Granted, email newsletters are just one part of an overall content marketing strategy or campaign. If it's the only way you're doing content marketing, then you're missing out on great opportunities. However, you are also missing out on great opportunities if you don't have a strategy for each type of content, or with your email newsletter if you're just sending out old content or not thinking about your that monthly or weekly email fits into the big picture. Here's what you need to know (and a few tips) on creating a content marketing strategy for your email newsletter:
Consider Audience and Buyer Personas
If you have a small audience, or maybe just one or two buyer personas, then sending out one email newsletter to everyone on your list isn't all that bad. However, as your audience grows and you have additional buyer personas, then segmenting your email newsletter is a much better tactic. As this point, not everyone is in the same part of the buying process or has the same needs and interests, so sending everyone the exact same messaging will hurt you. Instead, consider creating separate email newsletters for each audience and/or persona, tailoring the content and the messaging to each one. This could lead to improved open and clickthrough rates.
Send Out Several Different Types of Email
Who says that the only type of email you can send is the newsletter? There are other types of emails that can complement your overall content marketing strategy while also generating and qualifying leads. They include:
- Emails about New Lead Generation Offers - Self explanatory. If you have a new eBook, webinar, or white paper out, then let people know about it! How else are you going to get those leads?
- Form Kickback Emails - These are emails that are automatically sent after someone fills out a form on your site. It's a great way to show your thanks and to show that you actually received the form submission.
- Product/Service Updates - Yes, these can be done on their own instead of with the email newsletter. Make sure to keep these to a minimum, as they aren't as fun or as engaging as the other types. Try doing a roundup of updates, showcasing each new product/feature/update and a description.
- Lead Nurturing Emails - This is probably the most important type of email you should be doing. Lead nurturing emails are messages sent to leads to get them to reconvert (further qualifying them), to move through the buying process, or to stay top-of-mind for those that became leads but aren't yet customers. The point of these emails is to have the leads continue their relationship with you, so they should be targeted to provide the exact need and value for each lead.
Don't Forget Transactional and Invitation Emails
Up until now, we've only discussed the email newsletter and other types of emails that are created individually and sent at a specific time. Each newsletter is different, and even though lead generation emails are standardized, a lot of effort needs to go into the timing of the send and the content in the email. Even so, don't forget about transactional and invitation emails. These emails may seem simple, or could simply be a courtesy, but that doesn't mean they don't get any time and effort either. Use these emails as opportunities to generate leads and to gather data about who's opening and clicking through them. Take these emails beyond the "for your records" status and make sure they have branding and purpose like your email newsletter.