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Coming up with unique and impactful content on a regular and consistent basis is far from an easy affair. In fact, if you’re not ready for the strain that comes with this process, you can drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with the demand for meaningful and engaging offerings generated by your inbox audience. To help keep your head above water, and ensure that you’re always a must-read member of the email marketing community, let’s spend some time talking about how content curation can add a new dynamic to your content approach.

What Is Content Curation?

Of course, if you’re not familiar with the term, chances are that the notion of content curation doesn’t spark too much of a response as you’re reading this post. With this in mind, here’s a quick breakdown of the process, as explained by Kristina Cisnero of the HootSuite blog.

As Cisnero points out, the idea of content curation is all about sifting through blog posts and other pieces of content on the web and bringing only the best offerings to your target audience. Naturally, citation and proper referencing is a must when leveraging this practice, but even with these requirements, content curation can help keep your brand stay at the heart of the conversation – even when it’s not your content on display.

Sifting Through the Big Differences

It doesn’t take an email marketing professional with years of experience under his or her belt to see that the idea of promoting other people’s content is a big departure from the standard take on creating your own branded offerings. However, there’s other subtle differences that are worth mentioning when the conversation turns to a comparison between curation and creation.

For starters, heading down this path requires an intricate understanding of what other movers and shakers are doing within your industry. While creating your own content is often a more closed off experience, curating from other sites requires a significant jump in external activity. Additionally, curation also stands as an opportunity to promote other organizations and thought leaders, thus creating unique relationships and boosting the reach of your brand within the community.

Is This Process Right for Your Email Marketing Campaign?

Now that you’re up to speed with the curation process, it’s time to answer the big question – is this approach really right for your brand? According to The Content Marketing Institute’s Mark Sherbin, the answer to this query requires digging deeper into your overarching content philosophy.

Before allocating and curating content for your inbox messages, step back and ask yourself a few questions. Is it okay to showcase the work of others in your emails? Do you need to seek out permission for the usage of these pieces? Is there even enough content to curate in the first place? By answering these questions now, you can ensure that your brand gets the most out of this powerful take on the content development front.

Getting the Most out of Content Curation

Should you decide to take on the content curation approach as a way to switch things up with your email marketing audience and reduce the strain of constantly creating offerings for the inbox, Matthew Collis of The Huffington Post offers up a few tips to help you excel via this practice.

To start, Collis suggests that variety take center stage with your curation process. Bringing new voices and takes on industry issues and concerns to your audience is all about making a splash, so don’t be afraid to switch things up by leveraging a large selection of both authors and content types.

Additionally, if you’re able to, try and add your voice to the conversation. Even little blurbs and responses to these pieces of curated content in your weekly messages can go a long way toward showing your readers that you are not only up-to-date with the latest news, but also willing to give your own take on the subject.

Collis also points out that tracking the response from your audience to these pieces can help you decide when, where, and how to optimize your curation approach. By listening to what your viewers have to say via feedback, as well as tracking clicks, your brand can refine and adjust the type of content – and the frequency at which it is sent out – in order to create a more enjoyable curated experience. When paired up with your unique offerings, it won’t be long before this supplemental take on content development has your brand standing as an innovator in the inbox.



As crazy as it sounds, there are some voices from around the web that would have you believe email marketing needs saving. Specifically, these experts point to behavioral segmentation and its applications as the prime source of resurgence and renewed power behind this practice. To see if these claims actually hold any weight, let’s take a moment to delve into the basic argument supporting the unappreciated impact of behavioral segmentation.

What Is Behavioral Segmentation?

Naturally, a lot of the importance of this discussion is lost in translation if you’re not exactly up to date on the finer points of this process. To help get you back up to speed, the consulting experts over at MBA & Company explain that behavioral segmentation is essentially a more focused subset of traditional segmentation tactics.

Instead of relying upon standard data – like age, location, gender, etc. – this form of segmentation seeks to go beyond and answer the “how” and “why” of your connection with a certain audience. The influence of special occasions, benefits offered, consumer loyalty, and usage rate of digital tools all serve as excellent examples of behavioral metrics. The overarching point here is that to truly understanding the people that relate to your brand, it’s important to go beyond the basic statistics and data.

