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Are your customers getting the email experience they want?

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This blog is written by Rachel Whitter who works for the IDM and sits on the Email Council


Are your customers getting the email experience they want?

Every email you send sets the expectations for the next email so if you set the bar low, don’t expect people to keep coming back.

How frequently do you receive the same old emails asking you the same old thing from companies over and over? How many times do you open before you disregard them as irrelevant?

It’s different for everyone, but I would say two or three times. After that, not only do I disengage from ALL of their emails, but it also takes a bit of a chink out that brand’s armour – it doesn’t feel as relevant to me any more.

What can a content strategy do to help?

Your content should fulfil the needs of the customer. I’ll say that again: your email content should meet the needs of the customer. I know you have targets to meet and managers breathing down your neck, telling you to get another quick email out the door to meet the month’s targets.

You may be making short term gains. But you may also be increasing churn and reducing the value of your audience to your brand.

What is an email content strategy?

An email content strategy considers what content your recipients want to receive.

Think about why your customers buy your brand or product.

If they love the brand, give them the inside scoop on what you are up to, introduce them to the creative people and processes behind the brand, whether that’s chefs, designers, growers. Capture their passion and share it.

If your customers are like to look good, help them. Include seasonal style tips, how to care for their clothes, tips from style gurus to name just a few opportunities.

If you are a charity, think about what motivates your audience to care about your cause. Feed their enthusiasm. Not by constantly asking for money but by sharing positive developments and successes – those real world challenges you are struggling to solve. Find behind the scenes stories to explain the work your scientists or case workers do. What can supporters do to help that doesn’t involve giving you money?

For business-to-business (B2B), what problem does your product or service solve? Include interesting ways people use your product. Not in a salesy way, more interesting snippets of information.

Everyone says single call to action emails work best, isn’t this contradictory?

Keep your email’s message focused and don’t muddle with too many pieces of information. Value added content should not detract from the email’s main message. Be clear. Build a section lower down your email where your customer can find content, which should always be an experience or piece of information that interests them.

Using this strategy means that even if they don’t want to buy, donate, or ask a question now, you increase the chance of these things happening next time.

What do the stats say?

I used this strategy and increased the average click through rates for a charity by 53% over the space of a year.

There is no golden bullet, and you have to test, the style of template and content that works for your audience. If it works as it should you should not see a drop in conversions, rather you should see your engagement and conversions start to grow over several weeks.

Test your theory on how best to appeal to your audience before rolling out.

Would the same content work for all of your customers?

Never say never, but my experience is that the more you can tailor content to the individual, the better the return. It may be that the supporting image is all that needs to change. Maybe splitting your audience into three main motivators and create a content journey relating to these for them.

If you have large enough audiences and the right technology, why not use buying patterns and behaviour to inform the content you serve.

Good luck! I would love to hear how you get on with using content to make your emails more appealing your audience 

Download the DMA’s Email Best Practice Guide for more about getting your email content right

Hear more from the DMA

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