Combining content marketing and email marketing is a great way to boost your brand. By creating and sending valuable, relevant, and consistent content to your audience, you can attract and retain customers while also driving profits.
However, it’s important to create a strategy that incorporates both approaches effectively in order to achieve the best results. And in this article, we’ll discuss the things you should keep in mind when combining email and content marketing. But first, let’s discuss what each of these really means.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
It’s an ongoing process that involves content planning, creating, publishing, promoting, and measuring content performance in order to achieve specific business goals.
Unfortunately, many new companies stop after the first three steps of this process (planning, creating, and publishing). This is a major marketing mistake because you can have the best content in the world, but it will go to waste if you don’t promote it. And email marketing is an excellent way to promote your content, which is why you should combine content marketing with it.
What Is Email Marketing and Why Is It Important?
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses email as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.
However, it usually refers to sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, and acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately.
But why is it so important? After all, there are many other ways to promote your content, such as social media marketing.
For starters, there are 4 billion daily email users. To put this into perspective, the current global population is 7.9 billion. This means there’s a good chance that every one of your customers uses email on a daily basis.
In addition, 99% of these 4 billion users check their email daily — and some of them check it up to 20 times per day! Email also happens to be the first thing mobile users check after waking up:
Finally, email marketing is one of the most affordable digital marketing strategies out there, making it an important tool for new businesses. Plus, it has one of the highest ROIs among marketing channels. You can expect an ROI of $44 on every $1 you spend on email marketing, which is higher than social media, influencer, and video marketing.
So how can you use these two marketing approaches together to boost your brand? Let’s take a look at some tips.
12 Things to Keep In Mind When Combining Email and Content Marketing
1. Define Your Audience
Email marketing is not simply about sending out mass emails. It’s about sending emails to a defined, targeted audience that’s most likely to find your content relevant and interesting, and to buy from you. When you know who you’re trying to reach, you can create content that appeals directly to them.
So before you combine email and content marketing, create a detailed buyer persona for your products. This will help you not only in emailing the right people, but also creating the right content in the first place.
2. Create Valuable Content
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to create content that is actually valuable to your audience and will make them open your emails.
This means creating content that is informative, helpful, or otherwise entertaining — make sure you incorporate these three elements in your content creation process. If you can provide value to your readers, they’re more likely to keep coming back for more. And this is only possible if you have a defined audience.
3. Be Consistent
When it comes to content marketing, consistency is key. You need to publish new content on a regular basis in order to keep people interested. This can be difficult to do if you’re not used to writing or creating content, but it’s important to stick with it.
If you can’t create regular content, you can’t send it out via regular emails. And that means you won’t be able to keep your readers consistently engaged. Out of sight, out of mind.
While there is no clear consensus on how often you should send out marketing emails, once a month is the norm for new businesses. As your audience warms up to you, you could slowly increase your frequency to 2-3 times a week.
4. Measure Your Results
It’s important to measure the results of your efforts in order to see what’s working and what isn’t. So keep track of things like email open rates and conversion rates. This will help you adjust your strategy as needed and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your content marketing and email marketing efforts.
To calculate your email open rate, divide the number of subscribers who opened your email by the total number of subscribers it was sent to. Similarly, the conversion rate can be calculated by dividing the number of people who took a desired action after reading your email by the total number of people you emailed. Most email marketing softwares have all of these reports automatically built in so you won’t have to do the calculation manually.
A good email open rate is anywhere between 10% and 20%. However, this can vary widely depending on the industry you’re in. So it’s a good idea to look up the average email open rate for your industry and compare it against your open rate.
5. Master the Timing of Your Emails
One of the most important things to keep in mind when sending out emails is timing. You need to make sure you’re sending your messages at a time when people are actually likely to read them. According to data, the two best times for sending emails are 10-11 am and 3-4 pm.
6. Keep It Short and Sweet
No one wants to read a long, drawn-out email. Keep your messages short and to the point to avoid losing people’s attention.
However, this can be tricky when you’re trying to promote your content through emails. After all, you want to give people enough information to entice them to click through to your website. The best way to strike the balance is to include a short excerpt from your article along with a link to read the rest.
7. Make It Mobile Friendly
More and more people are reading their emails on their phones, so it’s important to make sure your messages are optimized for mobile. This means keeping things like the subject line and body of the email brief and to the point. Try to aim for a 30-character subject line if most of your readers read your emails on a phone.
8. Use Images Sparingly
Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to email is that not everyone likes to see images. In fact, some people even have their email settings set so that images don’t automatically load. This can make your message look cluttered or even unreadable if you’re not careful. So, use images sparingly and only when they’re actually going to add to your message.
At the same time, it’s important to mention that images are sometimes an excellent way to enhance content emails. This is especially true for infographics, which pack a lot of valuable content in a single picture and push readers to dig for more information.
9. Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Many new businesses underestimate the importance of a CTA, which is why 70% of small business websites lack it. But you should know that a single CTA in your email can increase your sales by 1617%.
So make sure you always include a call to action in your emails. It could be something as simple as “click here to read more” or “subscribe to our newsletter.” Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear and concise.
10. Test, Test, Test
As with anything in marketing, it’s important to test your content before you send it out to your entire list. This will help you fine-tune your strategy and ensure that your messages are actually effective. Try sending out different types of content to different segments of your list to see what works best. And don’t forget to A/B test your subject lines, calls to action, and email design.
11. Get Personal
One of the best ways to connect with your readers is to get personal. This doesn’t mean you have to share your life story with them, but you should at least use their name in the email.
Moreover, many email finder tools offer email enrichment. This provides you with additional information about an email address, such as associated social media accounts. You can use this information to make your emails hyper-personalized, especially if your list is small or if you’re in the B2B space.
You can also segment your list so that you’re sending only relevant content to your readers. According to Help Scout, segmented email campaigns have a 50% higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.
Remember, email marketing is all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. This makes list segmentation almost a necessity in today’s email marketing world.
12. Use a Consistent Sender Name and Email Address
Finally, when it comes to email, consistency is key. Make sure you’re using the same sender name and email address for all of your messages. This is especially important if you’re just starting out with email marketing because it will help your readers recognize your emails and make it more likely that they’ll actually open them.
If you’re not using email marketing to promote your content, you’re missing out. That’s because each of your customers is probably an email-user, making it an excellent way to promote your blog.
When it comes to email marketing, make sure you’re sending out at least 1 email per month. You should aim to increase this to 2-3 times per week, as your audience warms up to you.
In addition, make sure you’re sending emails when they’re most likely to be read. This is between 10 and 11 in the morning, and 3 and 4 in the afternoon.
Finally, remember to calculate your open rate and compare it against your industry’s average open rate. If it’s lower than the average, you might need to work on your subject lines (among other things), which should be kept under 30 characters.
David Campbell is a digital marketing specialist at Ramp Ventures. He helps manage the content marketing team at Right Inbox. When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling and trying to learn Spanish.