The Claim Behind Email Marketing’s Savior

At this point, we know the truth about the particulars of behavioral segmentation, so it’s time to answer the big question – did this practice really save email marketing? According to Bryan Gudmundson of Business 2 Community, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

Gudmundson posits that behavioral segmentation is the key to dispelling the oft repeated mantra of “email is dead!” By combining an analytical approach with life and environmental cues, this method stands to generate a substantial jump forward in the effectiveness and productivity of the average email campaign.

Getting down to the Truth

Of course, the only problem with this viewpoint is the misguided notion that email marketing needed saving in the first place. While behavioral marketing can definitely add a new and powerful layer to your next campaign, it’s not the “last hope” for this method of reaching out to consumers. In fact, email marketing continues to stand as the hottest digital marketing practice around.

For instance, Marketing Land’s Amy Gesenhues points out that the last quarter of 2014 saw a 70 percent jump in mobile email conversions over the same timeframe last year. Digging a little deeper, this represents a 40 percent climb in click-to-open rates and a total increase of 10 percent in the overall number of email clicks across a 12 month span. Simply put, there’s plenty of innovations that contribute to the growth of email marketing – like behavioral segmentation – but that doesn’t mean that this practice is even close to falling into the realm of digital obscurity.

Leveraging the Power of Behavioral Segmentation for Your Brand

Now that you know that email marketing is just fine, but powerful assets like behavioral segmentation can take your campaign to greater heights, let’s talk a little bit about how best to leverage the inherent benefits held within this process. As David Kirkpatrick of the Marketing Sherpa blog explains, it all starts with utilizing your existing behavioral data and building a solid foundation for the application of your segmentation techniques. Any information that helps point to how readers react – either positively or negatively – to your content is right in line with this approach.

From here, Kirkpatrick notes that mining social data can help fill in the gaps significantly. People share more about themselves online than ever before, so why not make use of this public information to bolster your understanding of what these individuals desire in high quality email content?

Once you’ve hit this point, Liga Bizune of the Marketing Profs suggests testing the waters with differing content and email tactics. For instance, firing off an offer for alternative, educational content to readers who open your email, but don’t accept your call-to-action is a strong tactic for enhancing interaction with the less active portions of your viewership.

The main idea behind all of this discussion is to find ways to grow and support your relationship with the person on the other side of the screen. People are more than just numbers, so it makes sense to go beyond the basic data and start truly answering questions about who these readers are and why they do the things they do. When paired with the rest of what you know about modern email marketing best practices, it won’t be long before this greater understanding leads to a much better showing in the inbox.



If there’s one thing you can count on in the digital world, it’s that most communities on the Internet love a good argument. When it comes to weighing the merits of email marketing and social media against one another, this adage holds strong with endless debates promoting both sides of the discussion. Unfortunately, for brands that are trying to fit both of these processes into an optimized and streamlined marketing strategy, this constant arguing doesn’t come close to answering the big question on everyone’s mind – which path is better for your company? To answer this dilemma once and for all, and ensure you’re not wasting a single dollar of your digital marketing budget, let’s delve into the benefits of both email marketing and social media management to see which one comes out on top.

The Power of Social Media

Since we primarily deal with email marketing, let’s start off with the challenger to the throne, social media. As marketing expert Jeff Bullas explains on his personal blog, there’s plenty that social media management has going for itself in terms of reach and potential benefits. For starters, there are currently over 2 billion active social media accounts on the web.

If you’re looking to dig a little deeper, this equates to a daily total of 4.5 billion likes on Facebook, 500 million tweets on Twitter, 70 million photo uploads to Instagram. Google+ also has an astounding 5 billion +1 button hits in this same time-frame. Needless to say, in terms of activity, it’s hard to deny that the world of social media is virtually humming with prospective clients and other interested parties.

Making the Case for Email Marketing

Of course, email marketing has plenty going for itself as well. In his look at the virtues of reaching out via the inbox, Stewart Rogers of Venture Beat points out that some sectors of this approach – namely mid-size businesses – enjoy an average return on investment of around 246 percent on the initial cost that goes into email marketing. For the smaller and enterprise-level businesses out there, these statistic still hits a more than impressive level of 183 and 117 percent, respectively.  As Rogers so eloquently puts it, email marketing is still the king when it comes to sheer impact, even if social media is a more expansive platform.

