Email marketers have been warming up to social media for the past year, using social elements like “share with your network” and buttons to connect with brands on Twitter and Facebook in email campaigns. Email and social media also go together in another way: They are the top tactics marketers worldwide expect to increase budgets on in 2011.
According to a November 2010 survey of business executives around the globe by StrongMail, nearly two-thirds of companies will increase spending on email marketing, and 57% will put more dollars toward social media marketing. Search took a distant third place with 41% of respondents indicating they would spend more.
Budgets will be increasing, but the biggest challenge for email marketers will be a lack of resources and staff—the same problem affecting social media marketers.
Email and social will continue to get closer as more marketers integrate the two channels with each other. More than a quarter of respondents said they had already formulated and implemented a strategy for making email and social work together, and another 43% plan to make efforts toward integration in 2011, though some are more prepared than others.
As marketers continue to bring the two tactics together, their approach may become more sophisticated. In summer 2010, email marketing firm AWeber found that small businesses planned to begin including more email hooks on their social media pages, rather than just social hooks in their email messaging.