Guide for Good Email Marketing Content

Email marketing content

What makes your favorite brands your favorite? It’s probably more than just products. It’s their communication. 

It’s no different for email marketing content. How you write about your products is just as important as the products themselves. Moreover, communication is a big part of the marketing strategy. Creating personal, relatable emails is a reliable way to connect with your audience. Want to know what types of content to send? Or see some email examples? Read our email marketing content guide to find out everything you need to know.

Why crafting a good email marketing content strategy is so important?

Brands use email marketing to promote their products and services. And the effort they put into the content pays off. Here’s what a good email marketing content strategy can do:

  • Boost the trust and loyalty of your customers. Thought-out email content can show expertise and care for the audience. Let’s take a pet shop, for example. In addition to usual deals and offers, it can educate customers about food portions for different dog breeds giving valuable advice.
  • Establish the brand’s reputation. Email marketing content can improve brand recognition, create a positive perception, and showcase the company’s values by telling people what makes your brand and products unique. It could be anything from active connections with the local community to green initiatives. 
  • Attract customers and drive sales. In a 2021 worldwide survey, 97% of marketers responded that their overall marketing strategy included content marketing. And what makes a content strategy more effective? Well, 55% of marketers believe it’s actually improving the quality of the content.

Content marketing overall has a big advantage. Content is reusable. So if you already have a company blog or social media page you can adapt existing texts and graphics for the email newsletter and vice versa. But copying and pasting aren’t gonna do it. Keep reading to know what email-specific content you can send.

7 types of email marketing content you can use in your campaign

To be effective, email marketing content needs to be relevant and targeted. But what to write about? We gathered 7 most common email types for you to send your subscribers. 

  1. Welcome emails

Welcome emails are the first “hello” you send to your new subscribers when they sign up. As this type of email has the highest open and click-through rates, you should definitely use it. Statista reports that welcome emails sent through an automation platform in 2020 had an open rate of almost 31%. You can introduce your brand, tell subscribers what to expect next, or provide helpful information about your product. 

Welcome email from Canva
Source: Really Good Emails

In this welcome email, design platform Canva briefly states its values, lists helpful functions and encourages users to create their first projects. Want to know how to introduce your own brand? Read our article for an in-depth exploration of the welcome email

  1. Promotional emails

This type of email contains deals, sales information, or other offerings that are usually limited. Content for this type of email needs to be straightforward and easy to read. Guide your audience where you want them to go, use calls to action (CTAs) and make all the conditions clear.

Promotional email from Original Penguin
Source: Email Tuna

Clothing brand Original Penguin uses countdown to show subscribers the urgency of the promo and make them act fast. The word “sale” is also highlighted by the red color. The CTA is simple yet effective — “Shop now”. The images of the brand’s signature polos are probably based on subscribers’ shopping history.

  1. Guides and blog posts

Provide valuable email content with articles from the company’s blog. You can highlight one publication or a selection on a chosen topic. The email, however, shouldn’t be a substitute for the whole blog post. Remember to lead your subscribers to the site to continue reading.

Blog posts email from Tuesday Morning
Source: Email Tuna

In this email, home-goods retailer Tuesday Morning links to several blog posts. The company gave each publication a one-sentence summary and a big CTA (“Learn more”) that leads to the whole text. 

  1. Announcements and newsletters

These emails are dedicated to:

  • A new feature
  • Update
  • Product launch
  • Presale
  • Limited edition
  • Event for customers, etc.

The main goal is to show how you can help your audience solve their problems or fulfill their needs. Here you can use the news item to write about the benefits of your novelty, provide tutorials, showcase the product with appealing images, or reward subscribers with a promo code.

Announcement email from Framer
Source: Really Good Emails

Framer — a design platform — announced their new functionality with an email. Their subscribers not only got the actual news but also five use cases. This is an effective approach to updates any brand can adopt. 

Newsletters combine several announcements for a company to stay in contact with its email subscribers. You can regularly send news, product or company updates, and a year or season recaps.

