Email by itself is kind of like… a one legged stool. It can't stand on its own. To be effective and useful, combine email marketing with search, social marketing and blogging. Most Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers are still trying to figure our how to apply social marketing techniques to their business. Here are 5 tips to get started. We'll dive into more detail on each of these in coming weeks. Best tip? Just start! Don't worry if you don't have a ton of content for a blog, or bzillions of prospective subscribers. Take the first steps:
Write like you talk
Write like a real person and write the way you would talk in every day conversation. Try to avoid 'marketeer / messaging' – readers catch onto it immediately and you'll lose credibility and trust with your audience.
Connect and relate with your subscribers and be approachable. Of course, you can overdo it with the personal information, but too often email marketers underachieving here.
Network with other writers and potential content creators
Networking with others with similar interests is natural on a social networking platform. It's not necessarily so with email, when we're focused on getting our newsletter out on time with relevant content.
Still, there are many potential benefits to linking up with non-competitor authorities in your industry. Think: ideas for content to fill your newsletters with, possible guest writing opportunities that help build your list, and a word of mouth campaign that builds your authority and rapport (with real live, humans… and robots, like Google).
Start a a social networking group that your subscribers can join
Email, by nature, is a one-to-one communication tool. Even when you send to thousands of people, it's still important to write your copy as if you're talking to one subscriber personally.
Social networking, on the other hand, is a many-to-many communication tool, which differentiates it from the conventional web and email experience and contributes to its popularity.
Would your subscribers be even more engaged with your content if they could discuss it with one another? Would they then share it with their friends on the social networking sites they use? Having your subscribers communicate with one another may get them more interested in your content without you having to do any more work.
LinkedIn Facebook and MySpace are good starting points. Want to see a good example? Check this company's Facebook profile out – they're pros: HubSpot on Facebook
We made this a separate item because truthfully, it is so frigging simple that anyone can and should be doing it. if you stumble upon an interesting and relevant article – tweet about it. Just added a useful Blog post on your blog? Tweet about it. 1 sentence and a link to your site. How simple. Read more about Combining Email Marketing and Twitter.
Interact with your subscribers
Just because email is one-to-one doesn't mean it has to be one way. People can always hit reply to anything you send them. Take advantage of that fact. Ask them for feedback. Use polls and surveys, and include the results and subscriber feedback in your future messages. TV and radio programs do this to keep you tuned during commercials. Even though your email might only capture the recipient for 30 seconds to a few minutes, this is a great way to keep your subscribers "tuned in".
Link up your social networking profiles
Are you a social networking addict yet? Do you have a Facebook account or share pictures related to your website or business on Flickr? Unless you have some serious skeletons in your closet, try making use of your email newsletter's sidebar, signature, or footer and throw in a few links.
If you write your content like someone your subscribers can get to know and trust (see note above) and someone they want to be associated with, you just might make some new friends (and get exposure to friends of friends, and friends of their friends, and so on…