Which One’s Better for Your Brand?

So with this knowledge on hand now, it’s time to drop your social accounts and go all in on email marketing, right? While this kneejerk reaction seems right, Business 2 Community’s K.C. Claveria explains that it’s not exactly the best way to approach the situation.

Yes, email marketing offers up the biggest bang for your buck. In fact, Claveria points out that it should stand as the centerpiece of your digital strategy if you’re truly looking to maximize your impact with potential clients and consumers. However, email marketing operations truly thrive when you nurture and support these campaigns via secondary methods – like proper social media management.

Moving Forward with a Smart Plan

In order to get the most out of these two complementary outreach tools, it’s time to rethink your take on the discussion. Instead of worrying about which one is best, try to focus on promoting both platforms to the best of your abilities. As Pamella Neely of Web Marketing Today suggests, this all starts with finding simple and effective ways to integrate social media with your greater email marketing plans.

For instance, finding common ground between your inbox and social consumer segments can serve as the impetus for developing content for both groups. Once you have these offerings in hand, don’t be shy about letting each branch of your online community know that access to other similar selections can be had by joining the opposite platform. Acknowledging both outreach methods via your blog keeps this newly integrated trend moving in the right direction.

Additionally, you can also incorporate social share buttons on your email content as a way to help the truly stellar messages go viral with new online audiences. Even doing something as simple as using Facebook’s built-in opt-in feature can drive more traffic to your email contact list.

The big point to take away here is that as long as you’re willing to explore new territory, there’s no reason why you can’t bolster the reach of your inbox initiatives with the support of savvy social management practices. Considering how important both are to your digital prospects, it’s easy to see why getting behind these approaches can do wonders for your connection to the consumers that matter most.



Running a campaign that connects with your audience in the inbox is one of the most powerful ways to take advantage of the constantly growing digital world. Unfortunately, if you don’t approach this process from the right angles and with the right mindset, it can also end up requiring a substantial investment of your most valuable resource: Time. If you’d rather not deal with inefficient and unnecessary practices, take a few moments to look over these five time-saving email marketing tips.

You Have Consumer Data, Use It!

To start the discussion off in high gear, Wired magazine’s Emily Konouchi suggests dusting off that consumer data that’s been sitting around and putting this asset to good use. All too often, information regarding the people that make up your audience lies dormant due to the perceived idea that this content takes time and effort to properly utilize.

While this notion definitely holds plenty of truth, it’s also important to point out that consumer data enhances and optimizes your content, thus lowering the amount of time and effort put into the process down the line. Essentially, working in this knowledge now takes a little bit of time, but it can save you countless hours later on.

Look for Areas of Improvement

Additionally, Konouchi explains that keeping an eye out for optimization throughout the process continues this tradeoff of a small time commitment now for greater efficiency and resource allocation later. Instead of living by the “getting by is good enough” email marketing mindset, make it a point to take note of weaknesses and deficiencies in both your content development and deployment methods. This way, you can manage and eradicate these small problems before they turn into major issues that bog down your forward momentum in the inbox.

Stay Organized

For those of you who embrace clutter and hectic desk layouts, it’s time to bite the bullet and get organized. Just like in most other facets of your professional and personal lives, letting disarray take center stage with your email marketing operations is akin to asking for avoidable problems.

Lost content ideas, uncertainty regarding plans, and missed meetings with your email marketing team of experts are just a few of the calamities that come with a disorganized take on reaching out in the inbox. Thankfully, one you get things in order and stop wasting time via a cluttered or jumbled approach, you’ll find that maintenance is far easier to handle than the initial clean up.

Automate Opt-ins and Other Steps in the Process

When it comes to running the day to day operations, Business 2 Community’s Monica Montesa notes that automation is a massive boon to those who are looking to cut down on their time expenditure. Naturally, you won’t want to put everything on autopilot, but there are a few key steps that definitely benefit from an automated response approach.

At the top of this list are sign-up confirmations and other opt-in messages. By having welcome content and data entries ready to fire up when a user accepts your invitation to join your brand’s contact list, you’ll not only be saving a few minutes getting things up and running, but also offer a professional and quick response to this action.

