Are you overwhelmed by the volume of content you are expected to create as a small business owner? Do you struggle to think up original content for your email subscribers, social media audience and blog readers?
There is a vast amount of information to be found online about creating content. The sheer volume can leave your head spinning and your page blank. When faced with too many options it can cause you to panic, or worse, freeze and never write a word.
Everyone understands the importance of communication, and email marketing is one area that can have a profound impact on your business.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing can also be referred to as direct marketing and is the process of sharing emails with your potential and current clients. Every email you send can be considered as part of your email marketing strategy, from an initial welcome message to a proposal or contract.
The most important type of email marketing is the newsletter. A business builds up a list of subscribers and sends them weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletters updating their customers on products or services, events, promotional offers, and more.
You will all appreciate how busy your inbox can get, so handing over your precious email address to a business means you are genuinely interested in what they do. That’s how you want your potential subscribers to feel too.
Building relationships is at the core of email marketing. Your newsletter will land in a customer’s inbox giving you a one-to-one interaction between your business and your audience. Make it count!
The more information you can gather about your subscribers the more personal you can be with your content. For example, a florist or restaurant may ask for a subscriber’s date of birth so they can send out a personalised message or special promotional code/money off voucher.
Most of the email marketing platforms have a feature where you can add tags or additional notes to each subscriber. If you run a workshop and ten people sign up to your email list, you can add a tag reminding you of this fact and target this group for future events knowing they have already enjoyed one of your workshops.
Before creating your content it can be useful to ask yourself the following questions:-
- Why should my customer read this newsletter?
- Am I inspiring/educating/entertaining my audience?
- How am I helping my customer?
These simple questions can help you find the right topics or themes to write about.
However, before you begin creating your content you need to ask yourself one simple
question – WHY are you sending emails to your customers?
Why should you send business emails?
There are a few reasons why email marketing might be beneficial to your business.
Build awareness – people buy people and our curious nature makes us want to learn more about others and what makes them tick. The Socially Shared team subscribe to a variety of newsletters even though we may not need the products or services on offer – yet! That’s where your email marketing content works for you. Every month (or week) you can tell your audience about events, new product launches, programmes you are running, or other news staying in the forefront of the audience’s mind. When the time is right, you’ll be there with the ideal solution.
Drive traffic – emails aren’t just another task to add to your to-do list, they work in conjunction with your website, blog posts, and social media campaigns. By adding a teaser and URL link from a recent blog post into your newsletter you can drive your audience to the content you create elsewhere. The SEO algorithm will see that people are visiting and this boosts your visibility.
Sales – yes, it is possible to make a sale using your email marketing. Hopefully, your subscribers will be a mix of loyal and potential customers. Your loyal followers will be interested in any upselling and your new customers will take advantage of early bird style offers or discounts – this you can offer as a reward for signing up to your email list.
Top Content Creation Tips
Now you know what email marketing is and why it’s beneficial to your business, you can start to think about what you want to write about – the content creation part.
Here are our Top Content Creation Tips:
Time management – you can’t create valuable content without allocating time to do the work. Lots of people miss this step and wonder why the haphazard posting or sharing isn’t working. Set aside an hour or two to plan out your content – this can include your blogs and social media posts as well as your emails. You’ll need your calendar and a pad and pen!
Goal setting – just like any marketing/blogging/social media campaign, you need to identify your goal for sending out your newsletters. That’s the ‘WHY’ in why am I sending emails to my customers? Do you have a workshop you want to promote? Are you launching a new product? Is there a high-performing blog post you want to share? Are you celebrating a business anniversary or award? Do you want your audience to engage with another one of your platforms (YouTube, Podcast, Webinar, etc.)?
Ideal client – never forget who you are writing your newsletter for. What does your audience need from you? What are their pain points and challenges? What do you offer that will make their lives easier? Write your content with them in mind.
Easy on the eye – do you remember back in school when you were forced to read pages and pages of text in your textbooks? Don’t trigger a bad memory for your audience. Break up your text with subheadings, bullet points, images, and internal and external URL links. The majority of your audience will read your newsletter on their phone so make it skimmable!
How to maximise your email open rate
You’ve followed our tips and created your newsletter content, you have a mix of information targeted at your ideal client that includes something entertaining, inspiring, and educational. You will have added a CTA (call to action) about your latest product and service, and you have a gorgeous shiny image to use.
What else can you do to maximise your open rate?
Write a click-worthy subject line – how many emails have you deleted in your inbox because the subject line didn’t jump out at you? Next time you are surfing through you inbox have a look at the emails you open and jot down why they appealed to you. Was it the catchy subject line, a trusted business, timely (something you needed and hey presto an email arrives that sells exactly what you need!), or something else.
Here are a few examples of great subject lines:
- A behind-the-scenes look at my ___ journey
- A sneak peak for VIPs only
- How to save money on your household bills
- Everything you wanted to know about ____ but didn’t know how to ask
Try to keep your subject line under 50 characters as it will get cut off if they are too long,
especially if your audience is using their phone to read.
Timing – it can be easy to schedule your newsletter to go out at any random time, but if you put a bit of thought into your campaign you can boost your open rate.
For example, if your audience are parents with young kids then emails sent between 7am and 9am are not going to be seen, but if you send it at 2.30pm then you might catch them as they are waiting at school pick-up.
If you want more information on creating content for email marketing then join us at our Socially Shared Session on Monday 23 rd May 10.30am – 12.30pm at the Citrus Hotel, Coventry.
Grab your ticket for this event HERE – members £8, non-members £12. Free parking.
Our events are a sociable meeting for women in business or in employment who want to meet
others, to potentially gain new clients along with the opportunity to enhance their
knowledge. Relaxed but professional networking that offers everyone a warm welcome.
There will be an hour for networking and an hour for a mini-workshop session delivered by
our speaker, Shelley Wilson.