Both email marketing and social media continue to grow as viable sources of new customers. They’re both extremely cost effective for small businesses, showing a high return on every dollar spent. This is especially true if you can nail down the best times to use email vs. social media.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing is used to reach billions of people. People access emails from their computers, tablets, and smartphones. Email marketing is extremely personal and can be used for specials targeted directly at your audience.
Email marketing allows you to track who is reading your messages, and when and how they’re reading them. You have the ability to send emails that include their name, and the products they’re most likely to purchase based on their previous history. This interactive and personal approach is proven to earn high returns. Also, customer’s actions in an email can be tagged and grouped into sub-lists you can use to qualify them for specials, discounts, and events. If you’re doing a coupon driven event, you’ll have the ability to send specific coupons out to people in different categories and demographics. Customers love feeling like they’re part of an elite group that’s being invited to your next sale or event.
Simply said email marketing can bring you immediate results as when you send out a special or coupon people are likely to purchase right from the email.
Benefits of Social Media
In the world of social media, it takes time to create a buzz about your products and services. Social media should be used to open a dialogue with your customers about your products and what they’d like to see in the future. In turn, allowing you to open the door for major release announcements and new developments. Successful social media marketing campaigns are almost entirely based around sharing information related to your industry in general, and only include promotional content as an afterthought. Social media is a soft sell after you’ve gotten involved with the customer as a trusted confidante and friend.
Simply said social media marketing is your long game. Over time, your fans and followers will get to know you, like you and trust you and your business. Once this happens they are likely to share your content and purchase your products and services.
When to Use Social Media and Email
One good example of when and how to use each type of marketing campaign can be seen with trade shows. Many industries showcase the year’s latest trends and developments at a trade show or expo. Leading up to this event, companies will build up the hype with social media to let people know that something big is going on. There’s usually a lot of news and you may tease your fans with your show products and expectations for the show in advance. Use this time to share info with your followers, and join in the discussion about what they are excited to see at the show. This process can take months to hammer out, but it builds a solid following.
In the weeks leading up to a trade show or event, personalized emails should be added to the mix. Customers who are already signed up on your email list can receive special discounts to get into the show, or coupons to buy things at your booth. You can invite people to schedule appointments with you, and offer to let them purchase tickets online.
Trade shows are just one example of how social media and email marketing can be used to in tandem to support any major business event. On one hand, using social media is the long game that will turn fans into paying customers once they’ve gotten to know you and your company. This requires a significant time investment at first to earn trust and gain followers, but once it begins it can grow exponentially as each follower shares your posts with their friends and family.
The other half of the equation is email marketing that targets people who are familiar with what you have to offer and are looking for great deals that will bring them back time and again. Email marketing has a more instantaneous return and can be used to distinguish and reward loyal customers for their repeat business. Whether you participate in any annual events related to your industry or not, every holiday, major sale and big announcement can be approached with a similar strategy that balances both social media and email campaigns to reach the widest possible audience.