn and Facebook groups,
assigning knowledgeable representatives within your
company to answer questions, thus positioning your
company as a valuable industry resource.
---Source: DMA Marketing Brief: B2C
Edition Feb. 19, 2010. Dan Forootan is president of
StreamSend Email Marketing (www.streamsend.com).
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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