A Marketing Triple Play: Email, Search And Social Media

Publication: Mediapost’s Email Insider
October 29, 2008

Sometimes it is valuable to step back and look at the elements in the marketing mix and how they interrelate. There are three that I call the troika of digital promotional marketing: email marketing, social media and search. Each of these in their own right is a powerful tool, but linking how you use these three allows you to take advantage of that power on a much higher level, and results in greater dividends as these media elements continue to grow.

So how do you do it? First you must make sure that your organization is adequately represented across all three of the components. This means taking an inventory of sorts. If you are reading this, you probably already have a fairly strong component in the email marketing space, but what about the other two?

In the search arena, are you doing both paid and organic search optimization? If you are, you most likely are driving traffic to your site. But how about to your newsletter and email subscription page? Have you optimized this page to get traffic that will bring new subscribers? What about the content in your newsletters? Have you taken each issue and moved it to the Web, added title tags and meta tags so that all of the content is accessible to the search engines? Have you thought about adding paid search terms that drive traffic to highly relevant newsletter pages?

This brings us to the emerging world of social media. Do you Tweet, Blog, Link, Digg, Flickr, YouTube (or any of the myriad Web 2.0 sites where users rule the roost)? If not, get involved. If you are in marketing, you have to understand these technologies from two perspectives. You must be listening to your customer and the market, and you need to be an active participant in the conversation.

Rohit Bhargava, who just wrote an excellent new book titled “Personality Not Included,” blogged about “The Five Rules of Social Media Optimization.” Most can easily be applied to your email content. For example, include buttons on the content archive pages so that others can easily tag your content (such as by including a Digg button). Also, encourage “mash-ups” such as making your content easily available for others to syndicate with RSS feeds. Tag your content with relevant tags so they are visible and consistent.

Make it easy for others to Tweet about you. When you create a newsletter, let your network know about it. Encourage others in your organization to circulate the information across their social networks. I am not suggesting that you spam a social network. You must already be actively part of the conversation to have credibility. However, when the opportunity presents itself, and if you have relevant information (which you should have if your newsletter is good), take advantage of it.

Finally, if you blog, it should interact with your email marketing. For example, it should contain a subscription link to your newsletter. If people like what you blog about they are likely to enjoy your newsletter. Also, use your newsletter to educate readers to the existence of your blog.

If the social media elements sound complicated, they aren’t. They do require an investment in time and intense work. Used together they will help all elements of the marketing program grow. It would be great to Tweet about this. Follow me @jordanayan. If you don’t know what I mean, head on over to Twitter.com and sign up for an account. You will have taken a step in the social media direction.

Jordan Ayan is CEO and founder of SubscriberMail, an email marketing company that helps organizations successfully develop and deliver email communications. He is the author of “The Practical Guide to Email Marketing: Strategies and Tactics for Inbox Success.” He can be reached at Jordan@subscribermail.com.

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