Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all posts from our UK team here. Or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

What happens when you integrate your email marketing and social media channels? Easy. You have every chance of seeing each channel work much harder for your business in terms of reach, follow counts, clickthroughs and more. But despite the benefits, many SMEs simply don’t know how to link email and social.

Good news. You don’t need to be a black belt in digital media to get results. Here are five pieces of low-hanging fruit just waiting to be grabbed.

This post is from a series based on the marketing benefits of integrating email with social media. We recently wrote a white paper on the same topic, which can be downloaded here for free.

1. Promote your social channels as people join/leave your email newsletter

If someone joins your email newsletter, it’s a safe bet that they have identified with your business – and your content – and want to hear more from you. What better time to nudge them towards your social channels? The page you send your new subscribers to after newsletter sign-up should include links to your social media channels with a message that talks up the benefits of following you. Be enticing.

Oh and don’t make the mistake of thinking people unsubscribing from your emails are a lost cause. This might sound a bit backwards, but just because a reader is opting-out of your emails doesn’t mean they want to completely sever their connections with you. Social media may be a better fit. So offer an option to join your social channels during the unsubscribe process. It could be the difference between maintaining a relationship and losing a prospect.

2. Collect social media tags on sign up

Take choice out of the equation and you may stand an even better chance of boosting your social media footprint. If you make it mandatory for anyone completing your email sign-up form to give you, for example, their Twitter username, you can manually search for them afterwards: find, reach out, follow, chat. It’s an unexpected, non-invasive and memorable way to put your business at the front on your prospect’s mind.

And that’s important. Research from Google (presented in our free white paper) reveals that a prospect will come into contact with a business 10.4 times (average) before making a purchase. The more touch points you develop, the more likely a potential customer will purchase from you.

3. Be smarter about the way you promote social in your emails

You can do better than including tiny social media icons to the footer of your emails. Give your reader a reason to act. Why should they follow you? What benefit do they get? What can they expect from your social media channels?

The way you use email to promote your social channels is limited only by your imagination. Send a dedicated email with short breakdowns of how, why and where you are in the social landscape. Showcase the best tweets you receive. Introduce a competition that requires your subscribers to join you on social media to enter. In a world of copycat marketing, applying a little black-sheep thought will sure help you stand out.

4. Use Twitter to gather oodles of targeted email addresses

With Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards you can create mini-campaigns that make it easy for people interested in your business to give you their email address. All they need to do is reply to a special kind of tweet that appears in their timeline.

Success or failure is determined by the type of campaign you design. Free report? Competition entry? Discount vouchers?  The more compelling your offer, the more email addresses you are likely to receive. All we’ll say is that Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards provide a great way to capture thousands of highly targeted email addresses. Quickly. Easily. Cost-effectively.

5. Combine the immediacy of Facebook with the reach of your email subscriber list

Twitter isn’t the only social giant that plays nicely with email marketing. Facebook’s Custom Audiences allows you to share your Facebook posts with your email subscribers – even if they haven’t liked your page. Just upload your email list and you can pay a small fee to put your content in front of any of your subscriber’s that have registered Facebook accounts.

Facebook can also tell you about ‘lookalike audiences’. Here, Facebook automatically studies the interests and demographics of your email list to give you a silo of users that share the same characteristics. If you have a good idea of the kind of people that buy from you, this can be a really cost-effective way of reaching out to a new and highly targeted audience.

Ask your email and social media questions in the comments below!