How Content and Email Marketing Work Together to Build Your BusinessPrabath Thalangama
What exactly are content marketing and email marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. Its purpose is to help companies create sustainable brand loyalty through building trust and rapport with the audience through sharing valuable, and often free, content instead of directly selling.
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. It is frequently used to enhance a business or brand’s relationship with current or previous customers and encourage loyalty, repeat business, and acquire new customers.
Content completes an email, but when you take the time to thoughtfully write to your audience, that email becomes a powerful piece of your marketing strategy.
1. Subject line
There is endless research on the most and least effective subject lines. Not everyone is the research type, and if that’s you, there is an easy place to start: your own inbox.
Look at what you’ve been emailed over the last few days. You’ve probably got a whole bunch of examples at your fingertips. Ask yourself these questions:
- What emails are still sitting unopened?
- What did you immediately click on?
- And the opposite, what emails went straight to trash?
The answers to these questions likely have a lot to do with the subject line. A subject line is your email’s first impression, and you don’t have much time to make it. One study found you may have only 3 seconds to capture a reader’s attention. That’s essentially one quick glance. It’s important to make those 3 seconds count. Keep your subject line interesting, snappy, and something you’d click on.
Also, look at the emails you trashed right after reading the subject line. Why did you take that action?
- Did the subject line feel spammy?
- Does the person or company sending the messages email you too often?
- Do their emails deliver body content that’s different than the subject line?
Take a critical look at those examples and see what you can avoid with your own email sends. Always keep in mind the content marketing approach to email: you’re trying to help the reader, not close a deal. Make sure your subject line reflects that.
Speaking of email content, that leads us to our next point.
2. Body copy
If the subject line and calls to action are the bread of your email sandwich, the body copy is the meat.
Once you have their attention with your very clickable subject line, use your body copy to share quality, relevant, and industry adjacent content. The more relevant it is, the more it will be shared, and the more your name and brand get in front of potential customers.
First and foremost, your email copy needs to reinforce your subject line. If your subject line reads “10 Best Ways to Save Money Today,” then your email must list ten ways your audience can save money, not be a highlight reel of the success you’ve had this year or an ask to follow you on Facebook.
Here’s an example. We sent an email with the subject line, “Design Trends: Home Color Palettes for 2019.” This is what the recipient sees once they open that email:
See how the content backs up the subject line? This is crucial to building trust and delivering on the expectations you set.
There are appropriate times to send emails highlighting a great year for your business. But it shouldn’t be every month and it shouldn’t be when you are setting expectations for something else with a subject line like the above. If you essentially promise one thing and deliver another, you are likely to see unsubscribes and even spam reports from unhappy recipients.