Social Integration in Email Marketing

Posted by Alexandra Braunstein 

Subscribers and customers typically interact with brands in many different ways, whether that’s by signing up for their email program or following them on social media. From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat, there are currently 2.3 billion active social network users and 91 percent of retail brands have two or more social media pages. With social media on the rise, having grown by 176 million users in the last year, brands must ensure social media integration is a key component of their email marketing strategy.

While it’s a common best practice to include links to social media pages in email messages, many brands are taking this a step further by incorporating cross-channel content into their messages. This can be done in a variety of ways, from encouraging subscribers to share content within their social network to creating a special hashtag or incorporating user generated content. Not only is this a great way to come up with additional content strategies, but it also an effective way to easily grow your subscriber list.  

Need some ideas of how you can apply this strategy to your own email program? Check out a few brands  getting it right:

Lush, the popular handmade cosmetics brand, uses Instagram and a customized hashtag to encourage subscribers to use their product. By using the product and then posting a picture of their feet, the subscriber is automatically entered to win. Linking the hashtag to a sweepstake gives subscribers an incentive to post while it also helps your brand go viral.


Everyone’s favorite fast food chain, Chick-fil-A, incorporated customer twitter posts into this email, which let subscribers know a popular condiment was coming back to all stores. Using user generated content within emails is a great way to bring a fun, social aspect to your emails, while also engaging subscribers through content variety. Plus, the twitter post scrolled within the email, giving an
interactive element to the message.


Retailer Bath & Bodyworks, used their
onboarding series as an opportunity to encourage new subscriber’s to follow and interact with them on their various social media pages. Not only will this help Bath & Bodyworks grow their social media following, but it also gives subscribers the option to interact with the brand in the way that works best for them.


With 2017 quickly approaching, the number of social media users and channels will only continue to rise, so it’s critical for the success of your email program to ensure you’re embracing these tactics. Besides incorporating social media, also ensure your subscribers have the ideal viewing experience when reading your emails as the number of mobile users is growing as well, and people primarily interact with social media on their mobile devices.

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About Alexandra Braunstein

Alexandra has been helping world class brands grow and optimize their email marketing strategies and initiatives for over a decade. As an Email Strategist for Return Path, Alexandra uses her passion for analytical and creative thinking to help marketers refine their email programs, resulting in more emails getting delivered to the inbox, improved subscriber engagement, and increased ROI.

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