How Can Social Media and Email Marketing Work Together

How Can Social Media and Email Marketing Work Together
16 November, 2023 • ... • 154 views
Varvara Potekhina
by Varvara Potekhina

Social media and email marketing are very common tools in internet marketing today. Each one has its strengths and advantages. But why choose when you can use both of them to grow your audience?

Picture a huge fishnet that keeps fish in a reservoir so that you can use a fishing rod to catch the exact type of fish you need. This is a precise image of how social media and email marketing work together. You get a wide reach with SMM, collect emails from your audience on social media, and drive them closer to conversion with email marketing tools.

SMM and email marketing require different approaches and help your business in different ways. In short: social media provides reach and engagement, email marketing grows conversion and retention. Let’s find out how to combine them in your marketing strategy to make more sales.

Features of social media and email marketing

Social media and email marketing are distinct channels with their own specific functions and benefits. Let’s explore those in detail. 

Social media marketing

Social media is a perfect tool to raise brand awareness and recognition. Unlike email marketing, social media marketing extends beyond your existing customer base. You can get noticed and attract new customers. Let’s see what you can do with social media marketing:

  • Engage with your audience: you can organize contests, collect reviews, and create discussions. You can also collect customers’ emails via social media and use them in your email campaigns.
  • Сommunicate with your audience via visual content to grow engagement. People love spectacular or funny videos and pictures. They feel an emotional link with your brand, share, and comment on your content. Use it to strengthen your connection with the audience.
  • Use temporary content formats. YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram use a temporary content format called stories. You can attach links to those, for example, a link to your newsletter subscription form. You can produce those photos and videos with your smartphone, it takes no time once you get used to it. 
  • Collect data and conduct research. Create polls, question forms, etc. It will give you a deeper understanding of your audience. Each answer will also grow engagement.
  • Grow brand awareness and reputation. Social media is about the image: customers will start recognizing your brand when they come across it in their feeds from time to time.
  • React to feedback quickly. You can receive private messages and answer them in real time. A constant social media presence also creates a strong feeling of reliability: people will know you are always there.
  • Promote your products via influencers. Social media is a perfect tool for native advertising. Influencers can show your products in their content and explain what they like about it.
  • Show your product. On social media, you can post pictures, videos, feedback from users and experts, etc.

Social media is perfect for brand promotion, creating an emotional connection with your audience, and generating leads.

Email marketing

Email marketing begins with collecting emails. Your clients freely provide their contacts to you, and they confirm that they want to receive your emails. They can also unsubscribe from your newsletter anytime.

That means that you have your most dedicated audience here. Your subscribers most probably are already interested in your product. You can keep them up to date with your news, provide more product details, and drive them closer to conversion.

Here are some tips on how you can use email marketing’s unique features: 

  • Personalize your messages and grow conversion. For example, you can add your clients’ names or use dynamic content to change product recommendations according to their preferences.
  • Segment the audience to make each message relevant to the exact customer group, which also grows conversion. You can ask their gender, age, location, occupation, interests in the subscription form to keep these customer groups separated and craft messages for each of them.
  • Automate email sending. You can use email automation to send custom email series and triggered emails that your customer receives automatically after a particular action. For example, if they put something into the cart and didn’t finish the purchase, you can send an abandoned cart email, or send welcome emails right after registration on your website. Automation makes your email marketing strategy run smoothly.
  • A/B test your campaigns. Create different versions of the same email to test the effectiveness of an offer, a subject line, etc. Testing can give you insight into what motivates your audience. You can use it for future sendings.
  • Analyze your email performance. After each campaign, you can view the open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics, check the deliverability, and then act on your findings. 
  • Spread your messages from social media. You can put links to your social media posts into your newsletters. That is a win-win: you use the existing content and lead more users to your social media pages.
  • Collect feedback. Your subscribers can answer your emails directly to let you know if they need anything. You can also conduct research and create polls via newsletters.
  • Reactivate your customers. Keep in touch with those who used to buy your products but for some reason stopped. Ask them if they need any help, give special discounts and gifts, or use other creative ways to reactivate them. After all, you can simply find out why they left — that also is very useful.
  • Increase the average bill via cross-sellings. For example, if someone buys a night cream for oily skin, you can send an email with recommendations on oily skin care and a list of products for it: foams, masks, blotting paper, etc.

In general, email marketing is great for sales and retention. Keep in mind that your newsletter subscribers are already interested in your communication. Your task is to cater to their needs driving them closer to conversion and making them repeat sales. 