In terms of other points worthy of automation, important date and product reminders deserve a spot in the conversation. By utilizing the consumer data we talked about earlier to hone in on these events and generate relevant automated content, you can efficiently maximize your interaction and impact with these customers, all while working on other projects or duties. When it comes to saving a few minutes here and there, it’s hard to pass up this kind of opportunity.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Within Reason)

Finally, don’t be afraid to recycle and reuse your content across every facet of your business and marketing approach. From “best of” email newsletters to snippets on social media that breathe new life into influencer quotes and other offerings, repurposing what once lit the inbox up is a great way to reduce your development time and get these selections out in front of new viewership.

The only catch here is that you won’t want to rely solely on this process going forward; you’ll need to find the right balance between recycling and creation to keep your inbox users excited and engaged. However, if you can find this sweet spot and pair it with the rest of what you’ve learned here, it won’t be long before your email marketing operations take on a sleek, streamlined, and efficient new look.



For plenty of brands, the hype surrounding email marketing becomes a reality in what feels like the blink of an eye. One second, you’re building a game plan for your first campaign; the next, you’ve got a steady and thriving list of contacts. However, if you’re not careful with how you manage this group of viewers, you could find your brand on the outside looking in just as quickly. With this in mind, let’s take a step back, cover some tactics and tricks that focus on interacting with your audience, and ensure that your brand has what it takes to keep an audience excited and engaged.

A Growing Problem

If you’re already running hot with your content in the inbox, it’s definitely a reasonable response to consider that this advice isn’t designed with your brand in mind. Unfortunately, Tracey Vides of Tech.Co points out that this is exactly what leads so many campaigns into the realm of spam filters and lackluster consumer reactions. In fact, Vides goes on to explain that in some cases, operations that once stood as potent examples of email marketing success fail to barely surpass the three percent mark when it comes to clicks on call-to-action buttons (CTAs) and other requests for interaction.

Skip the Jargon

So if you’re worried about slipping into this inglorious company, where should your renewed commitment to engagement hone in on first? According to Vides, start by skipping out on the jargon if you’re not dealing with a business-to-business (B2B) audience. While other industry experts can’t get enough of buzzwords and other insider lingo, the average customer doesn’t like the idea of being uninformed or confused. In fact, it’s a major turnoff with the vast majority of audiences. Instead, you’re much better off keeping things short, sweet, and to the point with your inbox content.

Clean up the Technical Details

As far as the actual framework and templating of your email offerings go, Business 2 Community’s Corey Husfeldt suggests making things simple, obvious, and consistent for your readers. In terms of engaging the person on the other side of the screen, few things are more damaging than having a CTA button or link that either doesn’t work or ends up lost in a jumbled and confusing message.

Before firing of your next wave of emails, spend some time optimizing the “path to a click.” This means reviewing the content and guaranteeing that when it shows up in the inbox, your contact list membership will know exactly how to navigate the email and end up back on your site completing a purchase.

Try the “Flash” Route

Husfeldt also notes that tweaking the timing and urgency of your emails can help keep the interaction and engagement flowing with your brand’s target audience. Flash sales that incorporate limited duration offers and “act now” wording fit into this approach perfectly, offering plenty of incentive for the person on the other side of the screen to go ahead and initiate a sale. However, using this tactic too often can make the entire method feel insincere, so focus first on a steady flow of regular content, then add in these unique offerings as needed.

Get Back to Your Roots with Word of Mouth Tactics

Finally, Gareth O’Sullivan – also of Business 2 Community – posits that one of the most overlooked methods of engagement is also one of the oldest tricks in the book. “Word of mouth,” or having your current audience help inform others about your brand, definitely has a spot in any established email marketing campaign. Of course, simply suggesting that you leverage these viewers as a marketing asset isn’t the same thing as showing you how best to incite such a response from these viewers.

At the top of O’Sullivan’s list of word of mouth tactics is the notion that referral rewards go a long way with your contact list. By providing an incentive for your audience to bring others into the fold, you can help promote a scenario in which your inbox relationship grows in an organic manner. Even if you don’t offer up rewards for new referrals, there’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback and discussions in public forums. As long as your brand is part of the conversation, then you’ve hit the mark with this new age take on word of mouth operations.

At the end of the day, keeping your audience engaged and focused on your content does require a serious amount of work. However, with these insightful tips guiding the way, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve taken the first step toward making this process run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.



