Email Marketing Strategy : Planning Your Content

Last week I did a post on how to select email marketing services as selecting the right solution provider is an key aspect of any email marketing strategy. Another big challenge for many marketer is to decide on the type of content they are going to use for their email marketing campaign.

Selection of content type as a part of your email marketing strategy is highly dependent on various factors including the type of industry you are in, your campaign objective, the list to whom you are sending the content ( or vice versa, depending on the content you want to send, you create a targeted list) and more. While there is no limitations to it, here in this article, I am trying to lay down a few different types of content that can be used for an email campaign and how they set in with different types of email marketing strategies.

  1. The “Our Products” Emails : These are most common with e-commerce websites and honestly I don’t see this as any long term strategy. Here each mailer is like a campaign by itself, where you send a list of products that are in your store, at times some discounts, coupons etc and expect people to click through to the site and make a purchase.
  2. The “Promotion” Emails : These are also offered by e-commerce websites as well as almost any and every company that offers some product/services for sales. This would typically be a short piece of content explaining the product/service, and feature a discount code / promotion code etc. You expect people to click through and make purchase on your website. This could be very effective, when you have a relatively large inventory for certain items or want to give your sales a shot in the arm. The main difference between the earlier one and this one is that, the earlier email was more about featuring a wide range of products, whereas in these emails, the Promotion/Discount is the hero of the content.
  3. The “Short Course” Emails : When a person subscribes to your list, it is your responsibility to deliver some value and these short courses are an wonderful way to do it. Develop a short course that is broken down into smaller modules of 4,5,7 or 10 days. Send one module in one emailer and pace it our evenly – not everyday, not once in two months but may be once every week ( depending on the depth and seriousness of the content).What do you achieve with it ? A well designed course would actually deliver value for users, regular short paced emails would really help in establishing your brand and will have a good recall. Also, if you are in any knowledge business, this short courses could be a great precursor to promoting your paid courses.
  4. The “Content Hero” Emails : Yeah, I loved this name, because indeed content is the real Hero in these emails. When you produce a great piece of content, like a White Paper, an Infographic, some big shot Interview etc, you love people to know about it and these emails are meant for that. These emails would be extremely short, with small description about the content and prominent placement of call to action that would take the visitor to your website, where they can savor the content. While you could have served the content right inside the email, it is always better to have the user over to your website to view the content – you wont serve champagne in a water tumbler, would you ? It gives you more page views, chances are your users would also visit a few more content pieces that you have created and engage further with your brand.
  5. The “Monthly Newsletter” Emails : These could be very interesting and probably one of the most easier ones to create. If your content generation capabilities are limited, this is the best approach for you. These newsletters typically use a magazine format, where you serve a mix of industry news, update, events and similar information along with some updates about your company and what you are doing. While there is a drawback in this type of mailers because you might be promoting news and articles published by other websites – you can always make it more interesting by adding your perspective to those news. From a receivers perspective, they would most likely read this email because this keeps him updated about all the industry happening. At the same time it helps you to push in your company updates to the readers. These emails are typically sent monthly or once in two weeks and are great for regularly connecting with your prospects and customers and creating a strong brand recall.
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