Email Marketing Tips for the CEO
Email marketing is still very effective -- but it must be done with imagination and focus on customer needs. If your monthly or weekly email is crammed with self-promotional, inward-focused content, recipients will tune you out after the first few reads and eventually unsubscribe. Here are five ideas to make your emails readable, memorable and motivational.
1. Short and Sweet
Content needn't be lengthy to be useful. A consultant I know does a very popular email that is usually one sentence long. It consists of a motivational or insightful quote with obvious relevance to business management. In a world teetering on information overload, recipients enjoy brevity -- he has very few unsubscribes. By carrying brevity to an extreme, he becomes memorable.
2. Unusual Applications
One of our clients publishes a newsletter that features photos of unusual applications for its various hardware items and tools. Most of the content is submitted by users, which in itself perks interest. And, people are more inclined to look at photos than to read a lot of text. User-submitted content is inherently less self-promotional, and yet does more to enhance credibility than corporate-authored content ever will.
3. Startling Facts
Did you know that by 2016 Millenials will have the highest discretionary income in the U.S.? I didn't, until I read consultant Bill Welter's newsletter -- but it's vital information for a long term marketing strategy. Sharing and analyzing poorly understood but highly relevant data points makes readers eager to receive your next email.
4. Aggregate Industry News
A monthly email with links to important industry articles and blog posts delivers tremendous value. Your customers and prospects may be very interested in acquiring knowledge, but lack the time and insider status to find the information themselves. The hurdle many companies fail to get over is linking to content they didn't create. Don't let this hold you back. The objective here is to provide a service that recipients will value and ideally, come to rely on. If you share only your own content, you are perceived as self-promotional, which is a curse in most forms of digital marketing.
Another variety of user-submitted content that lends itself to email marketing is the FAQ. Whatever customers are asking you on a regular basis figures to be of broad interest. A further advantage of an email that addresses an FAQ is that it can be repurposed by the sales team: when a new prospect raises that FAQ, you can send him an archived copy of the appropriate newsletter, or a link to it. Now your firm looks organized, and you help the sales team respond consistently and correctly to questions.
Over to You
What creative content strategies have you used for email marketing?