Email is one of those things that all companies do, but no one really knows why or how to do efficiently. Huh, that sounds like a great deal of content marketing streams like blogging or social media. Content marketing is more than simply creating content and pushing it out to the masses, it’s about targeting the content you create; email is no different. That’s why we’re diving into the right way to handle email subscription types so that you can email like you mean it.
Maybe you use Constant Contact for your business, or MailChimp. Either way the basic functionality is the same, and your primary concern is likely gaining new contacts and leads. What are you actually sending them though? That’s what this post will dive into in greater detail.
Understanding what your contacts want
As with every piece of content you create, it all begins with understanding who your buyer personas are.
When it comes to email there are likely going to be a few different types that you send. Understanding what those types are, the purpose they serve, and the frequency that they will be sent is crucial to their success. Take us for example. At Blog Trackr we know that right now our prospects/contacts want:
- Emails from our marketing blog newsletter
- Product updates
We could break these out more though, ultimately I envision us having newsletters for:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Small business growth tips
Along with emails on events and discounts.
Whether we branch out though really depends on what our contacts and prospects want – what it takes to get here means understanding the personas we market to and the info they need and want. What information do your prospects and existing contacts want? Start there and build up when it comes to understanding how to email them.
Creating subscriptions accordingly
Once we know what types of email we want to send, setting subscriptions will be fairly simple. If you have a type of email that you want to send, enabling your contacts to opt in and opt out (should the choose) is the next big step in setting your email strategy.
Armed with the various types of communication your contacts/prospects could want it’s then a matter of setting up separate subscriptions and allowing your contacts to subscribe accordingly. Using us as an example, we have several places on our site that visitors can subscribe to our monthly blog newsletter, and we send out product announcements to our existing customers. We use MailChimp as they offer a free plan which allows us to create separate lists and draft up emails with ease.
Soon we’ll release a series of ‘kits’, like a branding toolkit, a social media playbook, and the like to engage further with visitors and set up separate subscriptions and newsletters for specific aspects of content marketing.
Take a look at your business; you know the types of communication your contacts would want to opt into, how will you segment that into subscriptions and offer ways to sign up?
Hitting that send frequency sweet spot
You’ve got your subscriptions set, now it’s a matter of actually sending. Here’s a good question – how often will you be sending your emails? It’s a tough question to answer, namely because the answer is ‘it depends.’
Experiment a bit, what send frequency is too little to keep contacts engaged, and what is too frequent causing them to opt out completely? It’s a delicate balance for sure. We tried weekly blog newsletters but found it was simply too much and opted for a monthly RSS newsletter instead. Soon we’ll launch weekly newsletters curating content across the web though which will give our contacts the chance to take a deeper dive into different aspects of content marketing and business growth. Our product newsletters run on an irregular cadence as we are constantly making changes however we try to limit big changes (and subsequently, the emails) to once a week.
It’ll take trial and error, so try to pay attention to open and click through rates in determining how frequently your emails should be sent in order to find that sweet spot.
Armed with our tips you’ll have a set of subscriptions and be emailing like a pro. Try chatting with your contacts and prospects to get a sense of what information they need/want and you’ll be well on your way to crafting stellar email campaigns that draw them back into your brand and (hopefully) encourage them to take that next step.