You’ve heard of content marketing, but do you know what integrated email marketing is?
Put simply, integrated email marketing is a method of delivering targeted marketing to customers via email. This type of activity combines different types of marketing, including e-blast messaging, website content, social media posts, and more. Essentially, it’s a multi-channel marketing approach that ensures you reach your target audience regardless of channel.
Let’s examine this concept in detail. We’ll begin by identifying the various components of integrated email marketing and explaining how each one contributes to the overall strategy.
What is Integrated Email Marketing?
Integrated email marketing, or iEM for short, is essentially a combination of email marketing and digital marketing. It takes into account all of the various methods of reaching an audience, whether you have a blog, a landing page, or a social media account. As the name would suggest, you integrate every single one of these elements—including email—into a single, cohesive marketing strategy. That means you craft all of your content (in a useful manner) around a unifying idea or theme, and you use all the different platforms to promote and measure the success of this content strategy.
Here’s an example of a successful integrated marketing strategy:
- A travel blog starts with a compelling offer – the chance to win a free trip to Italy. The blog post headlines announce this exciting opportunity, and the body of the post is packed with useful information for readers. Next, the author promotes the blog with a social media campaign on Twitter, and ultimately, she closes the loop by encouraging readers to subscribe to the blog for more content.
- A pharmaceutical company wants to sell its products to physicians. To do so, it creates a landing page on a website that’s optimized for search engines. On the page, it features videos that demonstrate how the drug can help specific patients. It also publishes an article explaining the therapeutic benefits of the product.
- A hotel chain uses a combination of blog posts, case studies, and videos to create an immersive digital marketing experience for potential guests. It positions these elements on its website, across social media platforms, and in email campaigns, in order to drive traffic to its properties.
- A financial services company wants to attract high-net-worth individuals to its platform, Wealthfront. To do so, it creates a landing page on which it explains the various features of the product. It also publishes an in-depth blog post about investing, which is subsequently promoted across different platforms.
- A law firm uses online directories to find clients, and in turn, they use email marketing to keep in touch with past clients. It publishes a series of case studies about recent transactions, which are then promoted via email campaigns.
- A consumer goods company promotes its new season’s styles via email, using a mix of product demos, in-demand-piece articles, and more.
Each of the examples above represents a well-thought-out and -executed integrated marketing strategy. It combines different types of content—from websites to social media posts to emails—and uses different platforms to reach a specific audience.
The Different Parts of Integrated Email Marketing
As the name would suggest, integrated email marketing is a blend of different marketing platforms. The following sections examine each component of this strategy in more detail.
Let’s begin with what is perhaps the most important element of integrated email marketing—the blog. As mentioned, content is king in the digital world, and the same holds true for marketing campaigns. A 2016 HubSpot study of more than 1,000 business professionals across North America found that 83% of consumers look to online reviews before recommending a product or service to a friend. That’s a lot of marketing potential! A blog can serve as an effective platform to attract, engage, and delight customers.
A high-quality blog will almost certainly include some of the following:
- Product demos that give readers an idea of what the product or service is and how it works.
- In-demand articles that are not directly related to the product or service, but which add value to the blog’s readers. Examples include how-to guides, tips & tricks, or just plain old quirky stories.
- A newsletter sign-up form, the purpose of which is to collect email addresses from interested parties.
- And finally, something that’s unique to the blog—a podcast, a video series, or a newspaper review of some sort.
A well-designed blog will make the most of its space in multiple ways—visually via the use of images and videos, and through content that’s compelling and easy to consume. Remember: your goal is to keep readers interested and to encourage them to engage with you.
Social media has changed the way we find information and what we consider to be quality content. In fact, according to HubSpot, 70% of consumers conduct most of their shopping online, and many of these consumers rely on social media to learn about brands and products.
In a nutshell, social media enables brands to engage with customers (and prospects) via different platforms, including blogs, forums, and websites. The advantage of using social media is that you can target and engage with specific audiences, based on demographic, psychographic, or geographic criteria.
A major advantage of social media is that it’s generally free. You don’t need to commit to expensive ads, or worry about sponsored posts, to drive engagement. You can, however, opt to pay to have your content promoted on social media.
It’s also worth noting that many social media platforms offer detailed reports that allow you to see exactly what your audience is engaging with and the extent to which you’re reaching your target audience. This enables you to fine-tune your strategy and makes it much easier to measure the success of your efforts. You can’t always trust, however, that what you see on social media is an accurate reflection of reality. While it can be a helpful tool for marketing, your own eyes are the best judges of what you see.
Content marketing is, quite simply, the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract audiences.
In cases where a business does not sell products directly to consumers, but rather provides services, it may find value in marketing content to attract potential customers.
Thanks to content marketing, your message can reach a far wider audience than you could possibly reach individually. In addition to attracting and engaging with new customers, you can re-purpose existing content to entice current customers to re-visit your site and/or make a purchase. The key to effective content marketing is quality—to ensure that you provide useful information to your audience, you need to have expert content that is well-written and easy to understand. The more you can do to make content relevant to your audience, the better.
Last but not least, we have websites. There are many reasons why a business might want to have a website, but here are the most common ones:
- To establish your company as an expert in your industry (and show that you’re a thought leader).
- To build a digital storefront (website) for consumers to purchase your products (or get more information about them).
- To establish yourself as a go-to source for information about your industry.
- To create a platform to engage with key industry players.
- To host events and screenings of films and videos that are relevant to your industry.
- To distribute press releases and other types of content that are relevant to your industry.
- To establish a credible voice in your industry.
The list above is, of course, not exhaustive, but it covers the basics. Of course, a well-designed website will include all of the above, plus some additional components that will make an experience that’s both useful and enjoyable. For example, you might want to create a blog for readers to explore related content, or you could add widgets that enable site visitors to easily access key information about your company (such as the phone number for customer service, or a mailing address).
How does Wix fit into this?
If you’re looking to integrate email marketing into your strategy, don’t forget about Wix! As a web host that’s dedicated to delivering quality traffic and conversions to websites, we thrive on creating engaging, useful content that encourages site visitors to convert