And two e-mails are better than one, a new study finds.

Retailers that send e-mails to customers to promote social media campaigns get more participation on those social networks, a new study from e-mail marketing vendor Yesmail Interactive finds.

Yesmail analyzed 20 retailers’ e-mail marketing campaigns over a three-month period to see how those efforts correlated with their Facebook and Twitter endeavors. Retailers studied include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Apparel and American Eagle.

Yesmail found:

• When a retailer sends one e-mail encouraging consumers to participate in a Facebook campaign such as a contest or to answer a question, 50% more consumers engage (by liking or commenting) compared to when the retailer does not send a message. When a retailer sends two messages, 100% more consumers engage.

• When retailers send one e-mail to promote Twitter, 25% more consumers participate (by re-tweeting a message) than when retailers do not promote Twitter via e-mail. When retailers send two messages, 40% more consumers participate.  


“In today’s digital age, marketers must communicate through multiple channels to ensure they provide an opportunity for their audience to interact with the brand,” says Michael Fisher, Yesmail president. “The correlation we found between e-mail and social media is just another example of how marketers can boost the effectiveness of campaigns when they strategically weave each communication channel together.”

Yesmail suggests retailers send an e-mail with share buttons that let consumers forward the message to friends prior to posting on Facebook or Twitter. This makes it easy for consumers to spread the word to friends about upcoming social media contests, posts or promotions, which extends the reach of the campaigns.  Additionally, a retailer may want to send e-mails that occasionally feature links to all the social media sites that it participates in. “This encourages e-mail recipients to connect with the brand on multiple platforms while subtly engaging them and ultimately leading them to conversion,” says Fisher.