All too often, email marketing is treated like just another way to push information at customers.
You have an agenda and things you want your customers to read. The question is, what do your customers want? What’s in it for them if they read your email?
With so much in your customers’ inboxes, you need to find and send content that will cause recipients to stop, open your email, and act on what you’re sending. Otherwise, your messages will fall victim to the delete button and they’ll be ignored.
So put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what it is that they want to hear from you. Chances are good it’s one or some of these five kinds of content:
1. Helpful information
What can you offer your readers that will improve their lives? It doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer or restaurant owner, if you manage a spa or pet grooming business, or you’re an accountant or marketing consultant. Information that relates to your business, whether it’s tips for using your product or a taste of your expertise, is always appreciated. It doesn’t even have to relate to your products or services. Are you located in a busy part of town? Suggest good parking spots.
2. Personal anecdotes
Who are the people who work with you, who your customers and clients may come in contact with? Why not include a three-question interview with a member of your team? This way, customers begin to have more of a personal connection with your business and may even start seeking out the people they’ve read about — which will lead to better overall experiences.
3. Customer endorsements
The next time someone’s having a particularly good time in your place of business, why not ask for a quote — or better yet, grab your iPhone and shoot a quick 30-second video of this person explaining why he/she is such a fan. Your customer will love getting 15 minutes of fame, you’ll have content you can include in your email campaign and on social media, and the personal recommendation will bring in more customers who appreciate hearing a third-party endorsement.
4. Other people’s content
You don’t always have to write the content for your newsletter yourself. If you come across a helpful article or blog post, why not include it in your next issue? Add a sentence or two about why you like the article and what you hope your readers will learn, include the headline, a link, and you’re done.
5. Entertaining tidbits
In every issue of his weekly newsletter, a friend of mine includes “Something Random” — a video, picture, or article that has nothing to do with the rest of his newsletter but that he thinks his readers will enjoy anyway. It’s often the most popular and most clicked-on part of his issue.
How will you know?
Of course, you don’t have to include all these kinds of content in your next email newsletter. And maybe they want something else entirely. Perhaps it’s time to ask your customers in a survey?
When you know what your customers want to hear from you, your messages become less about pushing information, and more about sharing content. And that benefits everyone.
What kinds of content do YOUR customers enjoy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.