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The Email Inbox Will be Social in 2011

Ben and Jerry’s recently announced that they would be completely shutting down their email operations in order to focus solely on social media advertising. Now, this may seem the sensible thing to do, right? With Twitter and Facebook, how much life is left in newsletters? What many marketers will point out, though, is that an integrated approach with both social media and email is going to get you a lot farther than one or the other.

If you think about it, it simply doesn’t make sense to ignore a major form of communication when designing a marketing approach. No successful company abandoned radio advertising the second television was invented, rather, they ran radio and TV campaigns concurrently to complement one another.

Capitalizing on this in email marketing means rethinking how you conduct your email campaign. There are a number of things that you can do to integrate the two in a way that’s complementary, rather than redundant…

1. Use Twitter to market your emails. Announcing a sale exclusively for email subscribers, for instance, is a great way to raise interest.

2. Hold contests on Twitter and feature the winners in your email. As you can see, the theme here is using Twitter to get people excited about your newsletter and your newsletter to get people excited about your Twitter feed.

3. Promote social media apps relevant to your clients within both your Tweets and emails.

4. Keep a “Best Of” on your website, featuring the best articles, news and notes from your emails, and link to new entries into the “Hall of Fame” via your Twitter feed.

5. Create a second, more in-depth newsletter for Twitter followers, advertising your Twitter account, and this special “insider’s only” newsletter in your main newsletter. The basic idea is to get anyone who follows you in one place to follow you everywhere else. Reward them with hot info from recent conventions and special deals.

6. Let people embed your videos and images and other content into their own Twitter feeds, Facebook accounts and blogs. Studies have shown that this proves a conversion rate that’s about one fourth higher than those who don’t want to share their media.

What it really comes down to is innovation. A lot of people think they have it all figured out, but in 2011, we’ll find that we’re still learning how to use social media, and the best tricks are yet undiscovered. To keep up to date on best practices for Twitter, click the giant bird below!

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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro

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