Expand Your Email Content to Cover More than Your Business

Your customers are interested in you. But they’re interested in more than just you. They’re also interested in your industry and in the kinds of products you sell. Book buyers don’t just want to know about a bookstore they bought from once; they want to know about books and authors. Video gamers don’t just want to know about the store that sold them the latest version of Halo; they want to know about game design, tips and trends. That broad interest is an opportunity. It’s a chance for a savvy email marketer to add information to a newsletter so that it hooks readers.

One company that works supplemental information naturally into its email marketing is MooShoes, a New York retail store that sells vegetarian clothing. Each month the store issues an email with the subject line “MooShoes Newsletter + Discount Codes.”
The newsletter usually contains two kinds of information. Most of the email will be given over to the kind of sales copy you’d expect to find in a piece of email marketing:

“Going for a hike? Get yourself a pair of Snowdon or Veggie Trekker Boots from Vegetarian Shoes. Beach time? Maybe it is time for a pair of Flipee from Simple or Water Divas from Jambu.”

Beneath that standard marketing material though may be an announcement that has little to do with the store but which coincides with the interests of subscribers. One recent newsletter, for example, included this announcement:

Speaking of the great outdoors, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary has two amazing events coming up—on June 23rd, a Rooftop Party in Brooklyn. Tickets are going fast! Get ’em while you can. Then WFAS is holding its annual July Jamboree July 2nd-3rd. Get outta the city and get your jam on!

Niche News Brings New Sales
That short section doesn’t promote the store. There’s no indication that MooShoes is selling the tickets let alone generating a profit from them. But it is informing its subscribers of an event that they might want to attend and, no less importantly, it turns a flyer about a business into an information letter about animal welfare. The next time subscribers see “MooShoes Newsletter + Discount Codes” in their inbox, they’ll know that that email will contain both bargains that they might want to purchase and targeted information that they will want to read.

It also shows that owners of MooShoes don’t just care about themselves and their store’s profits. Like their subscribers, they also care about animals and animal welfare. The email’s return address, too, is erica@mooshoes.com, not sales@mooshoes.com or newsletter@mooshoes.com. Subscribers begin to feel that “Erica” isn’t just someone who likes their money but someone like them and someone they’d like — and customers like to do business with people they like.

MooShoes works this kind of information naturally into its newsletters but it also sends out special emails dedicated to special events. Those might be calls for help with good causes such as a fundraiser or an environmental cleanup but they can also be news of an event taking place in the store such as a book signing or a bake sale. Both give subscribers more than sales information; they give them membership of a small club of like-minded people — and the kind of loyalty that delivers sales.