Social media has seen a meteoric rise in use. Marketing professionals have noticed and have shifted focus to the outlets – and they should – the numbers are staggering. (1)

But don’t forget about email. Email marketing is consistently ranked as the best channel in terms of return on investment. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. (2) 68% of companies rate the channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. (3) Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. (4)

How would one go about blending these two powerful marketing approaches? How might one take an e-mail “blast” and maximize the reach of social? Based on my experience providing e-mail and social media marketing solutions to destinations and businesses, here are 7 ways the two initiatives work together to reach more visitors or customers.

Email Social Integration

  1. Include social media icons and links in your emails

Simple, but oft forgotten. We are so focused on the content of the email (as we should be,) we forget about what is around the articles. Many email service providers allow for social media icons and links to your accounts to be included in the email.

  1. Ask email subscribers to connect

Some readers hastily read the content and may not see the icons. So create an ad and place it in your email. Or between articles, include a simple “Connect with Anywheresville through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.” and provide links. Make it subtle and it may grab the attention more so than the icons.

3. Ask email subscribers to share

Some email service providers offer tools that allow readers of emails to share the email on their social media outlets. Constant Contact’s tool is Simple Share and with one click of a button, a post (or tweet) a link to your email is generated in a post for the reader. They can choose to edit the post or simply click “post.”

4. Send a dedicated email campaign

Sure you want to promote the newest attraction, event or product, but what about a dedicated email campaign solely for the purpose of promoting your social media outlets? Short, sweet, “Stay in the know between emails through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.” Offer some a reason for them to be connected. Is there exclusive content on social media?

5. Promote your emails and sign-up via social media

Consider a post or tweet promoting your email newsletters. “Get the latest from Anywheresville directly in your inbox.” If you get a handful of new subscribers, you’re ahead! Make it cute and creative. “Sign up for our email” is boring. “Discover the 10 family fun things to do the summer in Anywheresville.” “Our recipe of the month in your inbox.” Once they sign up, the auto-responder provides them with the list.

6. Build an email opt-in form on Facebook

Facebook has a tool that allows the opt-in form to set on your Facebook page. Maximize the social media outlet by setting up the form.

7. Create an exclusive social group for email subscribers

This may be for the more advanced DMOs or businesses with a social media manager that has time to manage the group, but if there is exclusive content that you can offer through the group on Facebook or LinkedIn, create the group and offer it only to those that subscribe to your email. Then don’t forget about it!

Provide an incentive. As a few of these tips suggest, there should be some exclusive content that the subscriber receives for signing up for the email. Retailers can offer a coupon. What can your DMO offer? Traditionally, one thinks of a drawing for a weekend getaway. But rich, exclusive content will create loyal readers and brand champions for your destination or business.

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