November 15, 2010

Social Media Most Effective Channel to Integrate with Email Marketing

Several studies have shown that a majority of email marketers are making use of social media tactics, both to boost their social media efforts as well as to improve email campaigns.

A June 2010 survey of North American email and online marketers by email marketing firm Lyris found that most of them were seeing positive results. Just 6% said their marketing results were no better after integrating social and email, compared with 54% who said results were at least somewhat better.

Moreover, respondents rated social media as the online marketing channel with the greatest positive effect when integrated with email, selected by 34%, compared with 29% who said web analytics and just 3% who said mobile marketing.

Facebook and Twitter were the most commonly used sites in integrated email-social campaigns, and Facebook integration produced the best results.

A majority of respondents were also using social media marketing to help build their opt-in email lists, and 21% said social media drove the greatest opt-in rates, after website registration forms and email marketing itself.

“Though a less fundamental and more unproven email marketing tool or practice, social media marketing is used by 63% of those surveyed, only 1 percentage point less than the proportion that measures email marketing ROI,” said the report. It also cautioned that, despite marketers’ enthusiasm, “claims about the benefits of social media marketing cannot be validated because the effects of social media marketing cannot yet be readily measured with consistency.”

Regardless, social media-email integration is a reality, and next steps for email marketers will include making that integration more sophisticated and streamlined and including further integration with mobile.

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