A Simple Guide To Creating Great Content For Email Marketing

July 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Email 

Email marketing; it’s easy, right? You just send out an email every now and again to an audience who’ve already chosen to engage with your brand letting them know there’s new stuff for them to buy or read and that they should really come and visit your site. Easy.

And you’d be right, that is easy. Unfortunately, it’s also the quickest way to losing half your subscriber base. Email marketing is an art; yes, you already have your audience there but are you keeping them entertained? After all, they’ve invited you into their private inbox – are you really just going to try and sell to them.

The key to a good email marketing campaign is creating great content that not only informs your mailing list, but also entertains them and hopefully encourages them to share with friends. Crafting unique, exciting content on a regular basis can seem daunting but there are some easy steps you can take to ensure you get the basics right. From there, you can build in just about any way you desire.

The first step to creating your content is to go back to basics and break down your audience, and luckily you have all the info you need at your fingertips. Look at the demographics of your subscribers – you’ll be able to tell straight away if you have more women than men or vice versa, and you may have their age too. If they’ve signed up, then you’ve got a pretty good idea of their interests too. Get to know these people well; everything you create for your emails will be aimed at them.

But what do you include in your content? Well, you need to cover the obvious bases – any company news, new products, special offers, sales, new articles and blogs.

But don’t just go for the hard sell, as you’re a guest in your audiences’ inbox after all. Make this info exciting and entertaining, develop a tone for your company that readers will get to know and love and use the 2nd person (you, you’re, etc) to make the reader feel like you are talking to them directly. Don’t feel like your readers are obliged to engage with you; earn their trust instead.

Offer them something exclusive in every email you send too. This can be anything you can think of, from a round-up of the week’s news in your distinctive tone to an exclusive article. This makes the reader feel special, and makes your email worth opening every month. Follow the rules of blogging – use a combination of text and images, break things down and generally make your email look lovely.

The final step, and possibly the most important, is writing a subject line that will get people opening your email as soon as they receive it. This is similar to headline writing, so adhere to the guidelines of that discipline. Promise your reader something from the content, intrigue them with a bit of mystery, keep it descriptive yet original – there’s plenty of possibilities and it’s worth doing a bit of further reading to brush up on your headline skills. Whatever you do though, never neglect this aspect of your email as it’s the first thing your reader will see and will define the success or failure of your campaign!

Christopher Joseph Smith is writing on behalf of Extravision, specialists in email marketing campaigns

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