Email marketing is a great tool to engage new prospects and retain old customers as long as you have a well-thought content strategy. B2C or B2B, any business should deliver value via every message in order to keep people interested in further communication. And by the value, we mean personalized content and useful information that resonates with the receivers.
Sales and discounts are typically the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to email campaign usefulness, but they aren’t the holy grail. Email marketing possesses a bigger engagement arsenal, and below we’ll take a look at 5 basic content marketing methods for generating result.
5 Tips for Effective Email Content Strategy
1. Personalize and segment your email campaigns.
The more diverse your services, the less homogeneous your contact base. And the division will grow alongside your contact base growth. Even if you’re a sock retailer that produces only one product category, your subscribers may differ by age, gender, location, language, purchase history, average order value, browse queries, etc.
The better you segment your contacts, the more tailored (and eventually high-performance) offers you’ll send. If you’re new to regular automated campaigns, start with basic segmentation, let’s say, by location only, adding new conditions along the way. People are more likely to respond to applicable deals than to regular promos that have less to do with their interests.
2. Run a survey.
If opens and clicks of your campaigns have suddenly dropped, or you feel like you’re stuck with ideas, ask your subscribers. Who else but they can tell what you’ve been missing out on lately. Irrelevant content, not catchy or misleading subject lines, an old boring design, poor CTA colors – the problem may be upfront and yet you can’t see it without an outside perspective.
Mind that when running a survey or asking for a review, you need to make the feedback-giving process as easy and smooth as possible. Instead of asking to write you back with a no-reply plain-text email, send a questionnaire with already provided possible options, where the only thing the subscribers need to do is to tick the right checkbox.
The whole answering procedure shouldn’t be time-consuming or include too many detailed answers, as even most loyal customers won’t be eager to spend more than 3-5 minutes to commit. Consider using the new AMP technology for email that enables receivers to leave feedback straight in the email body without going to other tabs or windows.
3. Offer applicable incentives.
A magical word “free” in the email subject line may drive opens at first. But if people see that most of your deals are out of use or they can’t take advantage of them straight away, they’d become immune and stop reacting even to the most lucrative offers.
Any incentive, whether it’s a free shipping or 50% off the second item, should be clear and easy to use: too many conditions or hidden fees would rather scare off than engage. If you run a limited sales and send a campaign with a countdown timer, set it based on the offer: holiday vacation booking needs more time to consider than a lip oil.
4. Share case studies.
Especially applicable for B2B, case studies demonstrate your professional expertise and skills. This is a win-win content idea: your subscribers get valuable stats and insights, and you promote your service.
Moreover, case studies also serve as social proof – some companies have trusted their business to you, and you proudly show you’ve met their expectations.
5. A/B test content ideas.
Any element of the email campaign, be it a subject line, CTA or copy, requires regular revision. Split testing would help determine which strategies work the best for your needs and which may need fixing.
To sum up, choose a content strategy based on your particular goals and revise it once in a while based on the performance reports, split tests and your subscribers’ preference updates. Segment the contact base and personalize offers to generate better response and convert leads into customers.
Iuliia Nesterenko is a contributing writer at eSputnik. Her focus is on exploring current digital marketing trends and describing new strategies for email marketers.