For the smaller brands out there, building a successful organizational persona and connecting with viewers – specifically in the inbox – is all about winning the small battles that occur on the margins of your budget. From making the tough calls regarding what types of content you build, to the amount of money you can realistically funnel into an email marketing campaign, chances are you’re no stranger to the stress that comes with these decisions. In order to help you improve efficiency and reduce wasted budget potential – which in turn ensures you get even more bang for your buck – here’s a few quick tips for making the most out of your next email marketing campaign.

Pick the Right Service Provider

At the top of the list in terms of choices that can make or break a tight small business budget, Jaymin Bhuptani of Business 2 Community points out the need to find the right email marketing service provider. For those who are a little newer to the scene, this might not seem like much of a big deal at first.

Unfortunately, subscribing to this line of thought means that you’re potentially throwing away funds and assets that could otherwise enhance the return on your investment (ROI.) If this doesn’t sound like an idea that’s all that great, spend some time figuring out which service provider fits your needs. Flexible and scalable programs, expert advice, and optimization tools should all be at the forefront of this discussion, as each offering helps maximize the impact of your marketing dollar.

Invest in Testing

Bhuptani goes on to suggest than spending some money on testing can save your brand quite a bit of cash in the long run. Yes, this advice definitely seems counterintuitive for small businesses who are just trying to get by on a limited email marketing budget. However, if you’re able to get past this initial disbelief, there’s actually some sound logical thoughts that supports this viewpoint.

Essentially, it all comes down to sending the right message. A/B or split testing does increase your upfront costs, but it simultaneously improves the effectiveness of your email content – which in turn improves conversion and sales rates. When you take this outlook and pair it with the fact that testing also reduces the chances of your brand having to tear apart a campaign in the middle of the process, it doesn’t take much to see that this approach at least has a spot somewhere in the conversation.

Play By the Rules

Once your campaign is up and running, it’s also important to play by the rules at all times. The allure of spamming an audience and other “black hat” tactics is definitely real, but the threat of massive fines and legal issues is simply too much to handle for most organizations; especially those that are working on tight budget margins.

With Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) operating at full speed now, and other companies earning fines that exceed the million dollar mark, it’s never been more necessary to do the right thing in the inbox. Otherwise, you might have more to worry about than just an overextended budget.

Knowledge Is Power

Outside of learning about the rules and regulations of the countries in which you plan to operate, it’s also a good idea to spend some time learning as much as possible about the people that make up your contact list. Much like the various methods of testing, utilizing consumer data – either via third-party data sets or information complied during your own business operations – is all about expending resources now to save even more money down the road. The best part about this process is that the more you know about these individuals, the less time, effort, and funds you have to invest into your various data sets to keep these assets up to date and current.

Focus on Mobile Now

The final tip for keeping your brand in the positive position on the margins comes in the form of embracing the mobile craze. As Mashable’s Eric Krattenstein points out, there’s nothing that can stop the rise of mobile device usage, so why not jump on this train now and avoid the costs that come with switching up your approach when you’re forced to make this adjustment in the future? Responsive templates, mobile-friendly content, and images that don’t strain bandwidth all fit this viewpoint. By utilizing this foresight, as well as putting to good use the rest of what you’ve learned here, there’s no reason your brand can’t make the most out of limited funds and continue to win the little battles that exist on the edges of a tight budget.



Sometimes, technology and potential have a way of converging at places that create confusing and unintuitive points of interaction. These moments or events usually boil down to a lack of understanding and transparency in the process, as well as an inability to properly assess the situation. While there’s no denying this scenario holds true for many industries, is it safe to say that email marketing is really at this point?

According to some leading voices from around the Internet, the answer to this question unfortunately falls at “yes” on the spectrum of possible outcomes. To find out if there’s any truth to this claim – as well as help break down the walls of complexity that may be inhibiting the growth of your brand in the inbox – let’s find out if the world of email marketing really is too complicated for new and established members alike.

Delving into the Complexity Concerns

As Venture Beat’s Jon Cifuentes points out, the core theory behind this argument revolves around the notion that the current email marketing landscape is simply too bloated with divergent options and paths. The worst part in all of this discussion? Brands like your own can’t just distill these complexity issues to one segment of the process; it’s purportedly an endemic issue that spans the entire industry.