Email marketing vs social media

Let’s explore the differences between the two channels using statistics. One of the most compelling aspects of email marketing is ROI. For $1 spent on email, it generates $36. Moreover, it has a better average click-through rate. Email newsletters have a 2.13% CTR while other email types have even higher numbers. An average social media ad click-through rate is significantly lower — 1.36%

Email also requires less hands-on effort with 63% of marketers using automation to send campaigns and about half using automation for social media management. 

That said, you shouldn’t disregard social media. 4.59 billion people worldwide use social media while there are 4.26 billion email users. The difference may seem insignificant until you consider the projected growth. In 2027, almost six billion people are going to use social media platforms. 

Social media is also more effective at making people buy products, even indirectly. More than half of the US consumers at some point purchased a product they’ve seen on social media. With email, brand email newsletters influence only 27% of people to make a purchase.

As you can see, both channels provide great opportunities for brand growth and sales. Read on to learn about the differences in content and how they can help your brand strategy and attract customers.

Email marketing and social media: Differences in content

Email campaigns and social media require different content. The good news is some content can be simply resized to fit both. For example, messages about special offers or new products can be spread both via emails and social media.

In general, social media gives more opportunities for visual content. And emails can include more text-based content like long-reads and content that requires explanations like infographics.

Let’s explore the difference in content based on one brand. For example, the Windy.app is a specialized weather app. It collects and represents data on wind speed and direction, waves, currents, clouds. Many Windy.app users are into wind and water sports, so they are interested in weather analysis and learning to read the forecast.

The Windy.app newsletter usually contains meteorology lessons. The brand even has an email chain for beginners who want to start learning meteorology. Here is an example:

The email contains an article on how breeze works and why it appears. A sketch shows the sun warming the air flows.

The company often uses articles from its blog on meteorology, wind and water sports, safety rules, and weather models as a base for emails. 

However, the Windy.app hardly ever posts content like that on social media. The app’s Instagram is full of spectacular riders’ tricks, pictures from community members, and funny reels.

A picture of a lighthouse in front of a stormy sea with the caption​​ 🌀 Storm Agnes check-up
Source: Windy.app Instagram

The difference in content can be less striking, but email marketing and social media in general attract different audiences. And it’s always nice to let your customers choose what they like best. Let social media and email marketing work together for the convenience of your clients. Some people would prefer watching your funny stories on Instagram, some would love to read detailed analytics via email. Let them choose. 

At the same time, your brand’s overall content strategy needs to be consistent across all channels including email marketing and social media marketing. Brands with a consistent presence are more approachable and have a stronger brand image.

Why integrate email marketing with social media?

Why do we need to integrate email marketing with social media? Of course, you can increase sales by combining different marketing tools. But the main reason is minimizing risks. You don’t lose your clients for good if they unsubscribe from one of the channels.

All in all, a list of your clients’ emails is much more reliable than a social media page. The latter can be simply deleted, and that happens more often than you would like to believe. We recommend focusing on using social media to collect emails and convert your social media page subscribers into your email newsletter ones.

Tips to get more emails with social media

So how do we collect emails via social media? Let’s go through the most efficient tools.

Creating communities

You can create a private group on Facebook for the most dedicated and active users. Provide your subscribers something valuable for joining in, like a promo code or access to special offers.

A Facebook membership request form with 3 questions, the last one being about the user’s email address
Source: InVideo

You can make users opt-in with their email to join the group. But we recommend you make this opt-in form optional. Data privacy laws differ from country to country, and in some places, it is forbidden to refuse users entry to the group if they choose not to share their data. To be on the safe side of data privacy laws, just let your subscribers choose whether they want to share their data or not. And if they do share their emails, you can then use them for your newsletter.

A private group is also a nice way to grow engagement and conduct research. It can become a core of your community where people speak up, share their opinions, and give you feedback. Don’t forget to honor the most active community members.

Offering a subscription via Facebook

Facebook lets you put the subscription button right on your page. This is what it looks like on the Washington Post profile:

The page has a noticeable blue “Sign in” button
Source: Washington Post Facebook page

The link redirects your social media followers to a subscription page on your website, so you can turn your Facebook audience into contacts for your email newsletter.

Using the link in the Instagram bio

You can either put a direct link to the subscription page in your Instagram bio or use a dedicated link in bio Instagram tool. It’s a great way to promote your newsletter and attract new subscribers.

This is what it looks like. Your Instagram page visitors will see the link to your newsletter subscription right in the bio:

There’s a link in bio that leads to the page with a newsletter subscription form.
Source: Bonappetitmag Instagram

Target advertising on social media

Social media is a great advertising platform. You can target your audience by age, location, interests, etc. Run an advertising campaign to increase reach and invite new people both to your social media and your newsletter. 

