Giving Your E-Mail Marketing Content Inherent Value - dummies

Giving Your E-Mail Marketing Content Inherent Value

By John Arnold

Over long periods of time, marketing e-mails that contain a variety of valuable information are generally more effective than a string of similar e-mails that contain only offers. Even when your offers are compelling, people aren’t always ready to take action right away.

The longer your sales cycle and average time between repeat purchases, the more you need to include inherently valuable content in your e-mails to keep your audience subscribed and interested. You can combine an offer with inherently valuable content to enhance the overall value of the e-mail:

[Credit: Courtesy of Adams Jette Marketing & Communications]
Credit: Courtesy of Adams Jette Marketing & Communications

Creating e-mail marketing content to inform

When your e-mail’s main objective is to deliver information, you can look for facts, data, and expert opinions to add an element of authority to your information. Ideas and sources include

  • Be an aggregator. Save your audience time by collecting the information they’re likely to want from the myriad sources on the Internet.

    Make sure you have permission to include excerpts of other people’s online information in your e-mails before you include them.

  • Present your opinion. Summarize outside information. For example, a fashion designer could create an e-mail that presents the two most stylish ways to tie a scarf so that her audience doesn’t have to read a bunch of scarf-tying articles.

  • Interview an expert and share it with your audience. You can break up the interview into themes or individual questions to include in a series of e-mails.

  • Find a storyteller. People love to tell stories; Start by asking your current customers for stories about their experiences with your products or services.

Adding tips and advice to your marketing e-mails

If your products or services require special knowledge for customers to use them, or if your audience needs a trusted opinion to buy your products in the first place, including tips and advice in your e-mails can reinforce your expertise:

  • Start an e-mail newsletter where the bulk of your content is tips and advice.

  • Include one tip in each promotional e-mail you send with a link to additional tips on your website.

  • Share opinions. If you and your audience have the same beliefs, sharing your personal opinion can strengthen your customer relationships. If your audience doesn’t perceive you as an expert, find an expert authority willing to share her expertise with your audience.

  • Use outside opinions sparingly. You eventually want your customers to look to you and your business for expert opinions.

  • Dedicate a section of your e-mail newsletter to answering customer questions.

Providing instructions and directions in your marketing e-mails

If your products or services require your customers to follow detailed instructions, include information that gives your audience timesaving shortcuts using various techniques:

  • Ask your customers to submit creative shortcuts for you to feature in your e-mails.

  • If your directions involve several detailed steps, include one step in each e-mail.

  • Include valuable reference information and ask your audience to save your e-mails.

Putting entertaining content in your marketing e-mails

If your audience values e-mail content that gives them a good laugh or diverts their attention with an interesting story, share that type of content, always getting permission before you share personal or proprietary content or links:

  • Retell the stories you hear from your customers that relate to using your products and services.

  • Include links to online videos related to your products or services.

  • Write your own stories about your experiences or knowledge relating to your products or services.

Including facts and research in your marketing e-mails

If your products or services that are enhanced by helpful facts and research, include them in your e-mails in order to add value to related offers. Possibilities include:

  • Conduct your own research and publish your findings in your e-mails. For example, a men’s clothing store could conduct a poll to discover how many women like pink shirts on men. Include the results with notice of a sale on pink shirts if the results warrant that — or a sale on blue shirts if the results indicate that pink is out of favor.

  • Include facts and research through external sources. Facts and research abound on the Internet, and the people who publish them are usually willing to share their findings with proper attribution to the source. If you locate facts and research that interest your audience, ask the source whether you can include them in your e-mails.