From the abundance of email agencies you can align yourself with during the process, to the mountains of digital data and platforms utilized by modern brands, there’s simply too much to consider as you tip your hat into the inbox fray. Adding in the numerous metrics and methods of gauging your impact further obfuscates an already murky picture according to this side of the conversation.

Is This Really the Case?

Naturally, there’s plenty of people reading this and assuming that the concerns set forth by Cifuentes are merely overblown claims or exaggerated examples of an otherwise fairly straightforward process. After all, how hard can it really be to run an email marketing campaign and generate results on a regular basis, right?

The reality of the situation is probably somewhere between these two viewpoints. On one hand, email marketing can be a complex and challenging endeavor that falls flat with audience members if you’re not careful and thoughtful in your approach. However, this doesn’t stop plenty of brands from overcoming the hurdles that stand in the way of this system, thereby tapping into the seemingly endless potential and returns held within the most vibrant and impactful digital platform on the web.

Comparing and Contrasting Your Brand’s Potential Outlooks

With this clearly defined understanding of the current world of inbox initiatives guiding the way, the next logical question to answer focuses on whether or not taking on the effort and commitment that comes with such a campaign is really worth all of the hard work. According to Len Shneyer of Tech Crunch, email marketing isn’t just a good idea that’s well worth your time and resources, it’s the most solid investment your brand can include in its outreach portfolio.

Email marketing has so many options, tools, and services for one very important reason – it’s the best way to connect with current and potential customers. Yes, social media networking is fine and standard snail mail is okay if you’re dead set on living in the past, but there’s simply no other option out there that compares to what email marketing brings to the table.

Building a Plan That Works for Your Brand

Outside of being the most efficient and effective way on building a relationship with the people on the other side of the screen, David Refaeli of PC Magazine points out a major flaw within the discussion of complexity that could change your entire outlook on the process in the first place. Essentially, there’s no rule that says you have to conduct an email marketing campaign all on your own.

By connecting with a trusted team of industry experts and service providers, Refaeli explains that tripping up on all the minute concerns and issues doesn’t have to be a part of your experience. Instead, you can move forward with confidence and clarity of purpose, knowing that whatever path, customized campaign features, and marketing tools you choose for your brand will have the support and guidance of a team who’s been around the block a time or two. Simply put, regardless of what audience you’re trying to strike up a conversation with in the inbox, having this kind of plan lead the way is something that’s part of the recipe for email marketing success.



The newsletter is the backbone of many email marketing campaigns – and for good reason. As one of the most effective methods for reaching an audience in the inbox, this form of content truly goes a long way with readers when implemented properly. Unfortunately, plenty of brands simply assume that newsletter success is a forgone conclusion, leading to suboptimal practices and swiftly diminishing returns. If you’re worried that your brand is in a rut in terms of benefits generated by this type of content, or that this piece of your marketing operations is heading in the wrong direction, take a moment to look over these five quick tips that can supercharge your next newsletter offering.

Always Add Value

In terms of pure impact, Jimmy Daly of Marketing Land explains that there’s no better place to start than with how much value you’re adding to the viewer equation. While some might see this concept from a purely fiscal perspective – coupons, discounts, etc. – adding value goes far beyond this approach. By providing unique and engaging content in your newsletter that enriches the reader, and leaving the sales pitch behind from time to time, your brand can differentiate itself as a valuable and important member of the increasingly crowded inbox scene.

Being Beautiful Goes a Long Way

Outside of giving your content direction an overhaul, focusing on the visuals that represent your newsletter can also go a long way with your email following. Revamping templates and supporting graphics not only shakes things up for the people on the other side of the screen, this approach can also help optimize the rendering and display of your inbox content.

Essentially, building beautiful newsletters in the modern world of email marketing requires finding harmony between stunning graphics and designs that port well to the mobile experience. It might take the help of trusted industry experts and a little trial and error via split testing, but finding the sweet spot where aesthetics meet performance can put this content in position to truly capture the attention of traditional and mobile viewers alike.

Explore Your Brand Story

If you’re looking for a different take on the newsletter experience, Daly goes on to suggest that exploring your brand story can help build a deeper relationship with the target audience. Whether you offer up an insider look at what’s going on behind the scenes, or delve into the personal experiences of members of your community, adding some of the human element to your newsletters serves as a powerful tool for building common ground with your brand’s readers.

