Email, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Email Marketing Advice, Social Media Marketing

Integrating Email and Social Media with Flowtown

Aren’t social media and email more alike than they are different? Both seek to keep your brand top-of-mind with customers and prospects, communicating in a relevant, timely way that ideally is measurable and testable.

But the problem with email and social media is that too many people are positioning it as an either/or scenario. Several blog posts have foolishly been written about social media “killing” email. As my friend Jeff Rohrs from ExactTarget (client) says: “How can social media kill email, when you have to have an email address to belong to a social media site?”

And that’s the premise behind Flowtown, one of the most exciting new social media tools I’ve seen in months.

A Social Anthropologist, Hidden In Your Keyboard

Flowtown enables you to enter any email address, and the system instantly reports back where and how that address is connected on the social Web. Here’s the results for my friend and client Indra Gardiner from Bailey Gardiner in San Diego:

Amazing, no?

Social Outposts Without the Mystery

I’m often asked by corporate clients where they should engage in social media. “Should we be on Twitter, or Facebook, or Linkedin, or YouTube, or some other places?”

Flowtown gives you the answer in seconds. Export your email subscriber or customer database to Flowtown, and you’ll know in minutes what percentage of your audience is on Facebook or some other social outpost.

They also have a nice integration with Klout – the leading service to gauge Twitter influence – automatically including Klout scores for each person.

Isn’t that worth the 5 cents per contact that Flowtown charges?

But Wait, There’s More

Recognizing that knowing who your customers are, and being able to do something about it are entirely different, Flowtown also has a built-in email component. So, if you want to instantly send an email to only your customers that are on Facebook, inviting them to become fans of your brand there, you can do it in minutes using Flowtown’s existing integration with MailChimp.

The fee for up to 75,000 sent emails per month is just $99.97.

Tip of the Iceberg

Unlike enterprise-class social anthropology services like Rapleaf, Flowtown is incredibly easy-to-use, and is tuned for the do-it-yourself marketer. But, the current system is just the beginning.

“We want to be the of social marketing,” says Ethan Bloch, co-founder of the San Francisco based company. “We want to give SMB a complete tool to allow them to move the needle on the 20% of social media that matters.”

Features being considered for inclusion in new releases include CRM integration; deep analysis of customers’ social graph and content they’ve produced (keyword analysis of your Tweets, for example); and even semi-automated social media response mechanisms.

Not Perfect, But Useful

As with any data-harvesting service, Flowtown results aren’t bullet-proof. The more email addresses a person uses across the social Web, the less ideal the results. For example, Flowtown’s data on me isn’t particularly accurate, because I use several different email addresses.

But, the service goes a long way toward tying email and social media together in a coherent, actionable fashion, and is affordable for almost every company. I’m excited to see what these guys add next.

Thanks to my friend (and startup mentoring legend) Francine Hardaway for turning me on to Flowtown – she’s an advisor to the company.

If you take Flowtown for a spin (they have a free trial), will you please tell us all how it goes in the comments?

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Nice! I was just an event in NYC on Sat. for Event and Association Profs who put on events. One of the big hurdles was finding what SM strategy might be best to pursue given their limited budget and internal bandwidth challenges.

    I see IMMEDIATE use for the association and event community world. Find out where your crowd mostly participates and concentrate all fire power on the nearest Star Destroyer … (well maybe not ALL firepower) … but clear use out of the gate for that vertical. Thanks Jay!

  2. says

    This is great Jay! I always used Rapleaf but this seems so much nicer. Signing up for a free trial as soon as I get back from vacation next week. I'll let you know how it goes! P.S: great job at #azima last night. I loved the unicorn comment :)

  3. kahuna7 says

    Interesting and informative yet again, Jay. Thank you. Just set up a Flowtown account and am looking into utilizing KLOUT more often now as well.

  4. says

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for the review. So pumped! that you're pumped about Flowtown 😉

    As you alluded, got some really wicked add-ons / features coming out soon, so stay tuned!

    I should clarify that if you're sending email through MailChimp you don't have to lay out the $79.99 per month, just the one time fee of 5 cents per import contacted.

    Talk soon!


  5. says

    Hey Jay, great post. I just gave Flowtown a spin. A tool like this is really great to help direct us in planning out tactics, thanks for brining it to our attention. I think it is important to note that this only takes you part of the way. You still need to know how you are going to use these platforms.

    Note to Flowtown if you are reading this: If you added another level of insight as to how people are using these platforms, that would be a real benefit. If we knew that our audience was not only using Facebook, but was regularly uploading photos for example, that would help direct strategy. To know how an audience is using a platform woudl allow us to know how to direct our clients to engage their audience. Just a thought.

  6. says

    Hi Josh,

    Great feedback will share with the team.

    In addition to improving the richness of the data, the next thing we're spending a good deal of time and resources on is answering the 'then what' question that arises after you import a bunch of email addresses.

    Got a lot of exciting ideas and we're going to be testing each one to see how our users respond and what actually delivers the most value.

    Pls. keep the feedback coming and feel free to send it direct -> ceo (at)



  7. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. There are so many new tools, etc. to sift through, try out, etc. I have been looking for a list from someone “in the know” about all the tools they use and why!!!

  8. says

    Hmm- privacy concerns here. I don't know how I feel about this one. Seems to me the better bet would be to get people to tell you if they are Facebook/Twitter users and if they want to hear from you there, rather than using a tool like this to essentially spy on people to see where they're active and then message them.

    I see how marketers would like this, but not sure all customers would appreciate being targeted like this.

  9. Mick Ohea says

    Not so impressed. Signed up for a free account, imported 3 mail addresses of which at least 2 have Facebook accounts – no Facebook accounts found. Imported a 4th address – get a picture of Bruce Lee informing me something has gone horribly wrong. Might be looking for alternatives

  10. letstalkandchat says

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *