Creating fantastic email content is at the core of getting that $44 return on every email marketing dollar you spend.
But few folks really take the time to strategize and think about their email content strategy.
Today, I’m going to share some of the best email content tips that you can start using today that will get people to open your emails, click on the links inside and ultimately become raving fans and customers.
The biggest tip of all is to choose a marketing strategy first, and then decide on how your email content will support your marketing strategy.
How to Use Email Marketing and Email Content to Support Your Strategy
In the world of marketing, you’ll see people talking about email marketing strategy. As if it were a “thing” that stands alone. In fact, email marketing and your email content are there as a supporting channel to implement your marketing strategy.
If you aren’t clear about which marketing strategy you’re using, then you’re going to be confused about what emails to send.
Ultimately, there are three marketing strategies to choose from:
Email Content for a Paid Advertising Strategy:
When you use a paid marketing strategy, you are paying for traffic to your website or to a specific offer. Your goal is high open rates and a high click-through rate. Typical open rates and click-through rates vary by industry. But there is one thing these engaging emails all have in common; valuable content.
In the case of paid advertising, your email marketing content is a supporting vehicle. Your goal is to use emails to KEEP the prospects that you’ve paid for and turn them into loyal customers.
The people who land on your site will have two basic choices; to purchase something or to sign up for some free offer (usually a download or newsletter or discount coupon.)
If they purchased something, then they are interested in what you have to sell and will probably appreciate receiving email coupons or additional offers on similar products and services.
If they opted to receive some free type of content, then they’ve told you that they want to get to know you better. This means that they need more educational email content. Send them product comparisons, send them helpful tips or invitations to any webinars that you are giving.
Try these tips to make sure that your emails support your paid advertising:
Create product segments based on interests and problems: Before throwing money at online advertising, take the time to segment or group your products and services by customer interest or customer problems. I call these “If this, then that” segments.
For example, if you liked these outdoor cushions, you might like this wireless speaker — the “interest” being creating an outdoor space for entertaining.
Personalize emails by customer interest: Personalization is going way beyond knowing when someone’s birthday is. Today’s consumers want personalization as it relates to their interests.
Email Content for a Content Marketing Strategy
If you’ve chosen a content marketing strategy, your focus is on having that content make you money. Content marketers make money either by having advertising on their website like an online magazine or by using content to nurture customers toward making a purchase.
The primary goal for content marketers is to drive people to their content, to keep people reading and engaged and ultimately to click on either an ad or a product.
Here or tips on how to use email content to achieve your content marketing goals:
Make every click count: Next to a text message, an email is the most intimate connection to your audience. Treat it with respect and don’t deluge them with emails. Make every email count. Make sure that what you’re telling them is worthy of their time to open, read and click.
Promise ONE thing and deliver it every single time: What can your audience count on you for? Think about this carefully. Once you’ve made your choices, then stick to it.
Use your email content to introduce and support your web content: Don’t make your email a regurgitation of the content you’re promoting. Instead, keep your email short and tell your reader how they will benefit from the content you’re promoting.
Here is a great example of email content from Neil Patel. His primary marketing strategy is content marketing (either with blog posts or videos) and he sends emails to his subscribers to tell them that he has new content for you to read.
Try these tips to use email to promote your content:
Focus on driving traffic to key content: Be intentional about the content that you are promoting. Promote the content that benefits your business. If you’re making money from affiliates or ads, then choose to promote the content that will earn you the most and serve your reader.
Keep it short: Because you’re sending people to a longer piece of content, keep your emails short so that your reader can have the time to read the key piece of content on your website and not waste their time on the email you sent.
Use email as a completely different piece of content: If the content on your website is evergreen, consider making your email content newsy or current. If your web content is newsy and current, then make your email content editorial and reflective.
Let’s take an email newsletter as an example.
There are many different styles of email newsletters. Some are editorial and personal, others are round-ups of articles found on your website. What you choose will depend on your audience and your email list.
Email Content for a Direct Marketing Strategy
A direct marketing strategy is what we typically call direct sales. With direct marketing, you are building personal relationships with prospects and converting them to customers.
In this case, your email content is really more of a one-to-one conversation. Either you reach out to them first or they reach out to you.
Try these tips for creating email content for direct marketing:
Write to a single recipient: Remember that when someone receives an email from you, they are the only person reading it. In essence, you are writing to only one person.
Be Specific: In a direct marketing situation, your email is really like a sales conversation. Keep subject lines specific and make sure that your email content matches the subject line.
Remember the “preview”: The email preview section of any email service is often taken for granted. This is a big mistake. Next to the subject line, what you write in the preview text will influence whether your recipient opens the email or not.
It’s like a mini advertisement for what’s in the email copy. In a direct marketing strategy, it’s not the headline that sizzles, it’s the preview.
In the example above, it says “SPOILER” and then goes on to tease the reader into opening the email to see what’s next.
Avoid jargon; I’m putting this in the direct marketing section because it’s tempting to use industry jargon in email copy when you’re selling directly. Even though your audience may understand the jargon, this isn’t the core purpose of the email content. The purpose of your email copy in a direct marketing email is to build the relationship and create a personal connection between you and the prospect. Look for other ways to show you understand their industry.
Include clear calls to action: Because these email campaigns are all about selling, make sure that you make it easy for your recipient to take an action; call, click, register, download — whatever you need them to do to move them further down the selling cycle.
Before you start sending random emails, take the time to choose your marketing strategy. This will help you focus on exactly what type of email content to create.
Remember that email is really a conversation between you and your email subscriber.