In early March, Google announced that a new, clearly marked "unsubscribe" link would appear at the top of the header field in marketers' emails. The feature will be made available for most promotional messages with unsubscribe options. This is just another step—following the addition of the separate promotional tab—making it easy for Gmail users to remove irrelevant marketing messages from the inbox. Now more than ever, email marketers must be sure they are delivering relevant newsletter content for their readers, or emails will never hit the inbox at all, let alone be opened.
According to IMN's "Second Annual Content Marketing Survey," more than two-thirds of marketers state that monthly newsletters are an effective content marketing tactic to engage with customers and prospects. Relevant content not only strengthens relationships with the recipients, but also provides an opportunity for follow-up, which can turn casual newsletter readers into purchasers, no matter where they fall in the sales cycle. Before relevant content can be crafted, organizations need to align content to the goal. For example, if customer and prospect engagement is a top goal, thinking about the top five questions a prospect might ask and delivering that content would be a sound strategy.
Establishing a content strategy begins with asking basic questions such as:
- Which customers are you trying to reach?
- What are your content marketing goals? Is it retention? Upselling to current clients? Or is it just awareness of your brand?
Once those basic questions have been answered, there are several core best practices to keep in mind in order to effectively leverage content as a tool for improving customer engagement and loyalty.
Here are some best practices that marketers should follow to craft email newsletter content that is compelling, personalized and engaging for readers—content that they will not only continue wanting to receive, but will look forward to reading.