Back in October, we published The Ultimate Email Marketer’s Glossary-a list of the top 10 data management and email marketing terms all email marketing gurus should know.
Because we’ve been focusing so much on the importance of both storytelling and personalization in email marketing, it only made sense to create another glossary around content-focused email marketing campaigns.
Read on to discover the concepts and techniques that can help you use content to not only create memorable experiences for both prospects and customers, but also how to keep them coming back for more.
Buyer personas are research-based representations of your ideal customers, and should be the bedrock on which you build any campaign. They are based on real data, such as demographics and behaviors, as well as educated assumptions about the motivations and goals of your prospective customers.
Using buyer personas allows you to create highly targeted, personalized messaging that increases the likelihood prospects will engage with your brand. They also protect you from casting too wide a net and instead help you attract better-quality prospects.
Once you’ve determined your prospective buyers’ interests and pain points through the creation of buyer personas, you’ll be able to use those personas in tandem with context marketing to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at the right time.
By providing content that is aligned with a prospect’s current stage in the buyer’s journey, and speaks to their specific concerns, you establish your company as a considerate and helpful resource.
Smart (Dynamic) Content
Smart content is online content that dynamically updates based on the visitor observing it. It fits perfectly into the strategy of context marketing since it is personalized and highly relevant.
Smart content helps you move prospective customers through the sales funnel by taking into account their previous interactions with your brand, and then serving them the content that is most appropriate for their current stage in the buyer’s journey.
It’s not enough to make your content relevant-it must also be compelling. Marketing content with an element of storytelling feels more authentic and valuable to a customer than sales copy.
One easy way to tell a relevant and compelling story is with a case study. Reach out to some of your current clients and learn the story of how they came to be satisfied customers. It’s likely their path to purchase will touch on many of the same issues prospective buyers face, and when buyers read it, they’ll feel more connected to your brand.
Hand in hand with storytelling is episodic content, or content that has been divided into a series of multiple parts.
The goal of episodic content is to encourage repeat engagement with your brand and keep your audience invested. The content is presented as more of a narrative with each “chapter” building on the next, urging readers to continue reading. It also allows you to dive deeper into topics than you could with a stand-alone piece (like a single blog post).
Content marketing can’t exist without content. But rather than capitalizing only on content you’ve created, take advantage of user-generated content, which is exactly what it sounds like: content your users have created.
The core concept is to benefit from your established customer base. After all, your existing customers can be the best advocates for your brand.
In addition to direct interactions with your prospective buyers, you can bolster your brand using a third party’s voice.
Influencer marketing is the practice of using the reach of an online industry authority to improve the visibility of your company. It’s a three-step process:
- Step 1: Identify the individuals with a strong influence on your target audience
- Step 2: Build a relationship with those individuals
- Step 3: Ask the influencer to share the value of your products or services through their blog, social networks and elsewhere.
This approach helps boost your brand’s reputation in new audiences since the influencer’s followers will trust his or her vote of confidence.
Mobile-first marketing is about recognizing that a large percentage of your prospects’ browsing will be via their mobile device and then planning your marketing strategy accordingly.
With mobile-first marketing, opportunities for engagement are designed around mobile as the primary medium prospective customers use to interact with your brand. The objective is to ensure the mobile experience is as rewarding as the desktop experience and has just as many easily navigable conversion paths.
If your emails aren’t optimized for mobile, your prospects will become frustrated and won’t feel encouraged to connect.
Triggered emails are automated messages that are generated based on a user’s specific behavior-for example, registration, subscription renewal or account milestones. They can help keep the conversation going and show customers that you’re interested in how they’re interacting with your company.
Triggered emails can be a marketer’s best friend since they satisfy two of the three requirements for effective context marketing: speaking to the right audience at the right time. Marketers can satisfy the third requirement, delivering the right content, by offering something relevant and meaningful to the user
Spam traps is a term that often strikes fear in the heart of marketers around the world. That’s because emailing a spam trap can damage your sender reputation, but they’re not always possible to avoid. They come in two forms:
- Recycled spam traps are often accounts that were once active, but have been unused for so long that the ISP reclaimed them.
- Pure spam traps are addresses that were created with the sole purpose of catching spammers.
The easiest way to avoid spam traps (and protect your sender reputation) is to practice good email list hygiene. Keeping your email lists up-to-date helps ensure your messages are being sent to the right audience and your data is accurate.
Attentiveness is the cornerstone of creating marketing that buyers will truly appreciate, and delivering personalized content is a strong indicator that you’re paying close attention to what buyers actually want. If you use the principles from this article in your email marketing strategy, you’ll see a big impact on engagement and retention.
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