How to Integrate Your Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of the product I mention at the end of this article.

One of the problems a lot of businesses have when implementing any web marketing strategy is getting people to take action. We may have fans or friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, or subscribers to our blogs, but does this necessarily translate into actual customers or clients?

The answer is, of course, not always.

Unless we can get our friends/fans/followers/subscribers to take action, to actually DO something, we can build all the trust and credibility in the world and still go broke. A lot of us, myself included, make the fatal error of not asking for the order.

I am basically a soft-sell kind of guy. I was drawn to social media marketing in the first place because I would rather develop relationships (and even honest-to-goodness friendships) online that to put someone on the hot seat and ask them to give me money.

But in truth, if you or I have something really valuable to offer, are we not doing our friends/followers etc. a disservice by not encouraging them to actually buy the quality products or services we sell?

The solution is simple. We must continue to position ourselves as trusted advisors to our intended clients so that they will regard us as providers who deliver excellent expert solutions, and at the same time, ask our friends/followers to take action.

Asking For the Order

I once heard a sales trainer read what he described as the World's Greatest Book on Selling. He built up the anticipation about this greatest book for quite a while, promising that this book would change our business lives.

When the time came for him to reveal this Greatest Book Ever Written on Selling, it was Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

If you are like me, and have read this book to your children so many times you have it virtually memorized, you will probably get it right away.

The main character, Sam-I-am, is trying to get the other character (I can't remember his name, so I'll call him "The Customer") to try green eggs and ham. At first
the customer does not like Sam and says he does not like green eggs and ham.

When the customer says no, Sam does not give up. He asks if he would like them in a box or with a fox.

This goes on until the customer finally tries green eggs and ham and, surprise, actually learns that he LIKES them. And he likes Sam as well.

Does this mean we should all start badgering our prospects and make pests of ourselves trying to get them to buy? Absolutely not.

Autoresponder Email Marketing Systems

But we can use and autoresponder system to gently offer our green eggs and ham in a variety of creative ways. And with each email they receive we can give value and offer them a solution to a problem they may be desperate to solve.

Both the lesson of Green Eggs and Ham and the mechanics of autoresponders work because most people will not buy something the first time they are exposed to it. No matter how good the product or service is, no matter how perfectly it fits the customer's needs, people need to be asked to buy multiple times before they will take action.

The reason autoresponders work so well is that the person warms up to the idea a little bit more with each message. Additionally, it increases your likelihood of reaching the person at just the right time in their lives. They may have been considering what you sell for a while but for whatever reason, the time was not right before.

But as effective as they are, there is a right way and a wrong way to use autoresponders.

  • Absolutely never just start sending out emails to people who do not know who you are. You can funnel people to your autoresponder who have already come to like and trust you through your blog or through Twitter and Facebook. But let them opt in. It is a trust and relationship game and you can't make it work by spamming people.
  • Give value with every email. Make your emails something they can look forward to. I am a big fan of Marcia Yudkin, whose Marketing Minute newsletter comes out every Wednesday. Each email does have something to sell, but before that, she has a short, very helpful article that gives value.

    Don't misunderstand my Green Eggs and Ham example. Yes, Sam persistently asked the customer to try green eggs and ham. He did not give up and he asked for the order again and again. But he also tailored each offer differently. "Would you like them in a car? Would you like them in a tree? Could you eat them on a train?"

  • To get your emails opened, I have learned that "How to" subject lines work best. Make sure your subject line promises valuable information that they will want to read. And make sure your newsletter delivers on that promise.

If you aren't already using an autoresponder, I recommend RatePoint. As I mentioned before, I am an affiliate of this service so here is my blatant sales pitch:

I like RatePoint for a variety of reasons. Primarily because it is much more than just an autoresponder. In addition to helping you manage your email list and schedule your messages, it also comes with a survey system that is really great.

You can send out short surveys to the people who are on your list that can give you a lot of valuable information about what your prospects want and need.

Additionally, it has a feature that makes it easy for people to give your business a rating and review. Few things on the web are more compelling than having a number of really good reviews online. Ratepoint makes it easy to invite customers to give you a review or rating.

Additionally, RatePoint can be fully integrated with your Twitter and Facebook efforts. It is practically seamless in the way it allows you to build relationships on social media and move these relationships to your email list.

Whether you choose to go with this service, or prefer Aweber or Constant Contact, the main point is to let an automatic system ask for your friends/followers to take action while still giving them valuable solutions and information.

A system allows you to be informative and be persistent without ruining the relationships you've worked hard to build.

What are your thoughts? I am very interested in hearing about how you get your Twitter or Facebook followers to take action. Is anyone having success converting contacts into customers? I would love to hear your success stories.

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