A Guide to Success: How Email and Content Marketing Work Together
Building customer trust seems like an elusive concept, but that is why content marketing has come to life in the first place. Everything you create, publish, and share across various platforms serves to slowly build your reputation, and at the same time, establish customer trust. Whether visual, written, or a combination of both, your content output is the foundation of brand awareness and visibility, and ultimately, customer loyalty.
Suddenly, a blog post is no longer just another “how-to” guide on making the best brownies or changing a flat tire. In much the same way, that one email you send out to your customers as part of your latest newsletter campaign is so much more than just a few lines of information and a CTA. Without carefully calibrated content to begin with, your emails would be devoid of your brand’s voice, reducing recognition, and making them less appealing for customers to actually read or click through.
By working on your content strategy, you effectively invest in improving your entire marketing output, your email marketing included. The more you learn about your audience and infuse your content with relevant topics with your unique perspective on them, the better the response will be to all content forms you create. Without further ado, let’s tackle a few key ways in which content creation works hand in hand with your email strategy to boost your customers’ trust and loyalty.
Defining your brand voice
There’s nothing more cringe-worthy for a decent marketer when you’re making your emails sound as bland and generic as possible. Since you have so little time and so little content to use to get the message across and not get sent to spam, you need to let your emails emanate your brand voice.
Check out how Poncho created fun and engaging weather forecasts that are both helpful and informative. Who wouldn’t want to know if it’s time for hair-braiding to battle humidity? And who knew that weather forecast emails could make you laugh out loud?
Instead of a generic approach, find out how your brand voice can pop through your short and sweet emails. A little can really go a long way when you know how to optimize your content, every single word of it, to mimic your brand’s personality. It brings your business to life, making it far more relatable to the human on the other end of the screen.
Sharing your content through email marketing
As they say, sharing is caring, which brings us to another key way in which your email marketing campaigns can become your content’s greatest ally. Ever since the birth of content marketing, brands have changed how they interact with customers to encompass so much more than purely sales-related materials. Food brands have started offering recipes with their products in the spotlight, and sports brands have flourished side by side with athletes wearing their gear.
Now more than ever, brands use content predominantly not to sell, but to engage. Content is meant to be value-driven, informative, educational, exciting, helpful. Brands are now myth-busters, truth-sharers, stylists, researchers, community pillars, friends, and so much more.
Brands that mistakenly believe that emails exist independently from that non-promotional content couldn’t be further from the truth. Emails are the best vessels for sharing that content and getting it in front of your target demographic.
- Use your email campaigns to promote the latest blogs you write and invite people to share their thoughts in the comment section, or even by shooting you an email back.
- Send out email notifications when there’s a particularly interesting live stream on your social channels. The more, the merrier!
- Offer people the chance to opt for emails when you post a new YouTube video tutorial or interview. Perhaps there are podcast lovers among your audience, too, and all of your content deserves the extra love.
- Let your email summarize the purpose of the content piece you’re about to promote. Give people a chance to decide if they want to spend the time reading your lengthy article or if they’re ready to move on.
The subject line to capture attention
Before your subscribers open the email at all, they need to get the full wow effect of your subject line. What difference does it make, you ask? Well, almost 70% of readers will classify an email as spam based on the subject line alone, whereas 35% will decide whether or not to open the email based on this same bit of content.
This brief statement, question, or suggestion will make or break your chances of getting another email opened and preferably read. The finest writers should be able to craft short and appealing bits of content, based on what your audience appreciates and responds to.
However, there’s only so much your content writers can do for you, fueled by your marketing experts’ research, that is. Luckily, you can also use subject line tester tools to assess how well your text will do with your audience. Unbiased subject line testing is a brilliant way to slowly improve the art and science of writing these tricky bits of content. Keep in mind that previous experience will give you invaluable insights as to what kind of content your readers respond to the most, so you can refine and improve your subject lines over time.
Email body to inspire and engage
Once you have their attention with the subject line, don’t disappoint with the core of your email, also know as the email body. If there’s no direct link from the subject to the body, then you’re bound to lose customer trust. In addition to writing effective email copy, your content needs to be consistent with the subject, much like the CTA at the end should complete the message of your email in a well-rounded, meaningful way.
Although this is the segment where you strive to achieve your key marketing goals, whatever they might be, you should make your copy engaging enough to elicit a reaction – it can be a click on your CTA button below, or you might even get a phone call from your customer, or an email response. Without powerful, compelling content skills, your email body will rarely serve its core purpose, hence the need to fully utilize your content knowledge and skills to give your email body all the pzazz it needs.
CTAs to seal the deal
We cannot possibly blame a single sentence for failing to boost your CTR, but chances are, if your calls-to-action are subpar, your CTR will suffer. People don’t want to invest any more time than they have to when they’re perusing your latest email. If they can’t immediately decide if the email is promotional, informative, or personalized for their preference, they’ll likely never go to any of the links you insert.
- What’s the goal of your email campaign – increase revenue and sales, get more subscribers, get more eyes on your latest blog post? That will help you write a compelling CTA.
- Make it short, sweet, and easy to understand. Traditional “Learn more”, “Read more”, and “Buy now” are sometimes all you need for people to know what your goal is.
- Look at your past success and learn from it. Maybe CTAs with words such as “now” or “free” get more clicks, so try to phrase your CTAs to your audience’s liking.
The visual content of your email campaigns
Unlike the emails of yore, modern-day email campaigns ought to contain more than dry words. Visual content can complement your brand voice and the body of your email, so banners with your brand’s colors, photos of your latest product collection, or animated visuals are all great addition to your email content.
Visuals immediately grab the reader’s attention and inspire them to stay longer and give your written content a chance. When you’re sending out promotional emails, you can add visualized discounts to emphasize just how much of a bargain you’re offering your customers – and the number in the form of a colorful image will certainly get their attention right away.
Make sure that your customers can enjoy your visuals on all devices, so that they can scale properly when the email is opened on mobile devices as well as computers. This will help your customers enjoy your content on the go without any delays – if you have a physical store and use geotargeting, they might just stop by there, too.
- Use GIFs and memes to your advantage, especially if your brand is known for having a sense of humor. Nowadays, we all could use more giggles, so make the most of your opportunities to improve someone’s day.
- Fun screenshots are also a great way to give your emails a fun twist.
- Magazine clippings and professional photos are great for visually-dominant brands, such as those in fashion and retail, art, and hospitality.
- Showcase people, whether you’re looking for new employees, or you want to tell the world just how proud you are that a celeb or an athlete uses your products. It always helps to make your brand more relatable and trustworthy.
- Short and sweet infographics built into the body are a great way to visualize practical advice, especially for foodies who need help with their nutrition, or someone in need of fashion advice for how to dress every day of the week for a particular season.
Search engine algorithms change to reflect customers’ preferences and needs. We have already seen that in the push for mobile optimization, voice search, and the greater emphasis on visual content. However, the written word combined with brand-consistent imagery remains the foundation for consistently high ranking in your industry, and even more importantly, for reputation-building and earning customer trust.
Let every single one of your email campaigns reflect your core brand values, with every word carefully placed and every image or video mindfully created, so that your customers can continue to have a reason to trust you. After all, with fierce competition across all industries today, your content is your best chance to preserve your reputation and customer loyalty alike.
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