How do your customer start the day? (Image by Erix!)

There are generally three places people start their day–email, social network, or a portal/search engine. How can you connect with customers or prospects with the first two

A recent report titled Digital Morning by ExactTarget and CoTweet reported that 93% of online consumers receive at least one permission based email a day. A more staggering number is that 58% of online consumers check email as their first online activity for that day. In the same study they found that 43% of online consumers are either Fans or Followers (think Facebook and Twitter respectively). A smaller percentage 11% start their day with Facebook.

What I couldn’t find in the study was the amount of consumers that check both email and social in a short timespan. I would reason that people start their day with Email then social media, or social media then email. Either way these two elements play a role into someones daily activity stream. So What should you do with this information?

I suggest you check out the report because it does go into subtle differences between a subscriber, a fan, and a follower. I think you’ll find some interesting insight within those pages. Beyond that I would suggest you start thinking of your digital strategy as a whole.

How Can You Integrate Your Email and Social Strategy?

Before the end of this year I think we will see some great solutions to integrate your email and social media marketing. I have yet to see a great social CRM that helps you accomplish this but there are a few tools I’d like to mention:

Rapportive

This tool rocks. A simple CRM that integrates in to Gmail. While using Gmail it pulls in the contacts information and shows you an overview of where the contact shows up within different networks. Another small handy thing it does is parses the from email address and allows you to easily click on the domain name.  You can also add notes to contacts as well. If you use Gmail this is one extension I’d install it, I find it immensely useful.

FlowTown

This tool has tremendous promise as well. Turn an email address into a social profile. Flowtown allows you to import your existing contacts. From there you can see what social networks someone is part of and create custom communication campaigns. This campaign can include multiple emails, twitter communication, and connecting on Facebook. This tool also promises to integrate into quite a few sales CRMs such as Salesforce. Flowtown rocks.

MailBrowser

Another tool of mention is a free Gmail plugin that helps you easily manage your contacts. This tool will pull in all your contacts, regardless if they are in your address book. Here is a video… (I warn you the word “contact” is quite overused in the video… maybe a new drinking game in there somewhere).