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How to Repurpose Your Social Media Content in Email Campaigns

12 min read

Producing quality content takes time. And with businesses stretched thinned, keeping up with the demands of running multiple campaigns across multiple channels can easily leave you feeling stressed and frustrated. 

But the great thing about content is that it can be repurposed. The content you produce for social media can work beautifully in your email marketing campaigns too. 

And we’re going to look at how.

Six ways to use your social media content in emails

 1. Showcase user-generated content (UGC)

Social media is a great place to find images created by your very own customers (known as user-generated content or UGC for short).  

If you sell a physical product, such as clothing or homeware, there’s a good chance that loyal customers might photograph what they’ve bought from you and share the images on social media. 

You can encourage more customers to do this by asking recent purchasers to tag photos of your product on Instagram. It can also work on Facebook and Twitter too. Offering an incentive or running a giveaway is one effective way to generate more user-generated content. For example, you could award vouchers to the best image tagged on Instagram. 

For a masterclass in how to use UGC, look at the marketing materials of underwear brand MeUndies. They’ve grown an active community of over 406k followers on Instagram thanks to their fun and racy content. But much of this content is user-generated – customers and influencers alike are posting thousands of selfies showing of their MeUndies underwear. In fact, there are over 32,000 posts with #meundies on Instagram. 

Image source: Instagram

And MeUndies has put this user-generated content to extra use by including some of the most popular Instagram images in their email marketing campaigns.

Image source: ReallyGoodEmails

The only images in this email are images created by customers and influencers on Instagram. This not only showcases the MeUndies products, but it also encourages subscribers to follow MeUndies on Instagram. 

Plus, featuring UGC is an effective form of social proof – potential customers see other happy customers wearing MeUndies underwear and that helps bring them closer to buying their own.

2. Use social media images in your email templates

Images are an important part of good email design. But producing high-quality images can be time-consuming and expensive. 

To save on time and cost, use images from your social media accounts in your email templates. 

Images from Instagram and Pinterest can be used to create newsletter headers. Here’s an example from wellness brand Well + Good:

Image source: ReallyGoodEmails

They’ve used images from their Instagram account to form the header in their welcome email. The color palettes and subject matter of these images are typical of the images Well + Good post on Instagram. And this synchronicity between their social media and email marketing helps foster a stronger brand image and awareness – subscribers will more easily recognize content produced by Well + Good. 

Brand awareness – the degree to which consumers recognize your brand, product, or service – helps keep your business top-of-mind so that when consumers are ready to buy, they’ll think of you first. 

Creating a strong brand image across your various marketing channels will help your audience become even more familiar with your offering. 

But it’s not just the email header where you can use social media images – you can also use them in the email footer. The bottom of an email is the perfect place to mention your social media channels and encourage subscribers to become followers. And using content from your social media channels will show subscribers what they can look forward to when they follow you. 

Here’s an example from women’s health brand Hers:

Image source: ReallyGoodEmails

At the bottom of their email, they’ve included a grid of images taken from Instagram alongside a call-to-action of ‘follow us’. 

With headers and footers like these, you can create email templates so that you don’t have to start from scratch with each new campaign. 

3. Create an email from existing social media creative 

As well as using social media images to create headers and footers for your email templates, you can also use more elaborate social media content to design one entire email. 

Here’s an example from shaving brand Harry’s to illustrate the point:

Image source: Really Good Emails

This email promotes the three different scents available for Harry’s bar soap and body wash. And it’s done using eye-catching illustrations that are also featured on their Instagram account as animated GIFs. 

Image source: Instagram

A lot of work would have gone into designing the animated GIF for Instagram. So it makes sense to repurpose this content across other channels – not only does it save time, but it also saves money. Rather than having to design fresh content for an email campaign, Harry’s have simply reformatted existing content to suit the format of email. 

Another bonus of this is that it ensures this particular campaign reaches Harry’s audience wherever they might be – on Instagram or email. In case followers missed the post on Instagram, they’ll receive an email promoting the same products as well. 

If you’ve ever found yourself looking at a blank template in your email marketing tool wondering what content to fill it with, take a look through your social media posts and steal your most attention-grabbing designs.  

