Email marketing deserves your attention. Every email you send needs to be a step forward in educating your customers and helping them become more comfortable in your industry. If the leads on your subscription list don't feel comfortable choosing between different products or discussing the details of your niche, then they aren't going to make many purchases. Every email should be educational, entertaining, and another element of proof that you're a subject matter expert.
But emails can be even more than that. They're a direct line of communication between you and your most likely prospective customers, and, according to Forbes, they're one of the best ways to get leads. In fact, a good number of your subscribers will already have made a purchase from you. That means you have an interested audience to tell about your new features, upgrades, and upcoming events. Weave your promotions into customer-centric content to continue building that relationship.
The keyword there is content. If you don't have meaningful information to give your leads, you shouldn't be talking to them just yet. Here are four ways to ensure you always have that high-quality content your customer personas are looking for.
1. Use external sources and article links to build trust and authority.
Mailing lists are all built differently. You might have an email course that is 100% your original and educational content. You might have a daily or weekly email that shares thoughts and ideas to keep your community tied together. But if one of your email lists is strictly devoted to industry updates, you can include links to external articles and white papers.
While you want the majority of embedded links to direct traffic back to your site, sending it elsewhere is also good for business. Referencing industry experts and thought leaders better establishes your company as a knowledge base in your niche. It also helps educate your audience; a knowledgeable consumer is more likely to make purchases, and they are more likely to purchase from you if you're involved in their education.
What else can you do with external content?
Build resources pages over time.
All audiences want their content curated for them. Instead of searching iTunes for all of the podcasts with a given topic and manually filtering through each one, listeners would rather search for recommendation lists. Instead of learning every facet of a marketable skill like coding or spreadsheet functions, people who want to improve their resume would rather have an organized course and list of vetted resources.
As you search for the right external content for your newsletters, you're going to come across resources that you think do an excellent job of explaining something technical. There are also going to be articles that resonate with your audience. If you're analyzing how to readers interact with your emails' links, you know what content your audiences prefer. So make a living list on your website.
Having a resources page won't stop people from joining your mailing list. It will encourage visitors to convert to leads because your company is providing value. External resources won't even stop visitors from reading your own content that covers the same topics. In the age of content consumption, visitors will binge on all available content over a topic.
Build ties with other companies adjacent to your niche.
So far, we've only talked about the benefits for your audience. But when you're linking to other people's content, you're benefiting them, too. Luckily, the Internet is not a zero-sum game. You're not giving them traffic at the expense of your own site. You're increasing the total amount of traffic, and everyone is benefiting.
To maximize your benefits, reach out to the people providing good content. Talk about the possibility of guest posts, with you providing content for their site and vice versa. Not only do link sharing and guest posts provide good feedback for search engine algorithms to read, you're building connections. Look for companies that provide adjacent services, rather than direct consumers, so you can also benefit from each other's leads without competition.
2. Know the future: build enthusiasm and customer knowledge for future events.
At the end of the day, email marketing is marketing. Creating good content and empowering your readers is certainly part of that, because knowledgeable leads turn into better buyers. But emails are also the perfect platform for promotional content. The readers have already demonstrated that they're interested in your company and they trust your expertise. If you have a new product release coming out or a future event, then you can prepare your audiences.
Sometimes your messages will be directly promotional: discounts, previews, and demos. But your email content can also be indirect. If you have a new product that solves a new problem, then talk about that problem. Your previous content may not have addressed the topic because you didn't have a ready-made solution, but now you can help your readers find the true cost of the problem, how to protect against it, and how different products or services help.
Prepare your audiences for future events with the same knowledge immersion. If your company is going to be at a tradeshow for a specific topic, talk about the subject in the weeks leading up to the event. This doesn't mean readers will be bored of the topic; it means it will be on their radar and they'll want more details. If you or someone from your company is presenting at an industry event, you can do the same thing so your readers feel like they have the inside scoop.
Each of these strategies reaches out to different audiences at different times. They use different tools, and they make use of content in different ways. But they all have the central premises in common:
- Plan out your emails ahead of time.
- Give readers the content they want, even if it's not fresh off of your printing press.
- Use email marketing in conjunction with the rest of your sales and marketing strategies.
If you think it's time to revitalize your subscriber lists with inbound marketing campaigns, we're happy to help. Go to BOLD Worldwide for the latest trends in content marketing, subscriber differentiation, and reading your email list analytics.