When you’re thinking about content to put in your newsletters and emails, it’s easy to get caught up in talking about your company. While your audience subscribes to stay current on your business, they’re more likely to tune in when the conversation is focused on how your business benefits them.
Shifting your focus to their interests and needs is the biggest differentiator between simply distributing email and fully engaging your audience. When you’re able to engage readers, you’ll see repeat sales as well as a boost to your readership thanks to your loyal followers passing it along to their colleagues and friends.
This doesn’t mean you need to ditch your current approach to email marketing, especially if it’s been effective. Rather, it’s about focusing the conversation toward the “what’s in it for me?” from the reader’s perspective.
To create more engaging content, there are three critical yet simple steps you can take.
1. Create content that’s worth sharing. Now, that may sound obvious so I’ll be more specific about what it entails. Share-worthy content from a macro perspective can be a mix of news, upcoming events, special offers, polls and surveys, reports, or coupons, for example. Taking this to the next level of specificity, think about framing your content in the form of Q&As, insider tips and interviews with experts.
2. Include a mix of content that reflects your business as well as your industry. For example, if you run a hardware store, you may want to include information about your particular business as well as tips on how to select the best gardening tools, for example. When you provide relevant, unbiased information to your readers, they will view you as a trusted resource and are more likely to return to your business and send referrals.
3. Always include a direct call to action, a.k.a. an “engagement driver.” The driver is the content that hooks your readers and includes clear directions about the next steps you want them to take. In many instances, your readers may be nodding their head in agreement with your content. To transform this passive experience into an engaging one that seizes their interest and enthusiasm, insert options such as comment, forward, “like” and tweet. This way, they can further spread the word and entice others to engage with you.
Steve Robinson is Constant Contact’s small business expert in Illinois and Wisconsin. A knowledgeable marketing expert with 30 years of experience, Steve has helped thousands of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective email marketing, social media and online survey strategies. A popular speaker and educator, Steve gives small businesses and nonprofits the tools, techniques, and strategies they need to grow and expand their business and to maximize the power of relationship marketing. Steve’s experience in small business ownership, business development, sales, and fundraising help associations, small businesses and nonprofits achieve success.