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Engaging your email marketing audience with social media

How do you keep your customers engaged with your brand over the long run in email marketing? Customers might enjoy your new products or an offer you currently have going on, but you’ll need to put a human touch on your email marketing in order to keep your customers engaged over the long run.

There are plenty of ways to add that human touch, including showcasing your organization’s charity efforts, injecting humor and creating an interesting brand persona, such as Hotels.com’s Captain Obvious. Another great way to add that human touch is by leveraging and driving customers to your brand’s social media channels.

In this email, Chili’s does an excellent job of showcasing their social channels.

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From the inviting headline to the big bold social icons, this email invites the customer to further explore for great deals, new menu items and perhaps most importantly, simply to connect on a human level. Chili’s features user-generated content towards the bottom of the email to show customers enjoying themselves inside of the restaurant. This imagery is mixed with product shots to elegantly drive home the people aspect of their business and deliver on their motto of “more life happens here.”

In the next example, The Container Store sets customer expectations for each of their social accounts with short copy descriptions of content below each icon. On Instagram, customers can expect to find “inspiring images and behind-the-scenes peeks” while on Pinterest, they’re more likely to find “smart products and time-saving tips.”

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By setting clear expectations, The Container Store allows customers to quickly find the social media account that has the content most relevant to the customer's own interests.

Even if you don’t want to dedicate an entire email to the social media messaging, you can include a simple module in your promotional emails to feature your brand’s social side. Here’s a minimalist example included in a recent Express email.

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And another super simple callout for social in the header area of this Groupon email.

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Consider your audience and how they use social media before featuring social media in your email marketing. This will help you determine if there are certain social media channels that you should feature more prominently than others.

If your audience is composed of mothers who frequently post photos of their cute kids and favorite recipes, you’ll probably want to feature Facebook or Pinterest for their image friendly user interfaces over the text-heavy Twitter. Two hints: Moms are “the group of consumers most likely to follow their favorite brands on social media” and 77% of moms “follow 1 or more brands on social media.” By the same logic, if your audience is made up of political news junkies, you’ll probably want to feature Twitter, which allows for streamlined linking to articles and 140-character opinion snippets.

You will be rewarded with better engagement by allowing your audience to interact with your brand (and its social media channels) in the way that works best for their lives.

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