Given the number of online platforms out there, customer and user data has never been so easy to capture. Volume isn’t an issue. The key is to use the data effectively to offer value to your audience, boost lead numbers and nurture prospects.

Email marketing is a rich source of audience data. Senders will typically have access to email addresses, first and second names, and perhaps geographic, gender or job-based information at the opt-in stage. Once they’ve been added to your mailing list and started engaging with you, you’ll then have analytics data from your campaigns – including their location, operating system, timezone and content preferences.

With GDPR looming large, and with it tighter laws on opt-ins, marketing activity and list buying, now is the time to extract as much benefit out of the data we currently have at our disposal.

So how should you use this data to boost your social ad campaigns?

1. Create custom social audiences

Using their social media contact details, upload your email contact list to create a custom audience on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using their respective audience management tools.

The goal here is to engage with your audience on a second platform to nurture potential leads into enquiries. You can assume – as long as you’re managing and building your email database correctly – that this audience is pretty warm. They’re already interacting with your brand, after all. You’ll therefore be looking to promote your middle-of-the-funnel content and calls-to-action to this ad set.

2. Use lookalike audiences to expand your reach

On Facebook, create a lookalike audience that mirrors your email subscribers to post content with calls-to-action tailored to cold audiences.

If your email audience is of high quality, then the lookalike audience should form a new collection of ideal contacts. The key here is that your ads are tailored to cold audiences, as it’s unlikely that contacts in this audience will know you yet. They’re therefore not ready to buy, and will not be receptive to warm/hot audience content and calls-to-action.

3. Think outside the (in)box

From the campaigns above, identify which times of day are most effective for launching ad sets and where you get the best results in different time zones. In doing so, you’ll be able to better target future campaigns and create additional segmented audiences. Knowing which devices audiences use will help make your social media advertisements compatible.

Next, use your email engagement statistics to support your social ads further. To ensure no-one misses your best content, export recipients who haven’t opened your email broadcast and use them as an advert audience to promote the most popular blog article from the email. This increases their chances of seeing your key messages and engaging with your latest news or updates.

Finally, create segments that have engaged heavily with your emails over the past three to six broadcasts and send them warm and/or hot calls-to-action promotions to encourage them to purchase. Given they’ve already interacted with you substantially, there’s a high chance they will also be responsive to further social media engagement.


How do you use your email data to support your social media strategy? Tell us on Twitter @ContentsFuture.

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