Each day, millions of brands launch ads, create business pages, and test out lead-generating marketing strategies on Facebook.
While Facebook offers a robust selection of marketing tools, one big marketing staple they've never really explored is email marketing. That might be about to change.
While you might not expect a major social media platform like Facebook to invest in email marketing tools, this move actually makes a lot of sense.
In the last decade, Facebook's amped up its advertisement and lead-generation offerings. While B2C companies could easily launch an ad for a product and see ROI roll in, the platform has also enabled B2B companies aiming to sell higher-priced offerings to connect their CRM and generate leads via lead ads or landing pages.
Facebook has consistently been expanding to make its platform a stronger lead generator for brands. And, now that Business Pages are able to gain contact lists from the platform, it makes sense for Facebook to consider an email tool that allows brands to reach out directly to those audiences.
“We’re evaluating whether these tools are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further,” Facebook told AdWeek.
Since Facebook began the email marketing tool's test, marketers have caught on. At one point Meg Coffey, a social media strategist, tweeted screenshots of the tool after discovering it:
In the replies, a number of marketers shared their thoughts on the new email tool.
In the tweet's thread, many marketers were optimistic about what Facebook's email and CRM compatibility could mean for lead generation.
Facebook's email tool might seem interesting, but before you drop your marketing email tool for this one, keep in mind that it's still in its testing phase. While some brand pages have the ability to use it, others do not. Additionally, if the test fails, there's a possibility the tool won't ever fully launch.
If you do want to learn more about the tool and how it could benefit your Facebook marketing strategies if and when it goes live for all pages, here's a quick rundown of what we know about it so far.
What to Know About Facebook's Email Marketing Tool
Although Facebook's email marketing tool is in its testing phase and not yet available to all users, social media marketers and page admins have shared a number of screenshots to demonstrate what it's capable of.
Here's what we know based on the screenshots and information we could dig up.
1. Facebook's email marketing tool will follow GDPR subscriber list regulations.
Sending emails to people who didn't knowingly sign up for them infringes on GDPR regulations -- and emails sent through Facebook's new tool won't be an exception
And although Facebook is primarily a social media network, it will follow email privacy regulations by instructing users to only send marketing emails to contacts who sign up for them.
According to social media posts, Facebook marketers will see a warning and disclaimer about what they can and can't send contacts when they click into the email tool.
2. You can't build email lists with addresses from your contacts' Facebook profiles.
When hearing that Facebook offers email marketing, you might think that the marketing emails could simply go to someone's Facebook Messenger or the emails associated with Facebook accounts that Like your business page.
However, like any other email marketing platform, your contacts will need to subscribe to a list and have an address associated with their contact name to get sent an email from Facebook's platform.
Luckily, if your connected CRM already has an email subscriber list, you can just select it from a drop-down menu seen in this image:
If you don't already have a subscriber list, there are a few ways to create one. You could build a form on your website that promotes your new email and encourages people to subscribe, or you could launch a Facebook lead ad that promotes the email subscription.
3. Facebook's tool might not be as advanced as other free email marketing software.
Available screenshots of the tool show that users can customize email headlines, subject lines, and body copy, but marketing organizations like IMPACT say it's unclear how much design control email marketers will get related to images, color schemes, links, and formatting.
In a follow-up tweet, Coffey said that there are "far more robust email marketing tools out there," but that the Facebook tool might be useful for those "getting their feet wet" with email marketing.
In its current form, the email tool might be useful for entrepreneurs or less tech-savvy Facebook page owners who are beginning to try email marketing. But, because reviews of the tool hint that it's fairly basic, it might not be robust enough for businesses that require solid customization, personalization, and performance tracking.
Developing an Email Marketing Strategy
Even if Facebook's email tool doesn't pass its test-phase and fully launch, Facebook's interest in marketing email proves one thing: Email certainly isn't dead.
Email marketing from any tool helps with boosting brand awareness, can keep you connected to your audiences, result in ROI from customers, and even bring solid non-organic traffic to your website.
If you're a beginner to email marketing, here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind regardless of which tools you use to create your message.
- Respect your contact's privacy: If a contact fills out your lead-gen form but doesn't want to receive email -- listen to them. Similarly, don't build your email list by purchasing contacts from other brands. This is against GDPR regulations.
- Provide valuable content: Once you get a list of subscribers, provide them with content that they're most interested in seeing, as well as the content you promoted when encouraging them to subscribe. For example, engaging email content could include discounts or links to helpful blog posts. Remember, don't just overpromote or blast your subscriber list with emails about your products. This could cause your messages to get marked as spam.
- Grab the reader's attention: Because emails sent through Facebook, or other email marketing tools will go directly into a number of crowded inboxes, try to create catchy subject lines, preview text, and body text that will grab the attention of a busy person who's just scrolling through emails on their smartphone.
If you're testing out email marketing for the first time or trying to improve your current strategies, check out this ultimate guide for more expert tips and tricks.