The email newsletter isn’t dead, but the way companies use email is evolving. Many of us who strive for the ever-elusive inbox zero consider email inboxes like another To Do list, making us quick to archive or file away junk emails that don’t require a response. Email newsletters often fall into this category. So how do you make an engaging email blast that your readers will actually open?
Remember this rule: don’t email for the sake of emailing. In this age of constant notification, people are quick to lose interest if you prove you don’t have value to add with each outreach. So, instead of logging in to your email marketing software with no purpose but to send a weekly email, save your communication until you have something to say.
But sometimes you need a little boost because you can’t include a yearly review or a coupon code in every single email blast. These email blast ideas will get you through those inevitable creative slumps.
You probably don’t have just one kind of customer, so be careful sending educational content out to your entire newsletter list. The more often your subscribers get content from you that doesn’t interest them, the more likely they are to unsubscribe or disengage. Keep any educational content focused on one or two topics and think about sending out more targeted emails to smaller lists to sustain interest.
Educational content doesn’t have to be entirely product-focused either. Build up some thought leadership cred with your readers by providing them with industry news and content from partners that relates to customer interests. This will increase engagement with your readers and build relationships with industry partners.
Competitions and Giveaways
Everybody loves free stuff. Competitions and giveaways are a great way to increase your reach. You know that you have those product mavens who will share your competition with their friends. Look at the HGTV Dream Home giveaway, which attracts thousands of home improvement fans to the HGTV website and newsletters, and also provides HGTV advertising partners with prime ad real estate in front of those fans. The entrance fee is only your email address, but the payout for HGTV is huge.
Planning significant changes to your product? Make sure your users know about it before you roll it out. If you provide a B2B product, product updates are even more crucial, as your customers will want time to get used to the changes before they introduce them to their own customers. Think of adding a step-by-step video, detailed explanations, or a live demo of the update.
Every company has that great tool, feature, or offering that could be really useful but just doesn’t get any traction. Highlight the benefits and usability of an underused product with an email blast. The more your customers know about your product (and how easy to use it is), the more engaged they will be with it.
Tread lightly, though. Engagement content can feel like an upsell. We’re all hyper aware of sales pitches via email, so frame any engagement content in a how-to or “hey, did you know we also do this?” manner. Don’t be afraid to get visual here. A short video can introduce users to a new tool a lot quicker than trying to explain where in the left-hand navigation the blue button with the green widget icon will lead them.
Events can range from local networking meetups to webinars or conference appearances. Engage with the customers that want to meet you in person and gain consumer advocates in return. By making your teams available for face to face talks, you make yourselves not just a company who sells a product but humans who help solve problems.
Give the date, the time, and a way for your readers to sign up to attend the event in one click. Going to a conference? Make sure to include information about how they can come see you in person. If your event is online, give explicit instructions and links to tune in or where to find the video later.
A great way to gauge your customer sentiment, learn about whatever products you should store next, and maybe figure out just what is keeping your prospects from turning into leads. You can also use a survey as a way to figure out the kinds of content your readers are looking for.
If you’re feeling particularly scholarly, put together a customer survey that answers industry questions or gauges customer sentiment on an industry topic. Present your findings in a blog post, a white paper, or an infographic of which those surveyed have early access to.
Case Studies and Employee Profiles
Personalize your brand by highlighting your customers and employees. Profiles can include innovative ways customers use your products, long-time customers, or outstanding employees. Case studies show your product in ways that your users may not have thought, and can move some leads into prospect territory.
Employee profiles show customers that you have human beings working at your company and can work as a recruiting tool as well. Show off your volunteer work, or that guy who won the triathlon this year. By garnering human interest in your company you remind your customer that humans work at your company. As an added bonus, they might be just that much more likely to be nice to you on the phone.
Keeping in touch with your customers doesn’t have to be all about the next sale. A good engagement email blast will remind your customers why they did business with you in the first place. Continue to provide helpful content via email blast along with a world-class product and you increase customer engagement and reduce overall customer churn.