One of the most challenging aspects of developing an email programme that delivers results is having valuable content for every message you send. Developing content that delivers value to your subscribers will ensure the long term success of your email marketing activity. Here are some tips for developing your content:
There is huge value in being able to contact your subscriber base regularly by email, so acknowledging this by giving something to your subscribers in return for their permission. 'Value' can be anything from special discounts only available to email subscribers, to useful information about topics related to your product offering. Sticky content like competitions, puzzles or quizzes are also a great way to generate interaction and open a two-way dialog with your subscribers. Time can also be a very valuable characteristic - make sure your email subscribers are the first to know about new product releases or upcoming events or sales.
Make the Value exclusive to email (at least for some period of time) and you will be delivering true value to your subscribers which will ensure they stay engaged for longer, and ensure your subscriber list grows by giving subscribers, and potential subscribers, a reason for being on your list.
For newsletter programmes, and even ad-hoc mailings, having a plan for 6 or 12 months will ensure that you always have relevant content, and deliver regular messages to your subscriber base. Without regular contact, your database will very quickly lose value. If a subscriber receives a message from you but doesn't remember giving you permission, they will be much less likely to respond, and may also report your message as spam.
Having a plan will also make it possible to serialize content and include teasers about upcoming content, which improve your open frequency.
Look to your historic campaigns to find out what content is most popular, and effective in meeting your campaign objectives. One of email marketing's greatest virtues is the knowledge you can build on your subscribers. Design your content to use landing pages, and build up significant behavioural data on your subscriber's preferences and interests.
Categorize your links in different ways to gain a better understanding of the different groups of subscribers within your database. Including codes in your link tracking will make your analysis easier, and be sure to include revenue data and interaction over time in your analysis to get the complete picture of the impact of different content.
Use the knowledge you have built up in your click analysis to segment your database and target groups of subscribers with content that is specific to their interests. Theoretically, the only limit to the number of versions of a campaign is when the cost of producing the incremental version outweighs the additional revenue generated by that version, but be sure that you are maintaining regular contact with all your subscribers before you start developing additional versions.