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80% of retail professionals say that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention, followed by social media at 44%. For business-facing marketers, 59% consider email to be their most effective channel for revenue generation.
Clearly, whether your business is B2B or B2C, email has a lot going for it. Last week, I reviewed how to build a good email list, and now it’s time for part two: How to Create Amazing Content.
Valuable content is the cornerstone of not only attracting prospects but also keeping them on your email list. This week’s blog breaks down the three factors to consider when planning your content strategy.
How to Decide on a Content Strategy
Once you have, or are on your way to growing, a healthy email list, the next step is determining the type of content that will most resonate with your audience.
There’s been a shift in recent years away from traditional outbound marketing—phone calls, ads, sales emails, etc. These tactics are more focused on the seller than the customer and are often seen as intrusive.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is about providing useful content that brings the customer to you when they’re looking for your type of product or service. Valuable content is what keeps your subscribers interested.
(Are you noticing the heavy emphasis on content? That’s not a coincidence. It’s generally agreed that content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing—but that there is no inbound without content.)
The key to a successful marketing strategy is finding a good balance between inbound and outbound. Inbound marketing helps your business grow its name and position in your industry and build trust with potential customers. When you have that kind of positive customer relationship, the occasional sales email is much more palatable.
Creating a Strategy
Marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective and less challenged with every aspect of content marketing when compared with their peers who only have a verbal strategy or no strategy at all. — Content Marketing Institute
Simply having a written document you can refer back to can be immensely helpful in keeping to a consistent strategy, especially if there’s more than one person working on your marketing.
So as you work through these three steps for creating a successful content strategy, be sure to write down your findings.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Step 1: The Buyer Persona
Before you can market to anyone effectively, you have to know who you’re marketing to. Buyer personas are basically imaginary people who you create based on the customer data you already have. They’re an invaluable tool designed to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
When you know who your customers are, you have a better understanding of how to speak to them. These are just a few of the factors you can incorporate:
Step 2: The Message
The next thing to consider is what information this audience needs in order to want to buy from you. Why is your product or service better than this other company’s? Are you more knowledgeable? Is your price point better? Do you focus on amazing customer service?
An automated email sequence triggered by signing up to your list is a great way to position yourself to a new prospect, and they achieve better results that regular marketing emails. For instance, welcome emails have on average four times the open rate and five times the click-through rate, and email subject lines that include the words “thank you” have, at 62%, the highest above-average engagement levels. So you can see, even these simple automations can go a long way!
And as an added benefit, an email automation doesn’t take up a great deal of your time. Once you perform the initial planning and setup, the maintenance required is minimal—it keeps performing while you focus on other concerns.
Step 3: The Delivery
Once you’ve determined who you want to reach and what you want to tell them, it’s time to figure out how best to go about it. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll know by now what will speak to your audience and show them that you’re the logical choice.
All the research and consideration you’ve given to your customers will also help you in selecting the right voice and the right imagery for your content.
Despite the explosion of social media, email still has the highest conversion rate. The best way to get people to sign up for your email list—and stay—is to provide them with valuable content. Defining a content strategy for your marketing will help you speak to them more effectively.
If you’re already creating content for your social media channels or blog, you have a head start! It would be well worth your time to consider how you can re-purpose that content for email.
I’ll leave you with these incredible statistics:
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.