Imagine having the power to communicate with your top customers as often as you want.
Email content marketing empowers brands to communicate efficiently and effectively with their leads. Not only that, but with email segmentation, marketing teams can send the right messages to the right leads. Over time, marketing email content can help you grow your business by improving brand recognition and customer loyalty.
What is email content?
The term “email content” refers to any information — or content — that you send to someone’s email. This can include:
- Promotions or advertisements
- Event announcements
- Thank you notes
- Automated email campaigns
While these email types are different and include a mix of long-form and short-form content, ultimately, your email marketing strategy is built around the idea of connecting with subscribers, leads, and customers.
Why email content is important
The benefits of email marketing cannot be overstated. For one thing, there is a $36 return on investment for email marketing, meaning for every dollar your marketing team spends on email content you can expect to see a return of 36 dollars.
But the benefits of email marketing content go beyond the dollar return. More than half of the world’s population uses email on a daily basis. When you draft email content, you meet your customers where they’re at. They don’t have to seek information about your company or your values; that information is delivered straight to their inbox. A strong email marketing campaign has the power to build relationships, build trust, and broaden your loyal customer base.
How to write good email content
In researching how to write a marketing email, you’ll find results on everything from email design to how to write an email in general. If you try to tackle too many things at once, you may set yourself up for failure. Instead, choose one aspect of email marketing to focus on first.
For example, you might start looking at email design examples to get a feel for what you want your emails to look like. Once you’ve determined how to lay out your emails so they are enticing and aesthetically pleasing, you can work on designing or locating email templates for your business.
Professional email templates benefit brands by:
- Ensuring brand consistency across emails
- Reducing the amount of time it takes to create emails
- Improving email readability
- Increasing brand recognition
- Allowing recipients to know who they received emails from at a glance
Once you have the perfect email templates at your fingertips, you can begin focusing on creating email subject lines that catch your readers’ attention to improve open rates. Your email subject line is the first thing readers see, and it determines whether they’ll even bother to open your email. So you must learn how to write compelling subject lines.
Finally, it’s important to focus on creating email content that your recipients want to read. The best email content is personalized and provides new information relevant to a recipient’s life. Multimedia design choices like infographics or video email marketing have the power to take marketing efforts to the next level, but only if you first focus on developing a winning marketing strategy with well-crafted email subject lines.
5 email content types
Not all emails are created with the same goals in mind. While all email content is designed to nurture relationships, the exact goal of any given email in a campaign may vary. Here are five email content types to consider integrating into your overall email marketing strategy.
1. Automated email content
Automated email content, also known as personalized email content or auto–personalization is email content that you set to go out automatically based on a user’s actions or personal information you receive about a user.
For example, when a lead signs up for your newsletter for the first time, you may choose to send an automated email welcome series to that customer. An automated welcome series is set to go out automatically whenever someone enters your email list for the first time. The series usually includes:
- A thank you message for joining the mailing list
- Ways to connect with your company
- A description of the type of content the reader can expect to receive from your brand
- Potentially some one-time promotions of your various offerings.
Another example of automated emails is an abandoned cart email, which you may set up to go out as soon as a certain amount of time has passed between a customer putting items in their virtual cart and that same customer choosing not to check out. Abandoned cart emails usually contain a description of the items in the cart and a reminder that the customer still needs to check out.
Automated email content works well for many marketing teams because once you’ve established the parameters for your automated emails and created the email series or template, you don’t have to worry about it again. This type of email content continues to work behind the scenes to improve communication between you and your customers.
2. Interactive email content
Interactive email content is just what it sounds like: email content that recipients can interact with directly. For example, if you send a survey to your email recipients, and they answer the survey question directly in the email, that would be an interactive email.
Interactive emails come in all sorts of forms. Some interactive emails allow recipients to:
- View new product feature highlights (e.g. by using a carousel GIF)
- Be redirected directly to their shopping cart
- Rate or review the company sending the email
- Answer a one-question survey or quiz
- View a moving GIF
Other interactive email elements may include countdown timers, buttons, gamification features (e.g. puzzles), and personalized lead-generation tools. Check our top ways to generate leads.
Although interactive email content has come a long way, there are still limitations to what it can do. For example, you can watch a video in an email by clicking on a GIF, but the video still needs to be stored elsewhere. Despite the limitations of this content type, interactive email content is great for driving customer engagement with your emails.
3. Dynamic email content
Dynamic email content changes based on data about the recipient.
The idea behind dynamic email content is that some portions are the same for every recipient, but blocks of content might be switched out depending on who the email is going to, what data you have collected on them, and how they’ve interacted with your brand in the past.