Sure, getting personal does require a willingness to broach subjects that go beyond the status quo. However, if you’re able set aside this concern and take the conversation a step deeper than others via connecting on an even more meaningful level, you’ll be rewarded substantially by members of your email community who can’t wait for the next inbox installment.

Hit Your Audience with a Powerful Headline

Obviously, getting what’s going on below the fold in order is a big priority – nobody’s can question this motivating factor. However, Jeanne Jennings of ClickZ points out that if you don’t have a headline that jumps off the page and grabs the reader’s attention, there’s a very real possibility that you’re letting a significant number of viewers slip through the cracks.

A powerful headline is short, simple, and compliments the content that is held within the message. Aside from keeping things straightforward and to the point, Jennings also notes that utilizing a bit of personalization here and there also works well in terms of headline crafting and consumer reception.

Spread the Word

As you optimize and refine your newsletter using these methods and ideas, don’t be afraid to tell the digital world about your new take on this content. By interacting with your audience on social media, your branded blog, and other platforms, your organization can generate even more buzz about these offerings. Considering how important building organic reach is as part of an overarching email marketing campaign, taking the time to work on this front isn’t just good for your newsletters, it’s beneficial to all of the rest of your inbox initiatives as well.

At the end of the day, fixing or enhancing a newsletter doesn’t happen overnight. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely give up on trying to improve your operations completely. By putting what you’ve learned here to good use, there’s nothing that can stop your brand from truly fostering a deeper and more meaningful relationship with these readers via insightful and engaging newsletter content.



One of the biggest stumbling points for brands that are trying to make a splash with a target audience is assuming that content and email offerings only need to come in one flavor or style. The truth of the matter is that this misconception couldn’t be farther from reality. Email marketing – at its core – is a relationship that grows and evolves over time, so naturally your content and approach should do the same. To help catch you up to speed with the different phases of the shared consumer-brand lifecycle, let’s spend some take going step by step through these events.

The Early Lifecycle Steps

As Marketing Land’s Jordan Elkind explains, lifecycle email marketing starts out with welcoming new contact list members to the fold and providing them with the info they need to start interacting with your brand. Whether you deploy inbox greetings or finish off an online sign-up with a “thank you” page, making a good first impression gets the process going. From here, turning these members into customers comes next.

Often, your audience will diverge into two different segments or groups at this point. The first group covers those who go on to purchase a product or service, while the second consists of cart abandoners and others who simply come up short before committing to a sale.

Developing into the Middle Stages

While most talking heads might suggest that there’s not much going on in the “maintenance” or middle phases of the lifecycle approach, Elkind goes on to point out that these moments are teeming with potential for building a strong relationship with your brand’s audience. At the top of the list is transitioning one-time buyers into consistent customers.

From here, cross-selling and promoting related products and services, as well as offering loyalty rewards and acknowledging special events – think birthdays and holidays – comes next. In some cases, replenishment reminders and special promos on new products can also enter the picture. The big thing to keep in mind here is that the early steps of lifecycle email marketing are all about laying the foundation for a relationship, while the middle phases focus on the maturation of this connection.

Understanding the Later Phases

In terms of understanding the later phases of this lifecycle, you can boil the underlying concepts down to a singular idea – don’t let this relationship end, if at all possible. Instead of looking at these stages as the beginning of the end, think about how your brand can reignite the interest of these customers who are starting to drift away. Known as “win-backs,” these activities can cover anything from unique offers based on the longevity of the relationship to promotions aimed exclusively at snapping these inbox viewers out of inactivity and lethargy.

Ensuring You Always Match Your Content to the Appropriate Lifecycle Moment

So now that you’re well aware of the different phases of the lifecycle that dictates most email oriented brand-consumer relationships, it’s time to start talking about how to make the most out of these inbox opportunities. According to Zach Taiji of Social Media Today, it all starts with generating interest among your audience. By focusing on content that goes beyond simply financial motivations, your brand can keep excitement and engagement high – something that’s desirable on day one and anywhere beyond this point.

