It’s 2012 and if your E-mail Newsletter and your Social Media presence are not supporting each other there is no better time to start than in your next edition. If you don’t’ have a Social Media presence yet and want to start one, your E-mail Newsletter is your best resource. Properly done, the two should work hand-in-hand. Your E-Newsletter creates an opportunity to extend your presence on your Social Media sites, and your Social Media sites provide another way to get more E-Newsletter subscribers. Here are some tips to getting them integrated.
Creating the offer / request sign up:
- Use a professional newsletter program to manage your lists. This will help you avoid accidently violating any federal Anti-Spam laws. And there are more than a few. After a lot of research, I selected Constant Contact as my preferred vendor.
- Specify the value to the customer for signing up for the newsletter. Why would they want it? What is the benefit?
- Be specific on how often they will receive an email from you. Weekly? Monthly?
- Don’t ask for too much information. If possible only require an email address. The less information you require the more signups you will have. You can always get more information later.
From the Social Media Side:
- Facebook. Create a Newsletter Sign Up Tab. Keep it simple. First and most important is to give them a good reason to subscribe to your newsletter. A simple ‘please give us your email address’ type of request is not good enough. Example.
- Facebook. Mention the newsletter in the occasional status update with a link to the tab. Don’t ‘spam’ them. Only ask / remind them once or twice per month.
- Twitter. When you ‘publish’ your E-Newsletter, send out a link. Use hash tags based on the content of the newsletter.
- Twitter. Inform people about your newsletter. Don’t ‘spam’ them. Only ask / remind them once or twice per month. Example Tweet “Sign up for our #SocialMedia newsletter and get the latest insights and tips, updates & events. http://eepurl.com/icjJo #SM”
- LinkedIn. Use one of your three website links available to you in your personal profile as a link to subscribe to your newsletter. Example.
- LinkedIn. Mention the newsletter in your company page. Although you cannot have a hot link in your profile, you can still list the URL as a text and your client has the ability to cut & paste.
- Blog. Have a Sign Up option somewhere on your blog homepage. If you can mention your newsletter in the occasional blog that would be nice. The best would be to reference a previous newsletter article in your blog with a hyper-link. That shows historical value. Oh and if you can write a blog about newsletters, that would really be cool.
- Website. Yes, your website should be part of your Social Media strategy. You should definitely have the opportunity for people to sign up for your newsletter on your home page. There are two basic ways to present the opportunity. A simple text hyper-link or an HTML form. Example.
- Website. The other natural place for people to sign up is on your Contact Us page. Example.
From the Newsletter side:
- Have individual links to your various Social Media sites. This is so that the readers are aware of your Social Media sites.
- Share the top quote or idea provided on one of your Social Media sites. Give credit.
- At the end of each article in the newsletter offer the ability to share the article with the various Social Media platforms. Here are a few services to try out: Add to Any, Add This, and Share This.
- Reference the results of a quiz or other survey on one of your Social Media sites and invite them to participate in the next quiz.
- Ask your readers a question and tell them to post their response on your Social Media platform.
- You can also ask readers to share specific stories about their lives.
This last tip falls outside of the scope of this article, but it is important.
- Traditional Media. Promote both your Social Media sites and your e-Newsletter through your traditional media avenues. I like using QR Codes as part of traditional media. For example place a qr code in a coupon or ad in the newspaper. This allows people with smart phones to be taken directly to your Social Media site or newsletter signup site. Be creative.
Email is easy, free, and used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide. In contrast, the largest Social Media platform is Facebook with about half that amount. It only makes sense to take advantage of the growing and shifting trend in the marketing world. And a final thought, double check your sign up form. Does the signup form work properly? It is very embarrassing to your brand reputation to have a nonworking signup form. Test it to make sure it works.