Every content marketer knows that when it comes to email success, it’s in the cake – not the frosting. Sexy headlines and titles sure do turn heads, but it’s the content that is responsible for developing long term customer relationships. There’s just one little problem – the internet is saturated with content.
Many digital marketers get themselves into hot water by making mistakes like writing content that’s solely aimed to sell, developing their entire strategy around keyword search trends, misrepresenting content in headlines and titles and writing articles that can be found on dozens of other websites.
How can marketers create email marketing content that is not only adaptable to multiple channels, but also authentic, useful and relevant enough to continually engage subscribers and build stronger relationships? After reviewing hundreds of different email newsletter strategies, we’ve put together a quick look-book of templates and strategies that help keep brands top of mind, effectively engage leads and customers and sell products and services without actually selling!
First off, is an email newsletter right for your strategy? Marketers have various goals: to increase the number of leads, better qualify leads for sales, close more deals, retain more customers etc. These goals may not only determine the direction of the email newsletter, but they help marketers to establish reasonable benchmarks that determine what to measure. These goals determine the content, the CTA’s and whether more sophisticated strategies like segmentation, automation or predictive analytics are needed.
Getting an email newsletter right is not always a piece of cake. Most companies cram way too much in and create, let’s face it, a mess. The random approach of adding product features, blog posts, random events, PR news fragments and other disconnected content threatens the reader with content overload. Keeping the newsletter focused on one specific topic helps the messaging come across more effectively and reduces distractions.
There are several interesting points in this Starbucks newsletter example. First, the brand has built its success and fame around relationships. From knowing a customer’s name, to creating consistency in service and keeping customers dependent on the warmth and nurture of the coffee cup, they don’t hesitate to use intimacy in their marketing. This email newsletter invites a subscriber into that same warmth, personalization and loyalty that the brand serves up to its customer base. The focus of this email is completely on being a part of a customer’s life. The cherry on top? Using video is one of the quickest ways to engage email subscribers right away! Five gold stars for Starbucks!
A rule of thumb is to keep the newsletter 90% educational and only 10% promotional unless, obviously, there’s actual big news related to the product, service or company. As opposed to dry content overload, Ben & Jerry’s offers fresh and exciting content that’s in line with their brand messaging which is sweet, fun and conscious. The company’s newsletter messaging is not only timely and relevant, but the content is engaging too.
Coca-Cola’s newsletter also successfully positions itself as a socially responsible and conscious brand in their newsletter. The email has a strong influence on re-positioning the brand from a cool, hip and refreshing soda to a positive, healthy and community-oriented powerhouse.
One key mistake marketers can make is not prioritizing content in an email newsletter and waiting to serve the punchline at the end of the template or not making the point, big, bright and effective enough. Not having concise copy or enough space throughout the design is a surefire way to clutter the message and loose the interest of the audience. Not many marketers want their readers to stick around reading the email all day any way – the goal is to send traffic to a website, landing page or blog.
Apple sends multiple newsletters based on the various product segments that their customer base falls into. This Apple newsletter is very simple and straightforward, using an immediate CTA to drive traffic to Apple Music. It caters to the dedicated community of music fans and artists, while clearly and quickly listing the five top benefits of the Apple Music service.
With technology advancements and the rise of big data, creating relevant content in real time is super easy. Companies can deliver social feeds, videos, multiple product scrolls, images and copy that pre-populates in an email template in real-time based on a customer’s behavioral and demographic data. This is a huge headway for email marketing and sets it apart greatly from the other platforms as a powerful tool for personalization and relevance.
Here’s a great personalization example from Warby Parker. This email is focused on a specific customer segment. It uses personalization to encourage the subscriber to purchase glasses with their prescription with this time sensitive reminder. While this isn’t considered a traditional newsletter, it’s an excellent example of the influence automation and personalization technology can enable in email content.
Godiva takes a different approach to relevance, keeping their email content in tune with their gift-giving and thoughtful customer base. A holiday like Father’s Day is a big money maker for the brand and an excellent opportunity to remind their customers of the need they serve in the marketplace. Extra points for the promo and CTA at the very top of the header.
Digital marketers spend a great deal of time and money producing, distributing and measuring dozens of different content across various platforms. Marketers need access to transparent customer data that they can act on in real time to deliver messaging that matters. Don’t snooze on huge revenue opportunities just because you don’t have the right technology in place.
The right technology can help marketers leverage their customer data from different sources, at any time, to improve communication effectiveness and drive customer interactions. Contact our Mapp strategic services team and learn how to respond to customer insights appropriately and in real-time and turbo power your email content marketing strategy today!