MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013: Social media is email with fresh paint
The day one keynote presentation at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 featured Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert and co-author of The Now Revolution. Jay’s presentation was titled, “More Alike than Different: Why Email is Madonna, and Facebook is Lady Gaga.”
A handful of data points
Jay explained email remains an extremely relevant channel. He cited ExactTarget research from 2011 that found 58% of U.S. adults check email first thing in the morning, and research from 2012 that found 77% of people surveyed reported preferring email for promotional messages.
He also said Facebook is far and away the social media platform of choice with only 27% of U.S. social media users 12 years-old and up embracing second-tier networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn, according to research from The Social Habit.
Additionally, he added 44% of corporate social media marketers look at Facebook as a way to gain new customers based on Wildfire research from 2012. One challenge is 84% of company Facebook fans are current or former customers per DDB research.
“Email and Facebook are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned. Or they should be,” Jay said.
Email and social media are more alike than different
Jay stated social media, and Facebook in particular, is just email with “fresh paint.”
Along with this statement, he presented a slide of an image he titled, “Magaga,” juxtaposing Madonna and Lady Gaga side by side to illustrate his point.
To further make the point, Jay described three areas of integration:
- Operations and measurement
- Channel and audience
- Message and content
In the case of measurement, email and Facebook share basic metrics even though the nomenclature is different.
Email metrics: Subscribes, unsubsribes, opens, clicks, forwards
Facebook metrics: Likes, hides/unlikes, reach, engaged users, shares
Jay emphasized email and Facebook should be combined – the people involved in both marketing channels should be the same people, and the fact cross-channel analysis is “much easier if the data is shared internally.”
This integration should also include how you reach your audience. Jay’s point was the odds of any single communication from marketers are slim in the chance of reaching the audience, so provide that message in a number of formats.
Jay said, “When people ask for a cookie, offer them more than one.”
He then provided a series of examples of how to integrate email and Facebook:
- Create an email opt-in tab on Facebook
- Use pop-up email opt-in forms in conjunction with Facebook promotions and interactivity
- Add a Facebook “like” request in email opt-in confirmation messages
- Add a Facebook “like” request on email unsubscribe pages
The idea on the last suggestion – adding a Facebook “like” request to email unsubscribe pages – is even though that person no longer wanted to be part of your email program, they might still want to interact with you on Facebook where they likely will receive fewer communications and have more control over the level of engagement.
Another way to increase email opt-in conversion is utilizing social login, where instead of forcing visitors to fill out a registration form, they can click a button that allows them the log into your website with information from a social media network, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or others.
From this social login, details of the users’ social profile, such as their email address and other data points, are automatically shared with your website technology.
Jay cited Jainrain research that found 77% of website visitors prefer social login over creating a new account.
Use cross-channel data for testing
Data from the email and social media marketing channels can be used to inform time of day and day of week testing on each other.
Jay said marketers should take email open rate and clickthrough windows, and apply those times to Facebook posting schedules. Facebook interaction windows should also be applied to email sending windows.
Also, email testing that uncovers winning subject lines should be applied to Facebook ads. At the same time, winning Facebook ads should be tested as email subject lines.
Email images creating high clickthrough rates should be used in Facebook posts, and images that create a high level of Facebook interaction should be tested in email.
Offering one final tip on integrating email and social media, Jay said marketers should be using a unified editorial calendar so calls-to-action are promoted across all channels, and Facebook efforts and email campaigns are connected with Facebook chatter uncovering email topics, and Facebook content used as email content.
Jay concluded, “Silos are for suckers, [and] your customers don’t care about your org chart.”
The lesson being, email and social media marketing are not two distinct efforts – the channels should be fully integrated from personnel to data to content.