There has been lots of social media buzz lately, especially with the release of Google+ and Facebook’s redesigned layout announcement. But, let’s not forget about good old email. We’re sure a good number of you reading this blog post got here through our e-newsletter. Believe it or not, it’s still effective and your marketing efforts will be more well-rounded if you integrate it with social media.

In a survey from StrongMail, email and social media were the top two areas marketers planned to increase spending in 2011. This being their harmonious relationship of direct response and organic communities. Social media’s power lies in creating awareness and reaching out to new customers, while email strengthens those relationships giving that extra personal touch to drive a sale.

When consumers subscribe, they’ve given you permission to leverage them because they’re truly interested in your brand. In addition, email can hold more content and sits in the inbox. As opposed to social media, the posts are brief and a user’s newsfeed is constantly updated.

Another reason email is still cost-effective is because it has solid tracking metrics with great ROI when managed correctly. You can segment your email lists and see who’s opened your messages. Likewise, you can offer special discounts with trackable coupons that’ll easily increase revenue and website traffic.

When you add social media to the mix, it gets even better. Since 2010, email marketing providers have been working to integrate social media in their platforms and don’t plan to stop:

  • Constant Contact and ExactTarget acquired NutshellMail and CoTweet to build more precise targeting based on social data.
  • Vertical Response has a subscription widget that can be placed on your blog, while Constant Contact has an email sign-up Facebook app.
  • MailChimp has the ability to add a “Like” button in emails, track the total number of “likes” related to email campaigns, track subscriptions from Facebook, retrieve subscriber social information, segment emails to subscribers on specific social networks and pull up profile information in emails.

In order to use these integrations effectively, here are some campaign tactics that can increase engagement in both:

  • Include social share buttons in your email.
  • Offer a promotion via email for “liking” or via Facebook for subscribing. Keep in mind that people will need an incentive to connect.
  • Use Facebook as a landing page for a promotion linked from your email.
  • Post teasers and links to your newsletters.
  • Post content related to your latest newsletter.
  • Have auto-tweets generated when an email campaign is sent out. Make sure to customize the tweet in the settings. Otherwise, it would tweet your email headline.

As you can see, email is another channel for more engagement, marketing and revenue. Social media enhances it by being an outlet for your audience to turn your brand message into conversational material. So you can use social media to gauge what your audience is talking about, then give them feedback through email. Remember, your email subscribers have allowed you to leverage them, that includes promoting your brand on social networks, gaining you more subscriptions and likes/followers in return. This is a cycle you should definitely take advantage of.