Very often, brands do not integrate their email marketing and social media strategies. When brands do include social icons in their emails, they’re often placed in either the header or the footer of the template. This positioning has very little impact on your email performance, as contacts have become accustomed to the placement of these icons.

Here is an example from retailer Urban Outfitters. Whilst the design of the social icons are on brand and visually striking, they don’t ask the contact to take action or what they should do when they get there.

 

social sharing icons

 

Here’s another example of this in action by Dairy Queen. Again, these icons were placed in the footer of the email.

email marketing

 

The majority of emails that land in my inbox will include these sorts of social sharing icons, but brands should take one step further and link social media marketing campaigns with their email marketing.

What are the benefits of integrating email and social?

Promoting social sharing and interaction with your email contacts is important for a number of reasons:

-     To extend the potential reach of your emails. As people share your emails, your brand gets more exposure and more potential for opens, clicks and conversions.

-     To grow your email list. As more and more people receive your emails, the more chance you have of gaining new subscribers.

-     To connect with your audience. Each social network allows you to connect with your contacts in a slightly different way.

With that in mind, let’s look at three brands who are integrating email and social media in an innovative way:

1. Topman

email and social media integration

This is a great example from Topman. The email template itself is very nice. The imagery is clean and not overwhelming, the navigation is clear, and the use of the video (although not optimised for auto-play) engages contacts in a new way.

But what I really like about this email is the use of the hashtag #topmancuffed. It encourages contacts to get involved on Twitter and Instragram, whilst using the hashtag, and there’s even an incentive for contacts who post pictures online to win some cash. This allows your contacts to become your brand ambassadors, and extends the reach of your social and email campaigns.

When a user clicks through, they are taken to a dedicated landing page which features the video. The video explains the product details and offers more information regarding the social campaign and competition.

Topman have also included the ‘normal’ social icons in the footer of the email to ensure all bases are covered.

2. New Look

social media marketing


This email from fashion retailer New Look arrived with the subject line ‘Are you a social butterfly?’ and immediately caught my eye. When the email is opened in Gmail, the outer rectangles of the template are GIFs and the images constantly loop.

Each rectangle refers to a different social site, and it gives insight into what type of content is posted, for example, the images posted on Facebook are clean cut and professional, whereas the Instagram images include insight into New Look HQ.

The rectangle links to the desired site, when the user clicks. This really boosts interaction and explains ‘What’s in it for them?’- It pushes the contact to take action.

 

3. Innocent Drinks

email marketing tips


Every single email that Innocent sends focuses on building their brand. They do not advertise their products, or try to sell anything in their campaigns. This email is a recent newsletter that I received, and as I know what type of email I am receiving I am willing to take time and read it.

Innocent have taken a slightly different approach with their social media integration. They use a small Twitter icon to encourage shares, and they explain how to do it below. Again, this isn’t to promote their products, but they are pursuing brand advocates using this technique. Your brand could use a similar tool, such as clicktotweet.com to encourage social sharing on your behalf.

So there you have it. Three brands using social and email effectively – the perfect combination. Have you seen any brand using email and social integration well? Or have you come across any other techniques? Please share in the comments box or tweet me @Wired_Marketing.