Email marketing is one of the mainstays in the marketer’s toolbox. It’s an inexpensive way to reach a wide audience. How effective is email marketing in its current format, though? Considering that the average open rate is just 15.49%, it’s clear that we need to make some changes.
Sales blasts are all good and well, but if that’s all you send to your clients, you’re missing a great opportunity. By incorporating content marketing strategies into your email marketing campaigns, you lay the groundwork for sales later.
You get to demonstrate your expertise and deal with any objections to sales that your client might raise later. Your subscribers start to eagerly anticipate your regular emails and are more likely to share them with others.
If you want to grow your blog subscriber list, this is a good strategy to adopt. Ready to get started? Let’s go through the basic principles that you need to know.
What is Content Marketing?
The use of the word marketing here is something of a misnomer. True content marketing is about building a relationship with your subscribers without overtly trying to sell them anything.
Traditional marketing tells a client why they should buy a particular product. Content marketing is a lot more subtle. The product may not even be mentioned at all.
An Example of a Content Marketing/ Email Hybrid Campaign
Say, for example, that you’re an affiliate for a company selling water filters. You could send off an email blast telling subscribers about the virtues of the filters. This once-off email might get some responses but does nothing to further the relationship with your subscriber.
With content marketing, you approach the situation differently. You might, for example, start off with an article detailing a study on the average water quality in your local area, or the country.
The following week, you might follow up with a list of common contaminants and explanation of how water is purified by the municipality.
Then you could do a general article on how to purify water at home. You’d look at a few different options – from DIY systems to common filtration systems used in professional products. Naturally, you’ll focus on the filtration system of your affiliate product in a general sense.
So, you’ll say something like, “Carbon filtration removes the largest number of contaminants.” Then you can explain why, and how it compares to other common methods.
With each successive article, you’re subtly leading the subscriber. You’re introducing the concepts behind why the product you’re promoting is the best option. Instead of you actually telling them it’s the best, they come to the conclusion themselves.
If you follow up with an email blast now, the subscriber is more likely to buy. According to HubSpot, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing tactics.
Top Tip – Always Provide Valuable Information
In this area, take a leaf from cybersecurity company, EveryCloud’s book. The company sends out it’s IT Pro newsletter on a weekly basis. This newsletter contains links to books, sites, podcasts, and so on.
Here’s a screenshot of one of their email messages.
The editorial team at EveryCloud looks for top tips for system analysts and IT professionals. These tips point to content or programs that make life easier for their audience. You’ll notice that there’s no sales pitch there.
Audience members are also encouraged to share their own tips. The readers not only eagerly anticipate the next newsletter, but they’re also likely to share it as well. Learn more about how to create shareable content here.
When creating non-sales content, consider the following:
- Will this make the reader’s day better?
- Does the content solve a problem for the reader?
- Is this the type of content that the reader wants?
By using a consumer-centric approach, you’re improving your brand image and the relationship with your subscriber. You’re showing them that you see them as a valuable asset rather than just someone to sell to.
Email Content Marketing: Use the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is most often used in conjunction with social media posts. It works well here too. The principle is simple – only 20% of your emails should be sales-related. This way, you’re giving the subscriber better value.
How do you get the right tone in marketing emails? Check out our “Email Marketing for Beginners.”
Content marketing is all about improving the relationship with your client. It works because it’s not an overt sales technique. Consumers today are jaded when it comes to advertising. If all you’re sending out are sales messages, they’re a lot more likely to mark your emails as spam.
Provide value for your readers and they’ll become brand ambassadors for you.
Here are some interesting email marketing stats for you to check out: 🙂