Email Strategy Roundtable: Listen & Engage Using Social Media

Kristen Morales, Senior Director of Client Services

Author Bio

As senior director of client services at Bronto Software, Kristen Morales oversees an organization that encompasses professional services, technical support and deliverability. She is responsible for the planning and growth of the services organization, including all service offerings, operations, delivery and sales training. Morales has a multi-channel marketing and consulting background and over 12 years of email marketing experience. In her past Bronto life as a marketing strategist, she spoke regularly at industry conferences and has been featured in industry publications such as Chief Marketer and MarketingProfs.

Keeping any relationship interesting and engaging – online or off – takes work and consideration.  John Cass’s recent post, Finding The Right Social Media Content and Engagement Strategy, talks about how you need to go where the conversations are taking place to discover what makes your audience tick and develop a content strategy to keep the intrigue going. Bronto’s Email Marketing Strategists put in their two cents on this topic: 

Kelly

Kelly LorenzMarketers should take this advice to heart if they truly want to hit upon those goals around relevancy and value. Building a community and army of brand advocates can only benefit to spread word of mouth and increase the “viralness” of brands. Thinking about how to message your brand, even if it’s plain-jane or a staple, by producing content that’s exciting and people are talking about is something every marketer should work towards.

Julie

Julie WaiteI think content strategy is the key to keeping subscribers engaged and proving your email marketing program’s value.  In this time of inbox crowding, you have to stand out and keep them reading, viewing, clicking, and sharing. Focus groups and the online tools this blog post mentioned are a great way to pinpoint a need for content and then deliver it. There has even been tale of marketers tracking social media conversations around their product — a hotel, for example — and changing their email send times to capitalize on the most “chatter” around travel to their area. If you’ve got the time to do that, fantastic… I’m sure most marketers don’t. I would focus more on delivering consistent value, whether that be developing a video series, how-to guides, a community forum for sharing photos and anecdotal experience, or generating quality content on a topic of interest or cause that is directly tied to your product offering.

Kristen

Kristen GregoryCreating and sharing valuable content via email (rather than relying solely on simple promotions) that engages subscribers is a MAJOR brand and relationship-builder, with improved deliverability and viral potential as thrown-in bonuses. If you are a company with defined values, philosophies, standards of quality, interesting and ethical business practices and a personality to boot – creating this kind of content is your opportunity to reveal your principles, attract like-minded customers and establish loyalty.  Of course, creating dialogue doesn’t always mean talking about yourself or your product, as John mentions. Weaving in hot news topics that your subscribers would care about and responding to conversations that start in social media spaces (including your own) are very smart, more meaningful ways to connect.

What have been the most effective and engaging content strategies you’ve seen?

On a highly entertaining note, Adventure Harley-Davidson recently caught my attention when they sent an email with the  subject line “Lookin’ Like a FOOL With Your Pants on the Ground? 25% off Jeans!”which referenced a very popular American Idol performance from this season and linked to the video. Silly? Yes. Effective? You bet!

Kristen Gregory
Email Marketing Strategist at Bronto
@kristengreg

  • thanks for the reference, and discussion. I like the use of social media monitoring for wider content development within other tools, like email, but in addition you support the idea of using outreach to foster engagement with your audience.

  • Kristen I like how you think … sharing values, philosophies, principles can attract like-minded customers … great stuff I totally agree and would like to see more of it. They’re reasons I become and remain friends with people, they just may be reasons I become and remain friends with a brand. I’m working on a message around these ideas right now and this helped me clarify it a bit, thank you.

  • Kristen Gregory

    Hi John,
    We really appreciated your post! Listening and responding to customer conversations is priceless and the lessons learned can impact you not only in your multi-channel content development, but even as far-reaching as operationally. Dominoe’s new pizza recipe relaunch is an interesting example of that! Thanks for the fantastic advice.

    Craig,
    I really appreciate your comment! I’m a big believer in businesses being transparent and sharing their backgrounds/beliefs to foster relationships! I’m glad this post helped you with an email and your strategy – that’s what we hope for all of our readers.

    Thanks for sharing!