4. Round-up your most popular posts

If content is trending with your social media followers, there’s a good chance your email subscribers will appreciate the content too. So consider sharing your most popular social media posts in an email. 

Using the analytics in your social media accounts or in your scheduling tool, find the posts that are getting the most likes and comments. And then curate a collection in an email campaign. 

If you can theme the images, even better, as you can then link to related product pages on your website to drive sales. 

Here’s how clothing brand Urban Outfitters does it:

Image source: ReallyGoodEmails

In this email Urban Outfitters have rounded up their most-liked Instagram posts. And each image shows off an Urban Outfitters product, from dresses to trainers. 

This is another example of using user-generated content and each image includes the handle of the Instagrammer that created the content. It has the added bonus of encouraging email subscribers to create more UGC – when they see that others have had their Instagram posts featured in an email campaign, they’ll be inspired to seek their own ‘five minutes of fame’ by submitting similar content for Urban Outfitters to feature in their next campaign. 

Though you don’t have to use UCG – you can round-up your own social media content too. Urban Outfitters sent a similar email to their subscribers rounding up their most-pinned items on Pinterest. 

Image source: Pinterest

  1. Share social media polls and survey results

Adding polls and surveys to social media posts is one sure-fire way to boost engagement. For example, you can use Instagram Polls to ask your followers about their preferences – it’s easy for them to respond, and it provides you with valuable insights into your customers’ wants and needs. 

But a social media poll’s usefulness doesn’t end there because you can use the results to create emails that evoke curiosity among your subscribers. 

Here’s another example from Hers:

Image source: ReallyGoodEmails

In this email, Hers presents the results of a survey that tell their audience what’s popular and what was most voted for. Granted, the survey was most likely sent via email. But it’s a good example of how to use survey results to create an email. 

Social media polls can also give you insights into what’s popular with your audience. Take this example from swimwear brand Mimi and August (previously known as Mimi Hammer):

Image source: Hootsuite

Via an Instagram Story, the brand asked their followers which style of swimsuit they preferred. And like Hers, they could have used the results to let their subscribers know what’s more popular via an email, with links to the most popular products. 

Of course, you can also run social media polls as a survey via email and collect results across multiple channels. This will give you even more results to later share with your audience. 

5. Include social media testimonials

Including customer testimonials pulled from your social media accounts can provide that all-important social proof to help convert subscribers into customers. 

Here’s an example from deal finder site Scott’s Cheap Flights:

Image source: ReallyGoodEmails

The goal of this email is to persuade the audience to sign up for a free trial of the premium membership. And by including a few customer testimonials from Twitter, Scott’s Cheap Flights assure potential trialists that they won’t regret the decision. 

Using testimonials like this is a great way to show off the benefits of your product or service, in the actual words of your customers. It helps build confidence among prospective customers who will take these testimonials as proof that your product or service is trustworthy. 

And thankfully social media testimonials are easy to collect – simply search posts you’ve been tagged in and pick the most positive ones. If you’re low on social media testimonials, use one of these 25 proven ways to get more customer reviews on social media

Wrapping up

Constantly having to come up with new ideas for email marketing campaigns can be frustrating. But by repurposing existing social media content, you can save time, money and your sanity. 

So when you’re next looking at a blank email template, wondering what to send to your subscribers, remember to:

  • Keep an eye on your most popular social media posts to better understand your audience and use these insights to decide what content to include in your emails. 

  • Collect user-generated content to give you a broader catalogue of images and provide social proof to customers who might be sitting on the fence. 

  • Make your best social media content work harder by creating email templates and entire email campaigns from it – deliver the same message with consistent design across multiple channels to make sure it’s seen and heard. 

Repurposing content is just one way to integrate social media with your email marketing. And when done well, each channel feeds into the other, giving you greater reach, increased engagement and more opportunities for conversions. 

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Ever wondered if you could repurpose social media campaigns in your emails? The answer is yes - and here's how.

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Hollie Youlden is the marketing manager for EmailOctopus, an email marketing tool designed to help you grow and engage your audience. She uses her marketing experience and knowledge to help small businesses and fellow marketers get the most out of their email campaigns. Keep up with her latest articles via the EmailOctopus Blog.

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