Newsletter from Figma
Source: Really Good Emails

This Figma newsletter has a clear layout (of course!) and features several community creations. This is meant to highlight different ways of using the service and inspire subscribers to learn about others’ projects. The segment at the bottom is also a helpful addition to the content. Figma’s audience can follow this creator and thereby keep the community active. Email newsletters like this one can contribute to the overall content strategy.

  1. Surveys

Surveys or feedback request emails are a good follow-up after purchase. They help you see your product or service through the eyes of a customer and get to know your audience better. By the way, we have a marketing guide for creating content for survey emails. Remember to be polite to your readers. Maybe offer something in return for their time, for example, a promo code. And keep the email concise not to distract people too much.

Survey email from Headspace
Source: Really Good Emails

Headspace — meditation and mindfulness resource — emphasizes that their survey is quick. This encourages readers to answer questions as it won’t bother them much. The tone of voice of this email is also caring and delicate. It gives the impression that Headspace’s customers’ time is valuable to the service. The button with a CTA is directly below an on-brand illustration which makes it easy to take the action.

  1. Testimonials and reviews

If you managed to gather meaningful feedback during the survey, put it to good use with testimonials and reviews. This is a subtle yet powerful way to promote your product and nurture loyalty. You can either send several reviews or just one (maybe in a story format) but it’s necessary to be relevant and use genuine customer feedback. If possible, send emails with reviews on products subscribers bought or contemplate buying.

Review email from Fetching Fields
Source: Really Good Emails

A canine products manufacturer called Fetching Fields featured one photo story in their review-type email. First, creating content for this email included a professional photoshoot. Photos are pleasant to look at (the dog is especially cute) and show the product in action. The second interesting thing here is pacing: the product review part starts only in the fourth quote. This creates a narrative beyond advertisement and garners curiosity.  

  1. Behavior-based emails

These emails are sent based on a customer’s actions on the website or in the app. The behavior-based emails can easily become a part of your promotional strategy with marketing automation services like Selzy. These can be either triggered (abandoned carts, recommendations, rewards) or transactional emails (order statuses). Abandoned carts, for example, are very effective even if you use a marketing automation service. Their average open rate stood at almost 30% in 2020. You can also send emails based on the reader’s engagement with the emails themselves. This is where the win-back emails come in.

Behavior-based email from Uber
Source: Really Good Emails

This Uber email is based on the subscriber’s delivery number reaching 100. This is a celebratory message crafted to make the reader feel appreciated. And although the email is sent using automation tools, it still reads as a personal one.

Now that you know what types of content to send, invest some time into making a content plan. This way you’ll always know what emails, when and how many to send. A content plan can be a simple table reserved for regular emails. Decide on the frequency and for each email choose a theme, a date, and a CTA. And don’t forget to share the content plan with your teammates!

Email marketing content best practices and tips

Want to know more about how write content for your campaign? For starters, learn about email etiquette — general rules on what to write about and how to do it. And if you need more tips — just continue reading. We’ll tell you about techniques to make your content writing excellent. 

Define your audience and their needs

Before creating copy for your emails, before picking a subject — think about your audience. Base your content marketing strategy on customer information: demographics, buying habits, etc. Above all, consider what your customers need. 

Let’s imagine you ran a jewelry store. You may find that people often buy your products to use as gifts. You can focus some of the email content around that fact. Write blog posts dedicated to gift wrapping, jewelry selection for different budgets, and promotional emails with holiday deals. 

If you lack insights about your audience — ask your customers directly using surveys. Now, you may find out that answers to your questions differ. Your audience probably has several groups in it, interested in different subjects. That’s why it’s helpful to segment your customers. That way your content can be even more targeted and include relevant media.

Write a catchy subject line

Email subject lines give a peak into the content inside. And as their main goal is to entice readers, they have to be made right. Make subject lines catchy but don’t overdo it — overly expressive subject lines are one of the common email mistakes.

Some tips on how to write a subject line your readers will click on:

  • Make it short so it won’t be cut off.
  • Use emojis.
  • Get in their feelings: play on the fear of missing out, curiosity, and other psychological reactions.