In a similar line of thought, there’s nothing wrong with utilizing the notion of a “burning platform.” Aside from providing a unique visual, this approach helps to keep your audience from falling into a funk and disregarding your email content. Essentially, if your most engaging content and enticing offers take on a time sensitive slant, then these viewers will be hard pressed to sit ideally by and let these opportunities slip away.

Finally, don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes. By keeping a keen eye on key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics, your brand can stay on top of the content optimization process. This way, with every click, open, and conversion logged on behalf of your email marketing campaign, you can ensure that the next customer entering into the lifecycle relationship has a better and more productive experience.

Naturally, there’s so much more that can go into enhancing your relationship with these shoppers over the course of a standard lifecycle. However, with a firm understanding of the unique phases that go into this overarching system – and a willingness to constantly optimize and evolve your approach – there’s nothing that can stop your brand from truly making a positive impact in the inbox with the people that matter most.



So you’re current email marketing campaign is up, running, and moving forward at full speed. Customers are responding to your content, conversion rates are through the roof, and life couldn’t be better, right? While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor in the present, many industry experts – like Erik Harbison of The Huffington Post – warn against resting on your laurels for too long. With this in mind, let’s talk about the finer points of marketing tactic known as “future-proofing.” This way, as your brand outreach capabilities grow and mature, you won’t find yourself constantly wishing for a second chance at missed opportunities.

Is “Future-Proofing” Necessary?

Before going any farther, it’s important to understand why future-proofing is so necessary in today’s marketplace. After all, it’s hard to think of email marketing as being prone to missteps when it stands as one of the hottest commodities on the web. As Clickz’s Jeanne Jennings points out, open rates are indeed at the highest levels we’ve seen since 2007, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the statistics behind the email marketing boom.

Essentially, there’s no way to deny that more customers than ever are opening messages. But what happens afterward – a severe decrease in click-through and click-to-open rates – shows that brands who aren’t thinking ahead are slowly falling behind the curve. Because of this trend, it’s absolutely vital to be one step ahead of your competition in terms of giving the audience what they want.

Ask Questions Now to Build for Later

Now that we’ve shored up the concerns surrounding the need for future-proofing, it’s time to enact Harbison’s first step in the process – asking questions regarding your current operations. Without this foundation guiding the way, it’s virtually impossible to build a plan that spans far into the future of your brand’s inbox endeavors.

Specifically, the questions surrounding how your contact list membership heard about your brand, what – if anything – potentially kept these viewers from signing up to receive marketed messages, and how you could improve the process to serve as a strong starting point. From here, you can naturally refine the conversation and delve deeper into points of interest that your audience members bring to light during the initial discussion.

Take a Step in Their Shoes

While talking to your customers is definitely a step in the right direction, why not go even farther by experiencing the email campaign process from their prospective? By “walking in the shoes” of your audience, your brand can gain valuable insight into the inherent weaknesses and strengths of its current email operations.

It might seem a little bit over the top at first, but embracing the shopper mentality and honestly evaluating each phase of the email marketing experience – from signing up to the weekly routine and tie-ins with other forms of outreach – can truly open your eyes regarding what a list member experiences on a regular basis. Even if the results aren’t always easy to handle, it’s still in your best interests to get this knowledge out in the open so that your brand can rectify the situation and optimize the process for the future.

Think of Your Content as Assets

As the final piece of the future-proofing puzzle, Harbison suggests shifting your mindset when it comes to content. Essentially, most organizations think of these selections, from blog posts to YouTube videos, as replaceable cogs in the greater marketing system. Simply put, this viewpoint is far too shortsighted to be sustainable.

Content is the most valuable asset you have on your side when it comes to email marketing, so treat these offerings with the respect they deserve. Sure, putting in the time and effort to acquire customer testimonials or build a series of user guides and webinars, can be a strain on your work week and budget, but once you have these value-driven offerings on hand, you can always lean on them as needed.  The best part about all of this is that taking on this proactive approach helps you fire on all cylinders now and deep into the future. While the competition is left rehashing the same old boring content in their marketed messages, your brand will be exploring new and exciting territory that can truly engage the audience.

As you can see, having the ability to generate an impact now, while also securing your position in the inbox for years to come, truly makes the concept of future-proofing worth the time and effort needed to pull it off – regardless of your current industry standing and prospects.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin