The biggest challenge of Internet marketing isn’t collecting email addresses, and it’s not figuring out what sort of copy is most likely to persuade someone to click. It’s figuring out what to say.
Too often, that’s a last-minute decision. Marketers set aside a time to write their newsletter or push out an email and it’s not until their fingers are above their keyboard that they start wondering what kind of topic they should write about this week.
That’s the wrong way to go about creating an effective email marketing effort. Although routine is an important aspect of keeping a subscriber list engaged and interested, it’s also important to plan out the content in advance — to know exactly what you want to say long before you have to say it.
That doesn’t just make the writing easier — although it will do that. It also lets you build anticipation through a series of related messages, and increase urgency to buy.
Turn One Email into Many
The most important time to plan ahead is when you’re announcing a special offer. You won’t want simply to tell your subscribers that for the next five days they’ll be able to buy your product for 20 percent off. You’ll want to tell them on the first day that they can buy it cheaply, send a follow-up email two days later reminding them that they’re missing out and send a third email on the last day pointing out that if they don’t buy now they’ll have to pay more in the future.
Each of those emails will have to be slightly different. They’ll need to repeat the most important sales points but each one should also mention additional benefits that would appeal to subscribers who haven’t yet bought. It’s much easier to write an effective series of marketing emails — a set that together pushes all the right buttons for the largest number of people — when you know what you want to say and you plan it in advance.
But you can also plan regular content in advance too. In the same way that a corporate blog will talk in general about industry issues, so newsletter content can offer advice about the best way to get a logo produced for a business or the right way to crowdsource funding for a project. Those are often the sort of emails that get written on the spur of the moment, as a way to help subscribers and because a message has to be sent to keep the list listening.
But, again, when you plan that informative content in advance, you can make sure that your readers aren’t getting one-off help. They’re getting a set of valuable information that together will help them to get more out of your services and your products.
And you get a much easier time writing your email content.
A content calendar will make your email marketing easy to practice, but it’s also not something you have to stick to religiously. When you break the routine with an impulsive message to your list of subscriber friends, you get to make a deeper contact — and save the email you planned for the following week.
Image source: Pinterest.com