This is a guest post from Denise Langenegger of Instasize, an online content creation tool.
There’s an ongoing debate among eCommerce store owners about which is better: social media marketing or email marketing. And the answer is… well, there is no answer. Both mediums have their purpose when it comes to promoting your store and selling your products, and both deserve your time and attention. But they don’t have to exist independent of one another; social media and email marketing are best when they work hand-in-hand.
With social media, you are able to discover what content gets the best reaction from a broad audience. You can also reach a whole world of new customers, get real-time feedback about your products, and receive valuable testimonials and user-generated content.
With email, you form a relationship with customers as they move along the customer journey. Email can help turn subscribers into customers and customers into repeat customers and brand evangelists. Plus, email is a more reliable way to get messages to your customers than social media—where your posts can fall victim to the dreaded algorithms.
But… it probably sounds overwhelming to have to devote such a significant effort to both social media and email marketing. Fortunately, we have a solution: repurpose and repackage your social media content in your marketing emails. Here are seven of the most effective ways to do just that.
Use your social media accounts to see what product photos resonate best with your target audience. Images play a huge role in social media, as people like, share, and comment on great photos that catch their eye. So pinpoint the best-performing product images on your social media accounts, then showcase those images in your emails.
The analytics tools on social media let you know which posts are getting the most views and engagement—and that, in turn, lets you know what type of content is resonating the best with your customers.
That’s the content you should spread to your email list—after all, you have proof that it works. While there are many different ways to share that content, we suggest curating your best social media posts into a weekly recap. Inform your email subscribers about what they’ve missed on social media—but don’t show them everything, as you want to make sure there’s an incentive for your subscribers to follow you on those channels.
Urban Outfitters recaps their most-liked posts on Instagram and shares the roundup with their email subscribers. And they include a button “shop @urbanoutfitters” to drive sales from the images.
Facebook and Instagram polls are a great place to start a conversation. You can throw a fun (yet thought-provoking) question out to your followers, then recap the results in an email. You can even steer your social media followers to subscribe to your list by letting them know that’s where they can find the full wrap-up of the poll.
Here’s an example of an email where men’s skincare brand Harry’s shared interesting data from their social media poll with their subscribers. These kinds of poll results can spark a conversation with your community and increase engagement.
One of the best aspects of social media is the amount of user-generated images you can collect. People who like your brand can show off your products then tag you in their photos. Why not share these moments with your email subscribers?
83 percent of people say social proof makes them more likely to purchase a product or service. User-generated content signals that your brand is trustworthy and popular. It also indicates authenticity and a connection with your audience.
Here’s a marketing email where athleisure brand Cuts curated some on-brand user-generated photos to inspire their email subscribers to check out their shop. Notice how all of the photos they feature are aspirational; these photos allow potential customers to picture the exotic (and apparently handsome?) adventures they too could have in these clothes.
User-generated photos aren’t the only type of social proof you can get from your followers. Testimonials and reviews are a great way to show off the perks and benefits of your brand or products without coming across as overly promotional.
Collect testimonials from social media, then put them together in an email. Use a subject line like, “Why customers love our brand” to pique interest, then post screenshots of the actual testimonials in the body of the email.
In this email, MeUndies features select social media testimonials that can build customer confidence in their brand. Testimonials from real users foster trust and serve as evidence that many other people are using your products.
For a unique and interactive email campaign, add your live Instagram feed to your emails. (Make sure this is possible with your email service provider; if it’s not, a static collection of recent Instagram posts will work as well.) When you include your social media feed in your emails, it lets your subscribers know what’s trending at your store and allows them to see a different side of your brand.
Here’s an example from clothing and lifestyle brand Kule where they seamlessly share their live Instagram feed in an email. This strategy marries social media and email marketing with minimal effort.
Instagram Stories have become an extremely popular promotional tool for eCommerce brands; there are more than 500 million people who use Instagram Stories every day, and more than two million business accounts using Instagram Stories content and ads.
However, Stories only last for 24 hours on Instagram—so they can be a lot of effort for only one day of results. You can get more return on your effort by giving your Stories a second life in your emails.
Post the Instagram Stories on a YouTube channel or other video service, then add them to your emails. Since embedding video in emails is still a somewhat inconsistent proposition across different email clients, consider linking to the video by using a screenshot with a play button over the top.
You put a lot of effort into your social media content—and you can squeeze even more value out of that content by repurposing it in your email marketing campaigns. However, that’s not as simple as just putting all of your social posts into an email; there’s strategy and planning involved as well.
Here are some of the ways we recommend for repurposing social content in email:
- Use social media to determine what product photos will resonate. Test out product photos on social media, then use the best-performing photos in your emails to close more sales.
- Recap your best posts. Feature your top social media posts in an email roundup. You’ll get quality email content and potentially inspire some of your subscribers to follow you on social media to see more.
- Use social media poll results. Create a poll on social media, then share the results in an email.
- Showcase user-generated images. Social media is an excellent place to source photos of real customers using your products. Repurpose those photos in your marketing emails.
- Showcase testimonials. Find the best reviews and testimonials on social media, then share those in your emails to let your customers do the promotional work for you.
- Embed your social feeds in your emails. Embed your social feed, or share top recent posts, in your emails to show subscribers what’s trending with your brand.
- Share your Instagram Stories in your emails. Instagram Stories go away in 24 hours. Get a second life out of them by sharing them in emails as well.