For example, you might send out a newsletter to everyone on your email list. Within that newsletter, you might have a “new this month” section, but the items you feature in that section would be different depending on which customers were receiving it. Customers who have self-identified as parents in the past might see new strollers in their “new this month” section, while customers who have purchased athleisure in the past might see sneakers featured.
Dynamic emails make the content you send more relevant to the individual recipient, and can improve trust in your brand. In fact, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and advertise according to them. So, while customers might not notice if a company gets this content strategy right, they definitely will notice if a company gets this strategy wrong.
4. Informational email content
Informational email content refers to any emails with the goal of providing information to its recipients. This might include tips and tricks for your customers, answers to FAQs, tutorials, or information about your company as a whole. It may be part of an automated series or provide interactive content, but its main goal is to provide recipients with more information.
Informational email content should provide genuine value to your readers while also positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
If all you ever do is promote your products, recipients will stop opening your emails. Informational email content keeps readers engaged with your brand while showing that you genuinely care about the customer experience. This authenticity matters: 88% of customers consider brand authenticity a key factor in their purchasing decisions.
By consistently providing your leads with valuable information that is relevant to their lives, you can also gain their respect and trust. And since customers are willing to spend more money on brands they trust, this strategy can positively impact your bottom line.
5. Promotional and transactional email content
Just like with informational email content, promotional and transactional email content can be part of an automated series, and it can include dynamic links or interactive content.
But unlike informational content, the goal of promotional and transactional content is not just to provide information but to communicate with customers about products and sales.
The goal of promotional content is to actively sell your product or service. Promotional email content might include:
- Information about current or upcoming sales
- Abandoned cart email reminders
- Product suggestion emails based on a customer’s purchase history
- Introductions to new products or services
Transactional email content, on the other hand, is designed to communicate with customers after they’ve made a purchase. Transactional content might include:
- Order confirmations
- Delivery information
- Information on how to complete returns
- Requests for product reviews
Creating a strong email content strategy
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for creating engaging email content that your recipients will want to engage with. Different types of content require different strategies. That’s why, before you design your email, you first need to identify what your goal is and what type of email you want to send.
There are several different email types, including:
- Welcoming emails, meant to welcome new subscribers to your email list
- Informational emails meant to educate readers about a topic
- Promotional emails, designed to sell products
- Lead-nurturing emails, designed to move leads along the sales funnel
Once you have a goal in mind for an email, you can begin implementing different elements to make your emails pop for your recipients.
A strong email content strategy uses a wide variety of different email types. By mixing automated emails with interactive and dynamic emails, and having a mix of promotional and informational emails, your brand can keep emails interesting and ensure that recipients continue opening them over time.
In a similar vein, you want to think about email content. Short-form email content may only include a few words and images, while long-form email content may include pages of words and images.
In general, shorter emails tend to be better at grabbing customers’ attention and encouraging quick action. When customers don’t have to scroll through pages or read walls of text, they’re more likely to understand the point of your email. But that doesn’t mean long-form emails don’t have their place. Longer emails are great for telling stories and creating an emotional hook. Just be sure to temper those longer emails with plenty of shorter, laser-focused emails to keep all of your leads coming back for more.
1. Automated email content
When you think about creating automated email content, the first step is to make a list of automated email campaigns you want to run. These campaigns may include:
- A welcome email series
- An abandoned cart email series
- A lead nurturing email series
- A re-engagement email series
Once you have a list of the types of email campaigns you want to create, you can plan how many emails to include in each series.
Remember that each email in a series should have exactly one CTA (call to action). By framing each email around your CTA, you create a cohesive email campaign that makes sense to your readers without pulling them in too many different directions.
You also want to make sure that your automated emails always feel like they’re coming from your brand. Using professional email templates can help because you can use the same colors, fonts, and logos in every email you send.
Finally, consider how to segment your email lists, and what the trigger needs to be to send automated email content to your customers.
2. Interactive email content
Interactive email content is designed to increase engagement between your brand and your audience. When done well, interactive emails can help you nurture leads while encouraging them to look forward to future emails from you.
Gamification email marketing is a concept that encourages higher open rates and better click-through rates because it impacts the dopamine receptors in the brain, giving users a rush of feel-good hormones for completing tasks. Activating these receptors encourages users to repeat the action they just took, which makes them more likely to open your emails in the future.
