Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of communicating directly with your audience. The emergence of social media is becoming an attractive marketing channel fast. Businesses are keen to experiment with these new tools to replace traditional marketing channels. However, statistics show clearly that if you want the most out of your ROI, email marketing still reigns supreme. Nevertheless, your content is the single most important element of your email message that will determine its success.
Let’s bypass all the other technical and non-technical aspects of email delivery and imagine that your email has successfully arrived into the recipient’s inbox and has been opened. Wah lah! You have now achieved phase one of a successful email send. Excellent!
However, I personally don’t value open rates as a metric for email marketing success. In my opinion, success is measured by the click-through rate (CTR) or the conversion rate. These have to be defined at earlier stages based on what actions you want the user to take upon reading the email. These can vary from clicking a link, downloading content, registering for an event, making a purchase, etc. So it is very important that you get your message right, and this involves having great content.
You might be wondering now what makes great content. There are a variety of steps you can take to produce compelling content, starting with a focus on these three:
1. Know your audience.
Do not treat everyone on your list similarly. My recommendation would be to segment different groups of your audience based on their preferences and then send specific and well-targeted content to these individuals. This will not only increase the levels of engagement but also lead to long-term and active readers of your email.
2. Fulfil a need.
Fulfilling a need is also based on knowing your audience. You can determine this by subscribers’ preferences or by monitoring their previous email behaviors. For instance, you notice certain individuals usually click on certain types of content, download particular documents, and view a certain category or type of product in your message. With this knowledge you can use dynamic content in your email message to target your readers based on their needs.
3. Offer something beneficial.
Now that you know what your audience wants, you can now use this knowledge to send these readers the exact type of content that satisfies their needs. The purpose of the email has to be something mutually beneficial. The reader has to want to take action based on the content presented. The marketer then has also succeeded by persuading the reader to take action.
After you have defined the objectives above you can start planning the layout and presentation of your message to engage your audience. This will involve ensuring that all action statements link to the appropriate landing page and that the process from email to website is simple and seamless for readers. Make sure you always maintain consistency in regards to colors, branding, themes, and so on.
Once you have achieved this, make sure to test the different elements of your message, check grammar and spelling, and make sure that your message is delivered the way it is intended; otherwise, this may distract the reader.
Hopefully this has given you a good general overview of how to start creating compelling content for your next email marketing campaign. Feel free to share your tips and techniques in the Comments section below.