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Five ways to combine Facebook and email marketing for maximum effect

Businesses must manage both email and social media marketing together, if they hope to fully optimise customer interactions.

According to ExactTarget managing director Lee Hawksley, Facebook and email are very alike as the people on a business Facebook page are already former, current or future customers.

“People on your Facebook and email share similar metrics, for example, email subscribers are equivalent to Facebook ‘likes’. Facebook and email also share similar content and testing methodologies,” Hawksley said.

This means businesses should consider Facebook and email as a single customer delivery channel.

Here are five ways to make the most of the two:

1. Join the conversation. The value in conversing with customers across multiple social channels is enormous. Message tagging, team assignments and scheduled updates help you scale engagement and leverage what you learn for other marketing efforts.

2. Understand the impact. Analytics are crucial for growing and evaluating success on Facebook and then leveraging what you learn across email and other channels. Businesses should assess tools that report on Facebook fan trends, inbound and outbound messaging and impressions.

3. Customise the data. It’s one thing to push content to Facebook, it’s another to understand how your message resonates with your audience. Generate reports based on sentiment, message grouping and message type that help drive deeper engagement and customer service.

4. Drive email opt-ins on Facebook. Use your Facebook landing tab as an email opt-in opportunity. Test putting free content or special offers behind a “fan gate” with email sign-up to get email addresses and additional customer data.

5. Promote Facebook in email confirmation and unsubscribes. Use transactional emails as a way to build your fan base. Some of your customers may prefer passive messages through Facebook rather than more active, direct messages.

To grasp what’s working and what isn’t, testing also needs to be undertaken. Here are three ways to test effectively:

1. Time and day testing. Use email time-of-day and day-of-week testing to optimise your Facebook status update schedule.

2. Copy testing. Use email subject line testing to optimise Facebook ad headlines. The reverse also works.

3. Image testing. Images have a sizable impact on click through rate for Facebook ads. Test multiple images in combination with headlines to determine the best image for each email.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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