It’s an essential structure that supports your various content efforts and is the best technique for building a subscriber base – which is critical for achieving value from your content marketing program. Allow subscribers to customize the types and frequency of the messages they receive. By segmenting your subscribed audience by known interests and communication preferences, you can deliver an email experience that’s more personally resonant as well as relevant – something that, according to Andrea Fryrear, will increase the likelihood that the recipient will do something with that content, such as sharing it. What particular topics are you interested in? In the prime email real estate, don’t include keywords or brand names. For example, you can offer text about why readers might be interested in watching and link to the full video. According to Jessica, the restaurant received almost three times the number of new email address sign-ups in one month as a result of the campaign, which also led to a 200% increase in monthly sales.
Editor’s note: Because email marketing continues to be one of the most used and most effective cornerstones of content marketing, Jodi Harris updated her 2015 article.
Think of a well-executed email strategy as the backbone of a successful content marketing program. It’s an essential structure that supports your various content efforts and is the best technique for building a subscriber base – which is critical for achieving value from your content marketing program.
Just how important is the email channel? Consider this: 93% of B2B marketers report using email to distribute their content, according to CMI/MarketingProf’s B2B Content Marketing: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America research. And, perhaps even more importantly, 74% of marketers who use email consider it to be the most effective distribution channel for their content.
But, just like most things in the world of content marketing, email is not a set-it-and-forget-it tactic. Media trends, informational needs, and consumption preferences evolve; and people change careers, upgrade their devices, develop new interests, and discover new obsessions. If you aren’t prepared to maintain the effectiveness of your email content to ensure that your experience is always viewed as fresh, useful, and personally relevant, your once essential resource can transform into a fly-like nuisance that won’t stop buzzing in your reader’s inbox – keeping it from performing to its full potential.
If you are looking to evaluate the fitness of your email content, CMI’s original 7-Minute Email Workout infographic is a great quick-start guide on how to test the strength of your e-newsletters and fine-tune your delivery strategies at all levels of experience – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
<p><strong>Please include attribution to contentmarketinginstitute.com with this graphic.</strong></p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p><a href=’http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/08/email-workout’><img src=’http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/CMI_Email-FINAL-Infographic_7.23.15.jpg’ alt=’7-minute Email Marketing Workout’ width=’997px’ border=’0′ /></a></p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>
Of course, it never hurts to go the extra mile when it comes to enhancing the impact and performance of your email efforts. Here, I revisit my original article on the topic and add some fresh tips and takeaways from a few of CMI’s most trusted email experts. I also share some new examples to inspire you to branch out and get creative in how you use this channel to build and maintain your vital audience relationships.
Build a strong list
Your email content won’t do your business any good if you aren’t reaching the right people – or reaching enough of them to drive your content marketing strategy forward. Fortunately, there are plenty of techniques at content marketers’ disposal when it comes to attracting consumers who will be delighted by your email offerings.
As Aaron Orendorff explains, email list-building techniques typically fall into one of three main categories:
- Options – exclusive content offers, forms, and various types of button ads to tempt readers to opt in to hear from you regularly
- On-site techniques – landing pages, pop-ups, and other types of sign-up notifications to alert your site visitors to your subscriber-only assets
- Off-site techniques – Social media fans and followers can join your subscriber list without having to interrupt their social experience on sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Medium.
For more details on each of these techniques, check out Aaron’s visual checklist:
Example: Salesforce’s sign-up forms
Salesforce takes a multistage approach to build its email lists. For instance, it initially attracts blog subscribers with a simple two-field form that clearly outlines what they are opting to receive:
The company also uses more detailed forms that require additional audience information in exchange for higher-value assets, such as its industry reports. The longer forms provide additional marketing benefits for Salesforce. They are used as a preliminary step toward customer qualification (i.e., identifying high-quality leads) and help the company to better tailor its outreach to the needs of individual consumers.
Craft meaningful, compelling messages
Once your subscriber list is filled with consumers eager to hear from your business, you need to take steps to ensure that they like what they receive. Sujan Patel reminds us that this boils down to creating email content that your recipients will want to read. Of course, this means your content needs to be well-written and focused on their interests (rather than your company’s); it also means you must deliver on the promises made to your email subscribers – including publishing on a consistent, reliable basis, and avoiding unwanted surprises and not bombarding them with content they opted out of receiving.
To make sure all your bases are covered, follow Sujan’s top recommendations summarized below:
- Only send emails when you have something of value to say.
- Keep your messages simple, focused, and concise.
- Write great copy – or hire a professional writer to do it.
- Go easy on sales-y messages.
- Allow subscribers to customize the types and frequency of the messages they receive.
- Invest in creating a well-thought-out design that will grab your readers’ attention from the get-go.
Example: The 21-Day Self-Care Challenge
Nonprofit organization Move to End Violence issued a challenge to its audience members to become more impactful and strategic change agents by incorporating sustainable, mindful practices – like exercising self-care – into their everyday lives. According to the website, what started out as a short-term email campaign that invited social change-minded activists to receive one self-care tip a day for 21 days became a wildly popular ongoing content initiative – helping to grow Move to End’s email database from 400 to 11,000 subscribers in just over a year.
Segment your list for increased relevance and impact
As a smart marketer, you surely recognize how important it is to create content that targets a particular persona – the audience…