Organizations can generally assume that customer segments with known affinities for Web and e-mail channels either currently are, or soon will become, social media users. This channel affinity is why it makes so much sense for organizations to make their initial entry into social media marketing through the extension of e-mail marketing.
Organizations are increasingly leveraging social media for communications and marketing. Social networks in particular can be leveraged as a distribution channel to reach beyond traditional customer segments, improving campaign effectiveness.
Most e-mail marketing technology vendors enable e-mail campaigns to be tracked even when the e-mail leaves the original target segments, such as when someone forwards a marketer's e-mail to a friend.
However, social networks are now replacing e-mail address books as the consumer's personal contact list. More and more consumers are apt to post an e-mail to their blog or their social network page as their preferred method of sharing the information with their friends.
Two most useful social media channels for extending the reach of e-mail marketing campaigns.
1) Social Networks
Public social networking services, such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Friendster.
These services comprise extensive networks of users who are self-organized into groups and communities.
Social networks are the most valuable social media channel to integrate with e-mail marketing, because of their ability to rapidly facilitate information sharing among user networks.
Corporate blogs can be a distribution channel for an e-mail marketing campaign.
Followers may react negatively to too much marketing if they are following the blog for technical or business advice.
Personal blogs are already a distribution channel for marketing and public relations communications.
Target e-mail recipients in this scenario are usually media and industry watchers though, not prospective buyers.
An emerging tool for corporate communications and marketing professionals is Twitter. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that restricts posts to 140 characters. This is generally enough for a title and a link to campaign Web landing page.
Followers of an organization's Twitter feed (called tweets) can reply to your posts, so using Twitter does require some media monitoring effort to manage and respond to replies.
Integrating social media with e-mail marketing campaigns can extend campaign reach and improve click-through rates. Improve campaign effectiveness byenabling recipients to share e-mails through social media channels.