In 2009 e-mail marketers started to get social, but 2010 will be the year social media makes e-mail marketing more powerful. Social media is a partner, not a threat, to e-mail marketing because it provides new avenues for sharing and engaging customers and prospects.“Even though people are spending more time using social media, they are not abandoning e-mail,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Maximizing the E-Mail/Social Media Connection.” “The two channels can help each other, offering the opportunity for marketers to create deeper connections.”More than four in 10 business executives surveyed by StrongMail said integrating e-mail and social was one of their most important initiatives for 2010, just after improving e-mail performance and targeting and growing opt-in lists.About one-quarter of respondents had already implemented an integrated strategy, and another 24% had formulated a strategy and were researching how to put it in practice. But 18% of business executives wanted to add social components to their e-mail campaigns and did not know where to begin.
So far, the consensus of the value social media adds to e-mail marketing has been in the area of softer metrics. Four-fifths (81%) of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa in summer 2009 said social media helped to expand the reach of their e-mail content, most likely because of sharing buttons incorporated into e-mail newsletters. A further 78% said social helped to increase brand awareness.
But the fact that so many are unsure about lead generation represents an opportunity for e-mail marketing firms to extend lead-generation measurement techniques into social media.