Benefits of Social Email Marketing

Hello everyone, I am Arnie Espos and I am the product manager for Oracle Sales Campaigns. Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog and I will endeavor to bring insightful commentary that is worth your valuable time.

Now most of us understand the benefits of email marketing. A good email marketing campaign can help you:

- Generate Repeat Sales
- Up-sell and Cross-sell Products and Services
- Drive Users to Make Purchases
- Increase Sales Velocity

I am not going to bore you with the benefits of email marketing since this has been discussed countless times over many years that email marketing has been with us. In fact email marketing is so ubiquitous that it has penetrated our pop culture. Who can forget Homer Simpson's line,

"mmmmm spaaam." - Homer Simpson

Yes, this gives you an indication of my television viewing habits. I like animation. But that is another subject.....Of course he was referrring to the the pork by-product, but SPAM is also email. So how do you elevate your email campaign above the other spam and noise?

An email campaign with a social network can enhance the benefits of email marketing by:

- Connecting people and building relationships across boundaries
- Provide an ongoing venue for knowledge exchange

Connecting people and building relationships across boundaries
For many organizations establishing ways to collaborate is an essential strategy. There are many tools we can use to collaborate or build a social business network, such as online/web meetings, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, conference calls. However these tools have boundaries that are not that obvious. Using email marketing in a social context allows users and their community to connect not necessarily in traditional ways at a meeting, conference call, etc. but in an unbounded manner. For example, I often find that someone who is shy in face-to-face meetings often comes out or is more expressive through asynchronous communications like email. The shy person, who normally would not connect in a real-time meeting is comes up with insight now expressed in a real-time meeting. The shy person is now a vibrant contributor and contributor to your network. Why? When people can connect asynchronously this gives them time to digest material and form a well thought out response.

Providing an ongoing venue for knowledge exchange
This benefit is obvious to many marketers. Email marketers have many tools to manage the effectiveness of their campaigns. However, what many lack are tools for continuous improvement. Yes, you receive feedback from recipients, but what about peers? A peer often gives feedback and insight that in a vacuum you would not have considered. A peer can review your campaign, rate it, comment on it, offer suggestions, and potentially offer or share their version of the same campaign. Now multiply this exchange over many users within your network, over many campaigns, and you have an ongoing venue to share knowledge, experience, insight, to evolve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

So consider what an email marketing campaign along with a social network can do for you. This much we know, that within a company a well-tuned online social network can enhance a company's collective knowledge and sharpen its ability to act on what people know in time to be effective. We have long recognized that that networking is critical to an organization. How many problems have been resolved, products designed, status reports were done in a meeting around the proverbial water cooler? Creating these opportunities to connect is often the stated or unstated purpose of facilitated off-site meetings, and other communication initiatives. However, the half-life of connections made at these off-site or water-cooler meetings is often very short until social applications provided us with a means to support the network over time and make us more effective.

There must be more benefits and insights than what I have offered here. Let this be a start to evolving our conversation.

Comments:

Using email for social marketing is fine. The people you email is different. If you are buying a list then you are spamming. If you are emailing people that have done business with you and or have signed up to receive your email then it is not spam. This is a problem I run into as a system engineer. I get emails from clients saying "This person/company is spamming me!!" and I have to tell them no they are not you signed up for it, you have a business relationship with them. If done right, it is not spam and can be used for a valuable tool. Zero

Posted by Zerolove on July 15, 2008 at 04:44 PM PDT #

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