Examples of gamification in emails include:
- “Spin the wheel for a prize” promotions
- Fun, one-question quizzes
- Brain teasers
- Virtual scratch cards
In addition to gamification, you can make email content more interactive by including pictures that change when users scroll or click on them. You can also include embedded videos receivers can watch in their email browser.
If you’re including interactive audio content, be sure that it’s not set to auto-play and that it’s set to mute. Your email recipients won’t appreciate your email blasting through their speakers if they check their email at work or when they’re out and about.
3. Dynamic email content
Designing dynamic email content takes a little extra work since you are creating email content based on your customers’ behaviors. Your future email content will also be based on the data (e.g., needs, interests, purchase history, etc.) that you continually receive from your users.
One way to create dynamic content is to use dynamic links. Dynamic links redirect users to content that is personalized for their specific needs. For example, a brand that has locations all over the state might use dynamic links to redirect users to the right website based on their geographical data. Dynamic links could also be used to auto-populate forms with a user’s personal information to make filling out forms as easy as possible for customers.
Another way to design dynamic emails is to create an email template that automatically fills in customer data based on customer interactions. For example, you might have a template that gets sent out whenever customers abandon their shopping carts. However, the specific information that populates in that template would be based on the customer’s name and the specific items they left behind in their virtual cart.
A strong dynamic email content strategy should include a variety of these types of emails. Start by brainstorming a list of reasons you would need to reach out to customers in a more personalized way. This might include:
- Sending a personal reply to negative reviews or customer complaints
- Sending re-engagement reminders regarding forgotten shopping carts or offers that are close to expiring
- Providing personalized product suggestions based on a user’s previous shopping history
- Wishing a happy birthday to subscribers at the right time
- Offering loyalty rewards based on the number of points customers have collected
Another way to look at dynamic email content is to think of one section in newsletters you send that you could make more dynamic. Maybe there’s a place where you could put suggested products or appealing notes based on previous customer behavior. The more you find ways to make email content dynamic, the more you’ll be able to build up customer trust and make your emails seem relevant and worth opening.
4. Informational email content
Informational email content can be short-form or long-form in nature, but it needs to be easy to read and optimized for mobile devices. After all, modern consumers open about 90% of their emails on mobile devices. So, even if you’re sending long-form informational content, you should be considering the needs of mobile users. This includes:
- Creating easy-to-scan content with lots of headings and subheadings
- Using visuals, like images and videos, to break up chunks of information
- Leave room around buttons to make it easy for customers to click buttons from their phones with a touch of their fingers
In addition to ensuring that your informational email content is easy-to-read, your next step is to ensure that every email has a clear call to action — even emails meant to inform. CTAs are important because they tell readers the importance of your email and explain what their next step should be. As a result, CTAs can increase click-through rates and prevent unsubscriptions.
Informational email CTAs may include:
- Asking for people to share email content with family or friends
- Encouraging readers to reflect on what they learned
- Empowering readers to take the next step and implement the knowledge they just learned
- Asking for readers to leave comments
- Encouraging email replies, letting you know what they thought of content
- Directing readers to follow up on the subject by reading your blog or listening to your podcast
5. Promotional and transactional email content
When it comes to designing promotional and transactional email content, less is more. Customers aren’t going to read a novel about upcoming sales, and they certainly don’t want to wade through large blocks of text to determine when their product is going to arrive.
Consider creating a clean, easy-to-read email template for all of your transactional content. Automating transactional content ensures that customers receive the information they want as soon as they need it.
When sending promotional content, consider leaning heavily into dynamic images. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all — an adage that rings extra true regarding product images. In fact, research shows that buyers find images even more compelling than product descriptions when it comes to making purchase decisions.
And, as with all email content, promotional emails are best when they are personalized. One strategy is to send product suggestions to customers based on their previous purchase history. In fact, more than half of customers agree that personalized promotional offers would make them enjoy their email experience more.
You can provide personalized shopping suggestions targeted toward specific purchases. For example, if a buyer purchased a blouse, you could send a suggestion for matching shoes, skirts, or pants. These types of tailored suggestions enhance the shopping experience while capitalizing on your customers’ desire to impulse shop.
Design great email content for marketing today
Strong email content has the power to take your customer relationships to the next level. By sending out regular emails, you ensure that your customers always have your brand in the back of their minds. When they need to work with a business like yours, your name will be first and foremost in their mind.
Get started today by making a list of email marketing ideas you want to implement in the next quarter. Once you have your ideas on paper, separate them by the types of email content and the dates you want to send them. Tackling email content creation one step at a time prevents the list from becoming too daunting and allows you to implement emails as you complete them.
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