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What Kind of Content Should I Use for Targeted Email Marketing?

Targeted email marketing is a crucial tool that anyone can use to build up a list of people who have agreed to allow you to email them without calling it ‘spam’. The key to email marketing is to not actually market that much — you want to feed your list a never-ending stream of excellent content without actually pressing them to buy that often. That way, they get used to reading your emails for the content that they crave, and when they get hit across the face every few weeks with a (subtle!) marketing attempt, it won’t persuade them to stop reading.

So what kind of content makes people click on an open an email? Generally, the same kind that makes them open anything else:

  • They expect an immediate benefit (or the chance at an immediate benefit), such as with a sweepstakes or contest.
  • They expect to learn something that will be useful to them in the short term.
  • They expect to learn something that will stimulate their emotions, be it hope, fear, outrage, sympathy, or fuzzies.
  • They expect to find something so amazing that it’s worth sharing with their friends and/or family.

Ideally, of course, you’ll be able to combine that last one with one or more of the other three for maximum impact. The key here is that you want to really grab them up front with the title and the first sentence — that’ll get them to open the email. Then, you need to add suspense with the rest of the first paragraph, to get them to really anticipate the rest of the email. Then, you slip the marketing part close to the end (but not AT the end, because you want to close them with something that won’t turn them off.)

Best case scenario, you can link your content directly to some problem that your product or service will solve. That way, when they get captivated by the content, they’re also driven to buy. You build the emotion, give them the link, and on the landing page you have all of the rationales that they need to overcome their own internal objections to giving you their money. Closed!

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