A great email marketing message or blog post does not arise by chance. It does however, by good planning and a wide variety of content. But in addition to content, the shape is also important. Content can be presented in many ways. We are happy to inspire your email marketing calendar with this may be less obvious list.
Lists are a classic for every email marketer. They are easily digestible on screen, especially if you put the right words in bold. Put a couple of elements in a list – just like this blog – in the shape of a list and give it a fitting name. Something like “12 content elements to use in your email marketing plan”.
How-To’s are almost mini manuals. They are step-by-step, process-driven content elements that help a reader to understand or do something better. They read just as easy as a list, but they revolve around one single question or problem. According to research, this form, just like lists, are an effective form of communication.
Q&A’s are known and often-visited pages on a website. But why don’t you try to incorporate this form in an email message? The questions are the eyecatchers – and bring back the lists-feeling – and the answers present the content in easily digestible chunks. In contrast to the Q&As they don’t necessarily need to follow a sequence. Just sort the elements in a logical way – important ones fist. Because we know that the first three paragraphs get a higher reading density than the paragraphs that follow.
Why? messages are actually another form of Q&As. Here you don’t start with a short question, but with an extensive problem statement like “Why you don’t just save costs with our software, but also improve work atmosphere”. The answer is given in a series of arguments and ending conclusion. Just like an essay in high school.
Cases are often welcomed by your audience. After all, they give inspiration. You have been presented with a problem and resolved it, much to the satisfaction of a customer. Tell that story, starting with that problem. Give a little insight into the solution – a little trial and error cannot hurt – and influence the reader, who needs to decide whether or not to use your product or service. Make sure you tell an honest and neutral story.
Testimonials work like cases. The story isn’t neutral, but colored by what your client is saying about you. Propects that are on the verge of a decision, like to recognize their own situation in the story of others. And a testimonial is great social proof.
Quotes are actually mini-testimonials where the customer groups the essence of his experience together in a single sentence. You obviously can’t completely fill your email with it, but you can combine it with other elements from this list. You also may choose to use a fixed inspirational quote in your email messages. Such influencers make your product a lot sexier.
Company news is also news that could interest you customers and prospects. It feeds a piece of voyeurism that we see in social media. People like to get a look behind the scenes. But the reader also gets an insight about the company and vision that stands behind the product or service. You’d be surprised how much this kind of news it is taken into consideration.
Abstracts of research. That suddenly gives your product or service a scientific touch. Your prospects are looking for information anyway, so make sure you give them a hand. It gives your email a higher status on the ladder of relevance. In line with this you can also use whitepapers. The difference here lies in the delivery of the full content, while an abstract only gives you the essence while referring to the whitepaper.
Checklists are ultimately a form of lists, but with a slightly different approach. They aim just that little bit harder on practicality. A checklist to see if the car is ready for winter (winter is coming), automatically gives your contact the insight that perhaps he already put antifreeze in the windshield wiper nozzles, But he quickly needs to go to your garage for the winter tires.
Infographics are a different way to bring content. Basically this is again a list of a why message, only here everything is worked out in a graphic way. It reads super easy, especially if the graphic artist added a visual nod here and there. But a warning is fitting here. Not every email client has enabled images by default and graphics files can be tough. Therefore, break them up into a number of parts that fit together and pay attention to the alt tags. Perhaps you should let them know in the very first one that they can display a cool graph …
Polls are a fun way to provoke interaction. It starts with a problem as to the why. Only here, your readers can express their views through the possible answers which are already listed in a list. Elements that can form arguments. You directly play into the curiosity of the reader. What do others think?
And obviously all of the elements above can be used in combinations. You can combine them to your heart’s content or add them to the classic elements that we have deliberately kept out of the story. For example, put together a couple of your posts from your business blog combined with a poll and quote: it will make your emails a lot stronger. We’d love to hear who comes up with the most original combinations.