Friday, December 16, 2011

Leverage Your Reports Part 3: Social Media

This week I'll continue our series on leveraging your reports to improve your email campaigns by addressing social media. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can use social media and social networking data to improve your email campaigns.

Use Social Networking Data
With JangoMail, you can add publically available data from Facebook to your reports. Using Age, Gender and Location can help you increase the relevance of your emails.

Think about your subject line. Will both males and females find it exciting or should you use a different subject line for each gender? What about age? Will both younger and older people be interested? Try segmenting your customers and addressing each segment with a unique subject line.

Once you have your subject line perfected, think about the content. Consider composing different messages for the same event. Do you have a clothing sale to promote? Consider marketing it separately to men and women, choosing images and messages that appeal to each gender. Remember, unless it's the holidays, most people will be interested in shopping for themselves, so think about targeting your message differently for men and women. Or, during the holiday shopping season, you might consider tailoring your content to their gift giving.

Also, do some research! Find out which age groups tend to enjoy certain activities. There is endless data out there on gender, age, location, and more. Use it to your advantage.

Tweet Your Subject Line
Every time you send an email newsletter, share it on Twitter. Include a Twitter Share Button in your email (or just a simple View as a Web Page link) and click it yourself after you receive it. Then before you tweet it, add in your subject line.

Use Google Analytics to track the activity you received from Twitter.
  1. First, make sure Google Analytics is set up to track your emails.
  2. Sign into Google Analytics and select your account.
  3. Navigate to Traffic Sources in the left-hand navigation and click on Sources.
  4. Click Referrals and find in your referral list.
  5. Navigate to Secondary Dimension, which is under the graph.
  6. Choose Traffic Sources > Landing Page. Take note of the URL you tweeted earlier.
  7. Once you choose your date range, you can see the number of people who clicked on the link you provided in your tweet.
This data will help you measure the effectiveness of using Twitter to promote your email campaigns.

Include Social Media Sharing Buttons
Let your customers help you spread the word. With JangoMail, it's easy to add social media sharing buttons to your email. Check out our instructions in our blog post on how to add Social Sharing Links. Is it worth it? One company found that including social sharing buttons increased their click-through rates by over 30%. Give it a try. You may find similar results.

Twitter, Facebook, and Email: When do you use them?
There have been endless publications that claim or argue against the idea that [insert social media tool here] is an email-killer. The fact is that email and each of the major social media outlets serve a different purpose, and all are valuable. Used well, they can complement each other, rather than compete for attention. So what should you use them for?

Twitter is great for pointing to new announcements, whether emailed, blogged, or announced via press release. You can only send short messages to your followers, so if you have something quick to say, an emergency to announce, or somewhere you want to send your fans, then Twitter is the tool to use.

Some companies also use Twitter for limited customer service. It can be challenging to fully address most questions, but it's an easy way for customers to initiate contact if they have a problem. Many companies move the conversation to email in order to address the rest of the question. Keep in mind that when you open up Twitter as a customer service tool, conversations are usually public.

Facebook is great for networking and, like Twitter, keeping fans up to date on your company. If you are a B2B company, you might find it less useful as many of your business clients probably don't spend a lot of time on Facebook looking for other businesses. If you are a B2C company though, you can gain new customers by encouraging your customers to follow you and share your announcements with their friends.

Facebook is a place where you can interact with your customers; encourage feedback and reviews of your company. Show the public that you care by responding to their posts. If you have the resources and are ok with addressing questions publicly, you can use Facebook for customer service as well.

Email Marketing
Send an email newsletter when you want to provide more in-depth details and/or target specific customers based on demographics. It's hard to get your full message out on Facebook or Twitter, so compose it in an email, post it to a web page, and then share it through social media.

Email can use customer demographics to point each individual customer to the store closest to them. Also consider that not all customers want to be social media friends with the businesses they interact with, but many of them are willing to hear the latest news via email.

Transactional emails are very important to customers as well. They are customer-specific and private. They serve as a receipt, remind them of what they ordered, and provide information such as how to track a purchased item. There are some aspects of business that shouldn't be public. Email gets these important messages across without announcing them to the world.

As you consider how you might use email and social media, remember that they have different audiences and different purposes. Social media is often used to attract new customers, while email can keep current customers informed and interested. Together, they form a powerful marketing team. By using reporting to learn more about your audience, you can target your marketing and perfect the messages you send.

That sums up our three-part series on leveraging your reports into better email campaigns. If you missed part one and two, you can read them here:

Part 1: Leverage Your Reports into Better Email Campaigns

Part 2: Leverage Your Reports: Geotracking and Browser Data