Friday, May 22, 2009

Social Media or Email Marketing...What Comes First?

Lately I've been involved with many discussions related to social media, (blogging, Facebook, Twitter etc.) and in a post on today Andrew Gordon brings forward the idea that email marketing has been lost in all the hubbub surrounding the social networking craze and...I agree! What do you think? Now the question, as a business, what is your best approach to using the internet to achieve the business improvements you're looking for?

Here's are some thoughts. Social media and email marketing result in different outcomes, socializing online brings about awareness, branding, client engagement, discussion and interest among other things, and email marketing brings about prospect conversion. Are the two at odds with each other, or exclusive of one and other? The short answer is no, now let's look at a slightly longer answer. Engaging with a social media campaign that is well thought out and executed, will improve your visibility or branding and should result in improved traffic to your website. Now let's look at your website. Here a visitor should become engaged with your offering and begin the process that leads from prospect to client and if that is working then more traffic to your website will generate more clients. Now we add email marketing into the mix. With email you're in a position to extend your relationship with your site visitor, for some businesses this is a one step process, for others it may require a number of "touches" before a visitor is moved to being a client and email is a very effective means to facilitate this process. Social media drives traffic and email marketing converts that traffic into new clients. Simple? Hmmmmm...

Yes it is, but no it isn't either and more...what comes first? You guessed it, a plan! Once again, back to planning. Both social networking and email marketing are effective and generate a positive ROI, (social media drives traffic, leads to lifted conversions, results in revenue boost) but truly, you must think of this in the context of your overall business development. Again, this is not an event but a process with a number of milestones or benchmarks along the way and numerous considerations as to input to achieve each step. Where does that leave you? Each and everyday the internet is growing and presenting greater opportunity than ever before in history to achieve the outcomes you want for your business. Failing to plan is a sure plan to fail...the cost of failing is for you to decide...

We're at the edge of the future!

Andy Xhignesse

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