And don’t forget: the subject line should reflect, well, the email subject!

Here are a few various subject lines for your inspiration:

  • You’re set for success!
  • No tricks, just treats 🎃🍷🦇
  • DON’T RUN OUT – Find $1M of candy promo codes
  • Disclaimer: This Recipe Hits ALL The Notes
  • 3-2-1: Our biggest sale is on❗️
  • Oh no! Christmas is only 10 days away

Personalize

Even in mass emails you can contact people with individual messages. Consider personalization a loyalty cheat code. This includes adding their names and dynamic content.

Although it’s tempting to do this in every email, be aware that other businesses also use the same approach. As a result, subscribers can lose interest and ignore even emails with their names in the subject line. 

It can look something like that: 

  • Farida, have you heard the news?
  • Weekly summary for Noam
  • Mary + Majorca = 😍

Keep your content relevant

When it comes to any media, be it an email or a blog, the content needs to be relevant. That means two things: it has to be beneficial or interesting to the audience and also up-to-date. For example, a candy shop probably shouldn’t write on the subject of climbing equipment. And a clothing brand shouldn’t entice their customer with an item that’s already sold out. Keep in mind that useful content can be shared and take it as another promotional opportunity.

Speak the language of your readers

This point encompasses several principles:

  • Stick to the tone of voice of the brand. If you have a developed style guide and key messages, keep it consistent within email content and everywhere else. 
  • Use simple, clear language. Inclusivity is important no matter the subject. Your customers’ first language may not be English, they could also have problems understanding jokes or sarcasm. It doesn’t mean you should write as plainly as possible, but it’s good to keep in mind.
  • Try seeing the topic from the point of view of the customer. Highlight benefits over features. How? If you’re sending an email about a new tablet, don’t write “Powerful 26 watt-hour battery”. Write something like “A battery that will last all day. Even if you constantly stream videos”. 

Avoid the spam words

No one wants their campaign to be marked as spam. There are several ways to prevent that, like cleaning your list, providing an “unsubscribe” button, avoiding all caps, links to shady websites, and not working HTML. But you can also trigger spam filters simply by using words from certain categories:

  • Overblown claims (“100% free”, “once-in-a-lifetime deal”, “extra cash”)
  • Time-pressing (“do it now”, “urgent”, “24 hours only”)
  • Scam-like (“this isn’t spam”, “no obligation”, “bargain”)

This isn’t to say you need to avoid words of these types entirely. Try not to put too many of them in a single email and note that they can worsen the situation if you have other spam-triggering factors. 

Make sure your content is visually appealing

Even if your newsletter features the greatest of resources, your readers won’t get through walls of text. Emails need to be well structured and adapted to mobile. You can also use images or GIFs to convey meaning, and express the brand’s style and aesthetics.

An email from Duolingo
Source: Really Good Emails

This promotional email from Duolingo checks out all the boxes. It’s easy to read with a simple structure: image, bold headline, description. And it has several atmospheric, on-brand illustrations to keep readers engaged. 

Keep experimenting

Good content — be it a newsletter or a welcome email — constantly evolves. With time passing your subscribers’ preferences may change. And techniques that once worked so effortlessly become stale. Don’t be afraid to change your approach but monitor it. 

A/B testing is a helpful way to improve your email marketing efforts. You can compare variants of one of the email features to find the best solution. Try different subject lines, from text, the content itself, illustrations, or CTAs.

Final thoughts

Providing good content to your audience is a must if you want to nurture loyalty. Here’s a checklist of things you can do to create great email marketing content:

  • Use different email types together with promos: surveys, newsletters, guides, etc.
  • Know who you’re addressing and write about what matters to them.
  • Be approachable: personalize content, write coherently, and refine the visuals.
  • Attract attention with subject lines but don’t spam.
  • And last but not least — adapt to the changing world. 

That’s how you can keep your contact with the audience strong.

What email content do you enjoy the most?

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