Surprise! Email is Content Marketing. Here's How to Do It Better
BLOG POST BY LINDSEY IMPERATORE, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT THE NEWS FUNNEL
If blogging is the bread and butter of content marketing, then email is the knife slicing it all up and delivering the goodies. Email marketing is highly effective because these contacts are current clients or have expressed interest in your work through subscribing. In other words, they’ve engaged with your brand at some level. Whatever content marketing you’ve done up until that point worked. It's up to you to deliver the quality content that initiates the open, click-through, and action rates you're looking for with email.
Why You Need Email Marketing
Subscribers, or your brand advocates, build your business. Email marketing is how you keep these individuals engaged and your brand top-of-mind. Email lists can be segmented according to your needs. For instance, one email list can contain people who downloaded your ebook, another list focuses on customers who purchased a product, and a different email list reaches blog update subscribers. Targeted email campaigns increase the customer’s engagement, improve open rates, click-through rates, and close transactions. A Campaign Monitor study said marketers noticed a 760% bump in email revenue with segmentation. Regardless of how you segment email lists, you need to differentiate your campaigns and you need to be using them to distribute your content.
Email Marketing DON’Ts
Don’t send a weekly newsletter to mass list and expect results. While it's great to keep consumers up to date with the happenings in your company, consumer inboxes are increasingly receiving more marketing emails as the industry catches on. Unless the customer purposely signed up for a Weekly Newsletter, sending too many emails risks your contacts unsubscribing, your list being flagged for spam, and a decrease in the open rate.
Avoid the lure of buying marketing lists. It's better to have a small list of engaged contacts than spending thousands on empty email addresses that don't give you the returns you are looking for.
Make sure every email sent delivers something of value. Customers should be excited about the email content. Maybe the email contains a video highlighting a new feature or it’s a quarterly roundup of industry-relevant data. While these emails are not directly soliciting the customer to “BUY NOW,” they do build brand trust and continue the engagement so when the time to purchase is right, your name is first.
Email Marketing DO’s
Let's start with the content marketing Golden Rule: quality over quantity. Create the content that will get consumers to open the email, click through to the website, and engage the content.
Next, diversify your email list. Segmentation can be done multiple ways to meet your individual needs. You can do this by demographics, buyer personas, their stage in your marketing funnel, past brand engagement, and countless other ways all depending on your marketing program.
To increase the open rate and click through rates, match the content to segmented lists. Deliver the information that segment will want to open. For instance, if your email list is segmented by people who downloaded a white paper on 2017 leasing trends, perhaps the email content provides the latest leasing data for the second quarter.
View email as an opportunity to excel at customer service and deliver a brand experience. Automated messaging helps. Create a welcome email when a customer subscribes or purchases a product. If they download a white paper or ebook, trigger an email asking for feedback or with further suggestions to keep them engaged. Send special anniversary emails, such as one year since they joined the newsletter. Trigger emails for when shopping carts are abandoned reminding the customer to complete their purchase.
Finally, do test email content. A/B tests are excellent for fine-tuning everything from subject lines to layouts. The more insights you can gather what compels customers to open and click-through, the more successful the email campaigns will be.