On Facebook and Instagram, you can run numerous campaigns and check which target parameters bring more users to your email subscription form. You can create different ads and target different audiences. In fact, that is the best way to find out which tactics are effective — keep testing different formats.

An Instagram ad promoting Selzy’s webinar on email marketing tactics that drive sales

Doing giveaways

Giveaway is a simple and efficient way to attract more subscribers. Usually, participants are asked to subscribe to the profile, like the post or several posts, and share the post with a giveaway description. The winner is usually chosen with a random number generator.

You can update this scenario to collect emails and ask your social media followers to subscribe to the newsletter and comment on the post about your giveaway. Don’t forget to check whether the participants follow the rules.

An Instagram giveaway exclusively for the brand’s email newsletter subscribers

Сollaborating with influencers

Advertising via influencers is a constantly growing marketing trend. The best way to make it effective is to know the specific tastes of your audience and the influencers they love most. The influencers don’t have to have a huge following but definitely need to be engaged with your audience.

The influencers are familiar with native advertising and can present your newsletter to their subscribers in a fun and simple way. You can also run a contest in collaboration with influencers and make subscriptions to your newsletter obligatory for participants.

Check out this Dunkin’ TikTok campaign with Charli D’Amelio:

There are several videos of Charli D’Amelio with donuts, milkshakes, and ordering in Dunkin’.
Source: TikTok

Doing live sessions

Another great feature of social media is the opportunity to host live sessions. Live sessions dramatically grow engagement. No matter what the topic of your live session is, in the end, you can hand out some promo codes to those who provide their emails. You can also simply promote your newsletter and share a link to the subscription form in the description of the live.

This is a gorgeous 66 Days: Change Your Life challenge by Gymshark with several influencers. The participants showed their will to change their lives for the better with good habits. Recorded live sessions reached 241.3 million views on TikTok.

Screenshots of recorded live sessions with Miranda and Melanie Wilking, Antonie Lokhorst.
Source: Gymshark TikTok

Sharing user-generated content (UGC)

UGC is a great way to grow engagement, create free content, and attract users to new channels. Ask your social media subscribers to post their pictures on a specific topic and tag your profile. Choose the best pics and share them in your newsletter. Don’t forget to announce that and voila — you get a new flow of your newsletter subscribers.

Here is an email example with the company’s clients posts from social media:

A newsletter from Nassau Paradise Island contains tagged location photos and posts of their guests.
Source: Really Good Emails

How to get more followers on social media with email marketing

Just as you can use social media to grow your email list, you can do the opposite — attract new social media followers using email.

Adding social media icons to the email footer

The simplest and the first thing to do is to include your social media icons in your email template. Let your subscribers know you are happy to keep in touch via any channel they prefer.

The newsletter contains social media icons
Source: ABTA newsletter

Promoting your accounts

You can also run a special email campaign to promote your social media. Give your newsletter subscribers something valuable for joining your social media groups and subscribing to your pages. Make a digest of the most interesting posts to let them know it won’t be boring.

Here is a straightforward example of promoting your social media accounts:

An email with a banner text saying Follow us on socials and two buttons leading to the brand’s Instagram and Facebook page
Source: Really Good Emails

Asking to share

You can also simply ask your email subscribers to share your content on social media. Just make sure that the email content you are sending and asking to share is worth it. For example, it makes sense that Shuka Design Bureau asked email subscribers to share this colorful comic:

An email with a comic and a CTA encouraging readers to share it on Facebook
Source: Really Good Emails

Final thoughts

People rarely unsubscribe from a newsletter and all social media channels at once. That means that you lower your risks of losing a subscriber for good with every new channel you use. 

Combine social media and email marketing to grow reach and increase conversion. Use different types of content your customers can choose from. Let them choose how they communicate with your brand and they’ll appreciate that. Plus, you can collect emails for your newsletter using social media, and attract new social media followers using your email marketing campaigns.

Use these tips to get emails from social media:

  • Create communities.
  • Add a newsletter subscription form to your Facebook page.
  • Use the link in your Instagram bio.
  • Do giveaways.
  • Use target advertising.
  • Collaborate with influencers.
  • Do live sessions.
  • Share user-generated content.
16 November, 2023
Article by
Varvara Potekhina
A marketer keen on writing. Experienced in PR, marketing and editing. Writing for Selzy I practice both my editing and marketing skills. I managed email marketing in almost all the projects I worked with for the last 10 years. My interests lie in IT, education and traveling.
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